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The Rat #1-2

Wind/Pinball: Two Novels

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Discover Haruki Murakami's first two novels.

'If you're the sort of guy who raids the refrigerators of silent kitchens at three o'clock in the morning, you can only write accordingly.

That's who I am.'

Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 are Haruki Murakami's earliest novels. They follow the fortunes of the narrator and his friend, known only by his nickname, the Rat. In Hear the Wind Sing the narrator is home from college on his summer break. He spends his time drinking beer and smoking in J's Bar with the Rat, listening to the radio, thinking about writing and the women he has slept with, and pursuing a relationship with a girl with nine fingers.

Three years later, in Pinball, 1973, he has moved to Tokyo to work as a translator and live with indistinguishable twin girls, but the Rat has remained behind, despite his efforts to leave both the town and his girlfriend. The narrator finds himself haunted by memories of his own doomed relationship but also, more bizarrely, by his short-lived obsession with playing pinball in J's Bar. This sends him on a quest to find the exact model of pinball machine he had enjoyed playing years earlier: the three-flipper Spaceship.

234 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1980

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About the author

Haruki Murakami

609 books113k followers
Murakami Haruki (Japanese: 村上 春樹) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. His work has been described as 'easily accessible, yet profoundly complex'. He can be located on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/harukimuraka...

Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. He grew up reading a range of works by American writers, such as Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Brautigan, and he is often distinguished from other Japanese writers by his Western influences.

Murakami studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo, where he met his wife, Yoko. His first job was at a record store, which is where one of his main characters, Toru Watanabe in Norwegian Wood, works. Shortly before finishing his studies, Murakami opened the coffeehouse 'Peter Cat' which was a jazz bar in the evening in Kokubunji, Tokyo with his wife.

Many of his novels have themes and titles that invoke classical music, such as the three books making up The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: The Thieving Magpie (after Rossini's opera), Bird as Prophet (after a piano piece by Robert Schumann usually known in English as The Prophet Bird), and The Bird-Catcher (a character in Mozart's opera The Magic Flute). Some of his novels take their titles from songs: Dance, Dance, Dance (after The Dells' song, although it is widely thought it was titled after the Beach Boys tune), Norwegian Wood (after The Beatles' song) and South of the Border, West of the Sun (the first part being the title of a song by Nat King Cole).

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,850 reviews
Profile Image for Jim Fonseca.
1,100 reviews7,191 followers
September 19, 2019
These are Murakami’s earliest novels – novellas really as each is only about 100 pages. Both are about the same two young men, an unnamed narrator and his friend and former roommate, ‘The Rat.’ Actually there is a third 'Rat’ book but for some reason it is not included with these two. I’ve not read the later, longer novels but supposedly these two shorts are prequels to Murakami’s other novels, A Wild Sheep Chase and Dance Dance Dance.


They are about anomie and loneliness of youth as these two young men (early 20’s) struggle to find meaning and a role in life. Both have girlfriends (the narrator is living with two identical twins) but there is no real love. Their lives are lonely and aimless as they wander around ambitionless, smoking and drinking. A Chinese bartender plays a role in both stories. In their attitudes the two young men are very much alike. These is nothing dramatic or spellbinding about the plots – in fact they remind me a bit of what has been said about the American TV series ‘Seinfeld’ being ‘about nothing.’ Yet Murakami’s style grabs you and holds your attention.

I’ll write about Pinball as it has more of a traditional plot structure. The narrator and a friend have started a freelance translation service from English and French into Japanese. The narrator becomes obsessed with an early pinball game. He gives us a bit about the history of pinball and early inventors. When the arcade is demolished the specific machine he liked best disappears and he contacts another obsessive pinball player to track down the old machine.

Meanwhile he lives with the twins and tells us about his memories of the Japanese student movement and of a former girlfriend who hanged herself. Wells are mentioned and also a cat but not as much as in some of his later novels. Also, western, especially American cultural icons are featured including liquors, music and television shows. And, as is often the case in Murakami’s stories, there is a surreal or even science fiction aspect to the story as he writes about some people being from other planets, still adapting to earth’s environment.

