Two Novels

Book - 2015
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Centering around two young men--an unnamed narrator and his friend and former roommate, the Rat--these short works are powerful, at times surreal, stories of loneliness, obsession, and eroticism.
Publisher: [Toronto, Ontario] :, Bond Street Books,, [2015]
ISBN: 9780385681810
Branch Call Number: FICTION MUR
Characteristics: xvii, 233 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Goossen, Ted


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Jul 18, 2019

Not my favorite of Murakami's work, but still an excellent novel by any standard. I never expected to be so invested in pinball.

Mar 25, 2019

My second Murakami’s book... definitely much better than the first one. I really enjoyed both stories, a bit random in some parts but deep and funny in others; pinball’s epilogue about the twins cleaning his ears made me laugh a lot for some reason

Nov 25, 2018

Beer, cigs, sex in Japan, also about Pinball.

Apr 22, 2017

Two early, perplexing and loosely linked novels from the man who'd become the Japanese literary genius. No sign of that here, though...

Aug 18, 2016

"We exist in a realm outside life and death. We are the wind."
Haruki Murakami is one of my favorite living writers and I've read just about all of his books. Available in English for the first time are his first two, slim, first novels, "Hear the Wind Sing" and "Pinball, 1973," which form a trilogy with "A Wild Sheep Chase." If you like Murakami, you'll like these. They are more simple and straightforward than many of his later books, but there's the same melancholy tone, adrift characters, and quietly surreal experiences. This edition also has a new introduction by Murakami in which he discusses how he decided to write a novel and then sat down at his kitchen table to do so. "I enjoyed listening to stories about faraway places so much that it became a kind of sickness."

Aug 09, 2016

So I spent many, many years looking to find a translation for both of these novels. Believe it or not a translation did exist for Hear the Wind Sing, but the price to get a physical copy of it was beyond absurd. So colour me thrilled when this collection was announced (and once again translated by an old professor of mine). Wind/Pinball is a bind up of Hear the Wind Sing and Pinbal 1973, and are Murakami's first two "novels" if you wish to call them that.

What I loved about this collection was that we get to see the beginnings of a young Haruki Murakami. We see the themes that are now considered staples in his works showing early life. Isolation, love, jazz, it's all here in it's rawest forms. Personally, I really enjoyed the visit in both these stories, especially because it gave me a lot of insight into Murakami as an early writer, and it shows the rougher areas in his writing where you can tell he was still new to the craft. It felt like such an enriching experience. The downside, however, to this is that while these were his first novels, they don't actual feel like anything new. I could sense that some of his later works were influenced by these first two stories, particularly South of the Border, West of the Sun, which I'd argue is still a better novel than both of these.

However, I enjoyed and read both novels in one sitting. Murakami's writing is still captivating, and it was interesting to see the origins of The Rat, who is a popular character in A Wild Sheep Chase. You get to see two very distinctive and different sides to this character when reading Wind/Pinball, and yet you know it's the same person from all three stories. I adored both novels but for different reasons: in Hear the Wind Sing, I loved how the hero was a disc-jockey, yet he didn't have the greatest social skills. Reading that particular story gave me a huge appreciation for why jazz and its culture is so prevalent in Murakami's works.

Pinball 1973 was the more quirky of the two stories, as once again we have a jazz loving protagonist, with an interest in pinball, but can't seem to get the ladies to like him. Again, we have all of Murakami's signature themes, but in this story we start to see more of the quirky sense of humour that Murakami has. My favourite part was these two twins and the protagonist could never figure out how to identify them separately, and they play being identical twins up so hard on him. It's gets so bad that they get sweat-shirts with different numbers on them, and when he asks if he can call them by number, they take off their shirts and switch them. I thought that was hilarious.

I think for hardcore Murakami fans, this is a must read in the sense that it'll provide you with some historical insight into his early works, as well as his writing process. The introduction in this collection alone is worth reading for those curious about his habits, where he came from, and why he reuses the same themes throughout his stories. Both stories offer a lot of interesting moments, though similarly they don't offer anything that feels new or that you haven't seen from Murakami before. They're worth the read, and then while your at it, go read A Wild Sheep Chase to simply see how the Rat's story comes to end.

Oct 08, 2015

I started reading this book with a lot of expectations. I must confess the book fell short.It began well and when the writer made a comment, that if "it's art or literature you're interested in, I suggest you read the Greeks. Pure art exists only in slave owning societies," and explained this statement I thought there was more coming. At intervals there were gems but all in all my rating of thee two novels would be the same as Murakami's protagonist's professor who says, "Good style, clear argument, but you're not saying anything."

KateHillier Aug 30, 2015

Included herein are "Hear the Wind Sing" and "Pinball, 1973", two of Murakami's earlier novels. Both are quite short and both involved the character of "The Rat," who has appeared in other novels. Both stories, as per usual, deal with a young man's coming of age. As to be expected these themes are explored better in later works and I think some stuff is flat out adapted into later work. Was interesting to see Murakami's start and to meet The Rat again.

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Sep 28, 2018

asiaklg thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Mar 27, 2016

No, pinball leads nowhere. The only result is a glowing replay light. Replay, replay, replay - it makes you think the whole aim of the game is to achieve a form of eternity.

We know very little about eternity, although we can infer its existence.

The goal of pinball is self-transformation, not self-expression. It involves not the expansion of the ego but its diminution. Not analysis but all-embracing acceptance. p.123


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