Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years of Pilgramage
Decidedly different from Murakami's past works in that this was grounded more in reality and lacked the magical realism he was known for. However, Murakami replaced that with a stronger emotional core throughout the novel.
This was essentially a story about self, love and happiness. A dark story - possibly one of his darkest - that only had occasional glimmer of hope and light. But those glimmer are enough to sustain optimism...or are they? That oscillating hope illustrates Murakami's skill as a storyteller (not so much a wordsmith per se since this is a translated work).
This is Murakami's most emotionally resonant work since Norwegian Wood and also perhaps one of the most easily accessible to new readers.