Author: Haruki Murakami
Title: Hear the wind sing / Pinball, 1973
Series: The Trilogy of the Rat #1-#2
Genre: General fiction
Publishing Date: 1979
Source: Dutch publisher
So, you’re into Haruki Murakami’s novels? Then you should definitely read these ones. Hear the wind sing and Pinball, 1973 are Murakami’s first two novels, which had been published in Japanese magazines only. Now that this Japanese writer has become a writer of bestsellers, his first works have also been translated into English. The Dutch version is out today, for the first time, so that’s why I’ve read it only now. The Book Depository tells me a hardcover edition of the two stories is on its way to the English-speaking public and will be out in August 2015, but correct me if I’m wrong. ;)
So, about the stories. They’re actually not that special if you’re looking for thrills, action or perfect prose. As he says in the first sentece: “Perfect prose doesn’t exist, and neither does perfect desperation“. But.. if you’re a Murakami fan, I think this is the perfect book for you. I haven’t read that much of him, only parts of books, but these two novels definitely announce the beginning of his writing career, both figuratively and literally. While you can feel he’s searching for the right way to write a novel, you can also see his writing style developing while writing. This is most visible when you switch from the first book to the second. Pinball, 1973 is much more surreal than Hear the wind sing and the way he writes becomes much more his own way.
While these books are not the most amazing books I’ve ever read, I can definitely see the potential Murakami had when he started writing his first novels. And these novels make me want to read more by him. 1Q84 is already sitting on my shelves (though it’s such a daunting amount of pages!), so I’m hoping I can get to that one soon. Have you read books by Murakami? I’m curious about what you think and which ones you recommend.