Here’s a passage that I thought illustrated Murakami’s writing style:

“The Rat could see that she [his girlfriend] was trying to establish a kind of perfection in her small world. He was well aware that required an extraordinary degree of determination. She wore only the most modest yet tasteful dresses over fresh, clean undergarments, applied an eau de cologne with the fragrance of a morning vineyard to her body, took great care in choosing her words, asked no pointless questions, and appeared to have practiced smiling in the mirror. Yet these things only added to the Rat’s sadness.”


The book begins with an essay by Murakami in which he tells us how he began writing because he was hit by a ‘lightning bolt’ at a baseball game: “Hey, I can write a novel!” And he discusses how his first drafts were ‘flat,’ so he wrote in English (in which he was not at all proficient at the time) and then translated the text back to Japanese. During this time he and his wife were working endless hours in a bar/nightclub that they started.

Good stories that held my attention.

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The author from radicalreads.com
Profile Image for Nat K.
425 reviews158 followers
February 13, 2023
“Each day was a carbon copy of the last. You needed a bookmark to tell one from the other.”

Three years after reading Haruki Murakami’s first attempts at writing a novel, I’m still in awe. I know that some reviewers feel it didn’t “live up to” his later works, but for me the magic is definitely there, bubbling away.

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since my first reading of Hear The Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973. If anything, these two novellas now have even more poignancy for me. About people questioning their existence, and those friendships that can only ever be so intense when you’re young and not yet jaded enough by life. The passing of time.

I enjoyed starting at the beginning again, and gaining different perspectives from the book. That’s the beauty of a good writer, that you can return to their work, and look at it through completely different eyes. And more importantly, that you want to return to their work.

And so ends Book 1. Of this year’s Murakami Odyssey (where I’m endeavoring to read his novels only). Onto Book 2. soon which is A Wild Sheep Chase. I read it a long time ago, and it has always stuck in my head as being completely, Marakamishly quirky.

Shout out to my buddy at work Kathy who read this with me. She’d been talking about Murakami for a long time, and wanted to dip her toes in the water. From our chats, I know she enjoyed being introduced to his work with this little gem.

Originally read back in 2020 with the wonderful, talented Mr. Neale-ski. Please make sure you have a look at his reviews also, as they provide great insights I’d not thought of at the time.


My original review is below.


"There's no such thing as a perfect piece of writing. Just as there's no such thing as perfect despair."

So begins the opening line to Haruki Murakami's first novella Hear The Wind Sing. Perfection, like beauty, I'd beg to argue, is in the eye of the beholder.

My obsession with Haruki Murakami started well over twenty years ago. On the way home from work, an intriguing book title caught my eye in a bookstore that no longer exists. The bookstore was "Max Ells" for anyone's memory that stretches that far back. The book was The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I'd never read anything like it. I was in book love. And so began a long distance relationship that has survived the years.

This short debut contains two novellas Hear The Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973. They were written way back in 1979 & 1980, and only recently published in English. I was intrigued from the prologue, where Haruki Murakami talks about how he was inspired to begin writing while attending a baseball game. He had an epiphany, and the idea struck him "I think I can write a novel." All hail the epiphany!

" 'Eat shit, you rich bastards!' the Rat shouted, glowering at me, with his hands resting on the bar."

Yes, you had me at hallo.

Both novellas feature the mysterious Rat, his friend (an unnamed protagonist), and their local watering hole "J's Bar".

The first story is lighter than fluffy clouds. The second has a darker brooding atmosphere, like a storm is looming.

It's interesting to note that Murakami's obsession with wells (including Martian ones) began so early in the piece. Those of you who are familiar with his writing will know what I'm talking about.

"I love wells. Whenever I come across one I toss in a pebble. Nothing is more soothing than hearing that small splash rise from the bottom of a deep well."

"There are wells, deep wells, dug in our hearts. Birds fly over them."

Tick also the checklist for:
* the ubiquitous bar
* the moody barman of few words
* jazz
* references to music (particularly the Beatles)
* whisky
* quirky friends
* cats
* time
* memory & nostalgia
* wan girls with inexplicable problems
* young men pondering esoteric questions
* the restlessness versus inertia of everyday life
* existential ramblings
* narrators with no name.

