Patrick McCoy's Reviews > Hear the Wind Sing

Hear the Wind Sing by Haruki Murakami
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's review
Sep 20, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: contemporary-fiction, japanese-literature

I was surprised to see Haruki Murakami's Hear The Wind Sing at the bookstore. It is his first novel that was published in English for English language learners by Kodansha in 1987 (it was originally published in Japanese in 1979) I had assumed that it was out of print. It is a thin Japanese sized volume and only 128 pages with Japanese translation notes. Incidentally, his second novel, Pinball 1973, is equally difficult to find.

This novel may have been the precursor to two of his other novels, The Wild Sheep Chase and Norwegian Wood. The unnamed narrator and his friend Rat reappeared in The Wild Sheep Chase, and the ruminations on whimsical girls is a precursor to Norwegian Wood. The average disconnected everyman narrator of few words floats through a summer drinking excessively with his friend Rat, contemplating life (the three girl friends he had which he can no longer remember), and romancing a mysterious nine fingered girl. This story doesn't have any of the fantastic elements of his later novels, which is something I appreciate, but it seems to be a collage of ideas and observations rather than a coherent novel. But it shows the promise of a potentially astute novelist. I see the germination of his style, ideas that will be used in later works, and characterizations that he fleshes out over time.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Dave (new)

Dave Groff I don't think I've read another writer who cannibalized his own work as regularly and obviously as Murakami. In general I like Murakami, but it gets to be a bit much sometimes, and I get the feeling I'm reading the same damned thing a little too often.

Patrick McCoy I totally agree, and it is probably why I haven't read IQ84 yet.

Mohamed Ali I am a big Murakami fan, and thought I was harsh giving it 2 stars.. I couldn't agree more..

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