Pinball 1973 isn't as engrossing as Murakami's other works. Whenever I read a Murakami novel, I always feel the need to go on even when I have a parti...morePinball 1973 isn't as engrossing as Murakami's other works. Whenever I read a Murakami novel, I always feel the need to go on even when I have a particularly busy schedule. Reading this, however, I find myself dozing off at times. And my schedule certainly stopped me from reading this for a while. Whether it's due to the lack of clearly visible similarities and even a hint of familiarity related to the current state of personal things, I do not know.
It's said that Murakami did not intend for english copies of this published outside Japan. True or not, I feel like I know why. There are still a lot of reasons to read this novella. But today, I feel like diverting from the prevailing course of personal acts. I felt the need to emphasise more the negative aspects rather than the positive ones.
The plot screams Murakami. But stylistically speaking, Pinball 1973 is raw. As compared to Hear the Wind Sing, which is much shorter, it isn't as memorable. Although it includes visible roots of his becoming the author we know and love today, this simply did not do as well as I'd hoped.(less)
I wasn't quite sure what to think of this one. I was just extremely curious about his first novel. And as soon as I slide over to the eleventh page, e...moreI wasn't quite sure what to think of this one. I was just extremely curious about his first novel. And as soon as I slide over to the eleventh page, every plot, every story and every single character comes back to mind. I remember the first Murakami novel I've read and the places I've been while reading it. I start to remember his style and recurring themes, his twisted scenarios and surreal settings. It hit me like routine. I should stop reading this now and go on looking for a book. This is a genius' first masterpiece, after all. Edit: I read later on that finding one will lead nowhere since Murakami did not want this book to go public. So instead, English translations as well as original copies are still only kept in a library in Japan.
For a book I'm still not entirely sure was about, I can say it's a constant thrill. I just couldn't leave it alone for more than a minute. It's strange how something as short as this holds the power to shed light to Murakami's roots as a writer. I believe that in familiarizing myself with an author's work, the mere act of it makes me closer to him than other non-readers. Reading a memoir or a debut novel is a faster and a more effective way to getting there.(less)
So K goes, "I spread my fingers apart and stare at the palms of both hands, looking for bloodstains. There aren't any. No scent of blood, no stiffness...moreSo K goes, "I spread my fingers apart and stare at the palms of both hands, looking for bloodstains. There aren't any. No scent of blood, no stiffness. The blood must have already, in its own silent way, seeped inside."
*I close the book, fully aware that I have finished, spread my fingers apart and stare at the palms of both hands, looking for bloodstains.* And then I say, "the blood must have already (in its silent way) seeped inside."
I am in awe of the wonder that is Murakami Haruki.
A part of me was annoyed that the novel had to be told in first person. But it was, as always, insightful. Trying my best to fathom how the author does it, I challenged myself to read a few paragraphs while stepping out of the story line in order to notice. As an observer, I got this — Murakami writes about a person's daily life, descriptively, while incorporating a magical sensation. Just your plain, run-of-the-mill definition of the genre 'Magical Realism'. But when he writes, he writes so well. And when he comes up with something, you begin to ask yourself how a person, who is so fond of running and writing alone (Ref. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running), could come up with such an out-of-this-world-almost-bizarre thing and still be so brilliant.(less)
Stories which were stylistically told (or odd): Kangaroo Communique, The Green Monster, TV People Stories closest to reality: Lederhosen, Family Affair...moreStories which were stylistically told (or odd): Kangaroo Communique, The Green Monster, TV People Stories closest to reality: Lederhosen, Family Affair, The Silence, Sleep, A Slow Boat to China Stories I liked: Barn Burning, The Fall of the Roman Empire (...), The Dancing Dwarf, The Last Lawn of the Afternoon, The Silence, Elephant Vanishes, On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl (...), The Second Bakery Attack Funniest: The Second Bakery Attack Favorites: The Dancing Dwarf, Barn Burning
Sometimes I wonder what it is going to take for me to leave Murakami and his other works alone. Reading this collection made me rethink that notion and for a few days I actually thought this was going to be it. I had lost interest in finishing the book and I have been struggling to reach its final pages. "TV People" did this to me. Do not ask me why. I've no idea.