All themes which Murakami expands on in greater depth in later novels.

"Outside it had turned pitch black. Not a monochromatic but a layered black, as if various black paints had been slapped on like butter."

I enjoyed this so much. To me, this is quintessential Murakami. Where you get a glimpse of the amazing works yet to come. For a starter, this has just the right amount of ingredients to tantalize the taste buds. As a fan who has read most of his later works, I can see from this book how it would lead to bigger and more ambitious creations and characters.

The writing already displays his very unique voice clearly.

"It was the same old thing over and over again. An endless déjà vu that got worse each time around."

"Sometimes things that happened the day before felt like they had occurred a year earlier; at other times last year's events seemed to have happened yesterday."

"Each day was a carbon copy of the last. You needed a bookmark to tell one from the other."

I understand completely. I love the musings of his mind. His thought patterns intrigue me. For a first novel, I reckon this is pretty darn impressive.

*** Shout out to dear friend, the talented Mr.Collski who buddy read this with me. Perhaps not the ideal Murakami to start with. But then again, perhaps it is. I'm not the right person to ask, I'm so biased in Murakami's favour. But it seems that this "intro" has intrigued Collin enough to continue with Murakami's other novels. As he is, quite simply, magical. A new convert! Woo.

Collin has posted his reviews for the two novellas separately. Please have a read, as he's made some observations I wish I had thought of (darn). Links to his reviews are below ***

"Hear the Wind Sing" - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
"Pinball 1973" -https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

"People are awkward creatures. A lot more awkward than you seem to realize."

Can't argue with that one.
Profile Image for Darwin8u.
1,599 reviews8,731 followers
November 25, 2015

Extra Ball at 600,000 points



My first exposure to Murakami was in my early college years. I checked out 'A Wild Sheep Chase' (Boku #3) one summer from a military library and after I read it, but before I returned it, the library had mysteriously burned down. I'm not sure if I still owe the library a late fee or not. I had no way to return the book, and after reading it, I didn't ever want to. I saved it from the fire. I saved it from oblivion. It was now mine.

Both 'Hear the Wind Sing' and 'Pinball, 1973' are novellas best left to Murakami completists. There are better novels to start with and unless you are going to read more than ten Murakami novels, I wouldn't begin here. Start with 'Wild Sheep Chase', 'Wind-Up Bird Chronicle', 'Dance Dance Dance', or 'Norwegian Wood'.

\ * / Hear the Wind Sing/Boku #1 \ * /


"How can those who live in the light of day possibly comprehend the depth of night?"
― Nietzche

A nice first novel(la) with most all the known Murakami tropes already stirred in. There is music (pop, jazz, classical) with specific references to actual pressings. There are: cats, bars, whiskey, birds, alienation and needy women. Murakami ventures into existential philosophy and Western literature (both real and fake). It is all there. Things that would later pop up again and again in his later, stronger novels.

It isn't a river that flows very fast.

This isn't a page turner.

It is Gyokuro tea-steeping slowly. It is watching the stray leaves spiral to the center in a cracked, stoneware cup. It is the light and shadows dancing on you, while you sit in the shade watching people walk in and out of view. It is relaxing, interesting, and soon all you have left is the tasseography of a cold cup.

\ * / Pinball, 1973/Boku #2 \ * /


“So many dreams, so many disappointments, so many promises. And in the end, they all just vanish.”
― Haruki Murakami, Pinball, 1973

Like Murakami's first novel 'Hear the Wind Sing' (Boku #1), 'Pinball, 1973' (Boku #2) contains many of those elements that would define Murakami's fiction in the future. In someways this novel is both a story of loneliness and a love story between the protagonist and a specific Pinball machine. 'Hear the Wind Sing' seems to show early signs of Norwegian Wood, but 'Pinball, 1973' seems to be an early protonovel that would develop into Murakami's strange, dream-like later novels.

