J.I.'s Reviews > Pinball, 1973

Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami
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's review
May 18, 2011

bookshelves: read-2011
Read in May, 2011

A better book that his first, this slim novel (180 or so very small pages) begins to REALLY feel like a Murakami book. This is a novel about indecision and apathy and that desire to move on and it is tied very much to a feeling of nostalgia and loss. We see this very much with the character of the Rat, who is made much more aware of his frustration than the first person narrator protagonist, but we see even in his life a blase unease, an inability to really grasp the present, even when that present is a pair of twins sharing his bed (which makes for some of the funniest scenes) and a cute secretary showing an interest in him, which begins with his trip to the train station and culminates in his search for a pinball machine.

This is not as good a book as his later works, but it is a truly good book nonetheless, hitting on the themes, if slightly clumsily at times (the Rat sections sometimes take the occasional misstep), that will dominate his work later. While Hear the Wind Sing is a good book to start with, Pinball, 1973 is just a good book, period.

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