The final four stories were gems, though. After closing the book last night I suddenly compared reading a Murakami to eating chocolate. As for the reason why, it is for me to keep.(less)
The usual way of going through someone's works is in chronological order. If you think about it, earliest to latest is the best way to go. You start s...moreThe usual way of going through someone's works is in chronological order. If you think about it, earliest to latest is the best way to go. You start slow, and then everything builds up. That way, you get to witness the birth of a genius. From his first steps to his risky whereabouts, to his more imaginative and adventurous. Unfortunately, when "Pinabll 1973" was released in English, it was 1985. It would be six more years before I would be born.
To this date, I've read a dozen of his works. And I just can't get enough of his imagination and creativity. Looking back on everything that I've read, his pile is one of those that I have approached in reverse. After Dark first, and then Blind Willow, and then something else in between. His latest works first and his earlier works last.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle falls somewhere in the middle of the range. But in terms of writing and sparks of brilliance, it doesn't fall short.
The approach is basic storytelling. All characters are introduced in the first half as well as bits of stories which are significant in understanding the novel as a whole. And just like other Murakami novels, the entire mystery is laid out on the table..
- Aside from Toru, the protagonist, we also hear from Kumiko, May Kasahara, Lieutenant Mamiya, Nutmeg, and the mass, as represented by the articles
- You get to meet: a public figure and politician, the cat named Mackerel, the teen who loves to talk about death, the officer who got thrown into a well, the medium/finder of the cat, a healer of women, a not-so-mute organized young man, and prostitutes of the mind.
- The story takes place in: an apartment, an alley, a hotel room, somebody else's yard, a wig factory, the year 1945 and many years later, inside a hole full of dead bodies, in the wild with a manskinner, inside a hanging house, inside the hanging house's well and through the walls of the hotel room and back to the well which used to be dry.
Just like other Murakami novels, the entire mystery is laid out on the table, but the facts, the connection and the interpretation is up to the reader. You just have to sit tight and brace yourself. For something you probably don't know what, and probably don't know why.(less)
Whoever thought buying this would be the right choice?
I walked into the bookstore, undecided, on whether to buy something, but insisted on looking for...moreWhoever thought buying this would be the right choice?
I walked into the bookstore, undecided, on whether to buy something, but insisted on looking for one anyway. Walked past a few aisles, looked past the many copies of books which are currently dominating the prevailing current of thought, and grabbed this one copy of a book so unnoticeable. Had second thoughts on buying it, finally grabbed it.. and left it on the counter. I was sure minutes after then that I should have bought it and promised I would buy it the next time around.
Her name is Nikki, but her friends all call her Coco after Coco Chanel, a french lady who lived to be almost ninety. She was her idol, after Henry Miller. Every morning when she opens her eyes she wonders what she can do to make herself famous. It's become her ambition, almost her raison d'etre, to burst upon the city like fireworks. ― She's messed up. A risk-taker, a confused lover, a writer, a heavy sleeper, an optimistic person, an avid searcher.
I don't think anyone could have made me more interested in Shanghai than Coco. And the fact that I detest books with really gloomy endings should have been an assurance that I will not like this book. But I surprisingly do. I love it for its imperfect but realistic story, for its gloomy ending, for its open and direct details of certain encounters, for its fresh appeal, for its characters with unusual but great ties, and for its openly discussed opinions on different cultures and principles. Its beauty is its imperfection. You can't help but respect Wei Hui for having been true, all throughout.
Like Coco, I was torn in between two lovers, fully aware of her/my acts and making up excuses to make myself feel better. I felt the heat she was feeling with Mark, the suffering that came with my boyfriend's drug addiction, all the confusion that came with sneaking around and the denial of possibly falling for Mark, the pressure of finishing my book, the misery after having my lover return to his family, his real family, and waking up to find nothing but pain lying next beside me after losing my love. My name is Coco. And only after a few seconds will I snap out of it and realize that there is no Mark to keep me warm or Tian Tian to complete me.
I think a book has only one purpose: it should open a new perspective/ a new world to its reader, making him a wiser person after finishing the book's pages. If it fails to do just that, it's no good. "Banned and burned in China.." I think the Chinese people are missing quite a lot.(less)