\ * / \ * / \ * /

If you check out Murakami and the bookstore or library burns down, watch out, you won't be able to rest until you've stalked every novel and read every page.
Profile Image for da AL.
370 reviews372 followers
June 24, 2018
As always, Murakami's writing is spare & profound. What I especially enjoyed here was his intro essay, "The Birth of My Kitchen Table Fiction," which describes his journey to becoming a great writer. He tells of how he taught himself the art of storytelling -- lots of reading, trial & error, even learning to become succinct & to dispense with overwriting by drafting first in English, then translating his story into Japanese.
Profile Image for Lydia.
294 reviews229 followers
September 19, 2015
Eh. It wasn't bad. It was just... okay.

Nothing much happens, in typical Murakami style. Which I don't normally mind, actually I really enjoy books with very little plot, but it was just kind of dull in this.
And god I know Murakami is sexist a lot of the time in his books, but it was over the top in this one. Seriously "the twins" in Pinball 1973 seemed to have literally no purpose other than to provide the narrator with a couple of feelings. Oh, and to have sex with him and make him food and coffee. Yawn. The narrator was your typical Murakami main male character: lonely, has sex with a fair few women, kind of a dick at times, etc etc.

Basically, everything just felt less well-developed. Which makes sense when you consider that these were his first two novels he wrote. It was kind of interesting to see how his writing and characters and ideas have developed since these novels, but overall it was just kind of ~meh~. It wasn't bad. It just left me totally uninspired.
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews926 followers
May 5, 2022
“Looking at the ocean makes me miss people, and hanging out with people makes me miss the ocean.”

Pinball News - First and Free

In tone, Haruki Murakami's two short debut novelsWind/Pinball: Two Novels are very similar. They also share two main characters, the unnamed narrator and 'the Rat.' In both, the meditations by the narrator are rambling and unfocused. Still, I recognized Murakami in these ramblings. Is that a recommendation? Not quite. Of the two, I think I preferred Pinball, but that might simply have been because it reminded me of quests undertaken by other Murakami characters in (dare I say) better books. It also felt like 'something' was clicking by the novel's conclusion. I don't see myself rereading these two early works, and if you are new to Murakami I would have several recommendations that don't include them. I'll think about these a bit more and move on to Murakami's next work. However, if you are a fellow Murakami fan like myself, dive in! 3.25 stars

“Sometimes, I imagine how great it would be if we could live our lives without bothering other people.”
Profile Image for Franco  Santos.
484 reviews1,358 followers
February 19, 2016
Pérdida y soledad son los dos elementos principales de estos dos relatos. Es un libro sobre el movimiento de la existencia, que quita, reencuentra, vuelve a quitar, nos deja en lugares que queremos, nos saca de allí y nos estrella contra uno que no queremos; nos obliga a abandonar sin despedidas y volver para partir. Y nosotros, como pobres víctimas del tiempo, tenemos que resistir. Porque la vida es eso: resistencia.

Se pierden personas que amamos.

Se pierden personas que no llegamos a conocer pero que de alguna manera dejaron su marca en nuestra alma.

Se pierde un perro.

Se pierde una máquina de pinball.

Se pierde un canal de distribución eléctrica.

Un bar.

Unas gemelas.

Un amigo.

«Todas las cosas pasan de largo. Nadie puede retenerlas.
Así es como vivimos todos nosotros».
Profile Image for Barry Pierce.
576 reviews7,748 followers
June 14, 2019
Hear the Wind Sing: an unlikable guy writes about his past relationships. Genuinely enjoyable.

Pinball, 1973: an unlikable guy writes about.....pinball and twins. Not as genuinely enjoyable.
Profile Image for emily.
254 reviews2,191 followers
June 8, 2023
Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 are pretty interesting for books that are about nothing at all.

It is evident that they are Murakami's first attempts at writing - his "kitchen table novels", as he lovingly calls them - since they are rather lackluster when it comes to plot and characters. However, as a reader familiar with his later works, it is also interesting to see Murakami's recurring themes and motives, as well as his obvious talent for the craft, present even at this stage.

What I like the most about these novels, besides the writing, is the atmosphere that Murakami creates. The best way for me to describe the way I felt while reading both Wind and Pinball is to compare them to one of my favorite painters, Edward Hopper. Whenever I look at a Hopper painting, I get this weird sense of melancholy, mixed with a little bit of isolation - or perhaps alienation is the better word.


Even when several people are present in Hopper's paintings, every person still seems alone, locked inside their own private universe. Although the (unnamed) main character in Wind and Pinball does have connections with a few people around him, they seem superficial, or perhaps arbitrary - we don't get to know how they happened to stumble into the main character's life. To be precise, all we really know about any of the characters are their names, which are almost enigmas in itself: What kind of names are "The Rat" and "J"? The twins in Pinball aren't even named at all, sometimes they are referred to with numbers to tell them apart. Every character we meet in these books seems to appear out of thin air, their origin is almost always unknown, and their motivations remain unclear even when we are fed pieces of the story through their lense.


In a sense, reading these novels made me feel That One Emotion That Is Really Hard to Explain™, because I'm never sure if I'm the only one who actually experiences it. I'm going to try to explain it.

Reading Murakami feels the way I feel when....

• I am on an almost-empty train at night, trying to look outside but instead looking at a reflection of myself, because the lights inside are too bright

• I sit at a hotel balcony, looking down at an unknown city and trying to get to know the way it moves and breathes

• I catch a glimpse of strangers through an open window, imagining what their lives are like and knowing that I will never be a part of it and therefore do not exist to them

...and the list goes on.

Murakami does feel a little like that to me, like traveling alone and discovering places and watching people. I don't know how to explain it in a different way.

The "vibey" aspect of these novels almost fully worked for me, if it weren't for the fact hat Wind and Pinball both suffer from a variety of issues.

First of all, I think it's hard to fully grasp a story that has virtually no plot at all to stand on. While I don't necessarily mind the lack of a solid storyline, I strongly dislike the fact that I had no idea at which points we were jumping in time or steadily moving forwards. Especially Wind felt a little too disjointed for my liking, and it lost me when I had to try to puzzle the story together, especially since it's not supposed to be confusing.

Another big issue I have with all of Murakami's writing is the fact that it's inherently misogynist, which is at best uncomfortable, at worst distressing. There is a scene in this book where the main character takes a drunk woman (whom he does not know) home to her place, and for no apparent reason at all, undresses her completely before tucking her into bed, stripping down, and lying next to her. And guess what? He was annoyed at the fact that she was not eternally grateful to him when she woke up and (reasonably) got upset with him. Of course, in Murakami fashion, the woman later pursued a relationship with him... because why wouldn't she, am I right, ladies? /s

Instances like these completely take me out of the story every time and I have to close the book for a few minutes to stare angrily into space before I can continue reading. It's frustrating to say the least, that women are constantly objectified in Murakami's works, and I don't think this is the last time I'm going to adress it in my reviews either, which is incredibly unfortunate, to say the least.

Conclusion (TLDR):

I think Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball,1973 are..... pretty okay! I liked the atmosphere of both novels, and I have to admit that the writing resonated with me. BUT I struggled with the lack of plot and Murakami's portrayal of women.

Do I get the Murakami hype? Not quite yet. But I did like his first two works more than I anticipated. In regards to reading more of his books in the future, I'd call myself "cautiously optimistic".

Thank you for reading.



I have decided to read every novel that Haruki Murakami has ever written, in chronological order (yes, even after what happened with Kafka on the Shore*....). I read roughly one book per month and then summarize all of my thoughts in reviews like these. Always feel free to share your opinion(s) in the comments!

Ratings & Reviews:

1) Hear the Wind Sing & Pinball, 1973 ★★½

2) A Wild Sheep Chase ★★★½

3) Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World ★★★


*Basically, I posted an obviously satirical rant on how gross I think milk is and thousands of people took it a little too seriously and brutally murdered me in an Instagram comment section. (I am not kidding btw). Sometimes I lie awake at night thinking about how someone said I probably have weak bones...
Profile Image for Helene Jeppesen.
688 reviews3,627 followers
June 22, 2017
If you are a fan of Murakami's and are interested in finding out how his writing career started, then this petite book is a book for you. "Wind/Pinball" features two novellas which were the very first stories that Murakami wrote in his kitchen, late in the night. The stories are somewhat quirky and incoherent, and it's evident that they're written by an author starting out. But at the same time, they contain clear traits and similarities to some of Murakami's future novels which turned out to become widely popular.
What I appreciated the most about this book was actually the foreword by Murakami himself, in which he - among other things - reveals how he came up with and developed his unique writing style. I'm not going to give it away here, but anecdotes like these are worth so much in my eyes and make you appreciate the author even more.
"Wind/Pinball" were not amazing stories, but what was amazing about them was that they are clear starting points to what turned out to become an amazing career for a brilliant Japanese author.
Profile Image for Sam Quixote.
4,540 reviews12.9k followers
October 23, 2018
Wind/Pinball collects Haruki Murakami’s first two novels, Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973. I give Wind 3 stars and Pinball 2 stars so I guess technically it’s a 2.5 stars but neither book was that impressive so I rounded down to 2 stars - it’s really only for Murakami fans. I reviewed each book individually below - enjoy!


Hear the Wind Sing - 3 stars

Haruki Murakami’s first novel Hear the Wind Sing is like a lot of first novels in that it’s unfocused, rambling and mostly about the author - and yet it’s kinda compelling because of how well written it is!

There’s no story to speak of. The novel takes place within 3 weeks of the summer of 1970 where our nameless narrator in his early 20s bums around his small town. He meets a wealthy spoilt brat called The Rat who sits in a bar, reads Western novels, and spouts pseudo-intellectual nonsense. He meets a young woman with nine fingers who works in a record shop. The characters interact, a sense of youthful directionless and vague hope sorta permeates the book, and then it’s over.

I’ve read 11 of Murakami’s books before this one and I definitely wouldn’t recommend readers curious about the author to start here - begin with Wind-Up Bird, Wild Sheep Chase or one of his short story collections like after the quake instead. But if you’re familiar with the author you’ll notice a lot of things in this first novel that he’ll go on to feature in many of his subsequent books. Music - especially jazz - cats, precise descriptions of meals, emotionally-detached people, bookworms, sad relationships with sad women, loneliness, and physically deformed characters.

None of the characters here could be called well-rounded; they’re very one-dimensional especially the female characters - Murakami usually writes women quite poorly. More often than not they’re there as literary devices for the male characters to either learn something about the story they’re in or to learn something about themselves; it’s the latter in this book.

However, if the narrative leaves a lot to be desired, the writing is at least very fluid, accessible, and renders the spare story with an ethereal elegance. The pages fly by and that’s a rare quality in a first novel. Besides the overall lack of characterisation, the writing annoyed me only a couple of times like when one character launches into a pages-long speech about nothing, Murakami failing to pass this off as casual conversation, and the parts where a radio DJ rambles on the air were entirely needless. The book definitely feels too slight - it’s a good example of style over substance though I can’t help but admire the stylishness!

For a novel with no story, great characters, or memorable scenes or dialogue, I didn’t dislike Hear the Wind Sing. The writing is much better than you’d expect for a first novel and pulled me swiftly along to the end - the talent is obvious and you can see the writer he’ll become. That said, I’d say it’s really only for fans than casual readers – with this book Murakami’s clearly finding his voice and figuring out what he wants to write about which isn’t always the best place for anyone to start. Unfamiliar readers wanting to understand Murakami’s popularity would do better to check out his later, more original and enthralling efforts when he incorporates magical realism into actual stories that go somewhere.


Pinball, 1973 - 2 stars

Haruki Murakami tends to write two kinds of novel: ones with a story and ones without; Pinball, 1973 is unfortunately the latter.

A translator with twin live-in girlfriends (I know, just humour the author’s sad wish fulfilment fantasy) develops an obsession with pinball, specifically a pinball machine called Spaceship. One day his machine disappears. He half-heartedly goes looking for it…. zzz…

This is part of Murakami’s Rat series where a character called The Rat appears. It’s even more underwhelming than it sounds. The Rat is just a moody barfly who drinks beer and doesn’t do much else – I really don’t know why Murakami kept putting him in books as a recurring character given how dull he was. It’s not even clear why he’s called The Rat, unless it’s a description of his general uselessness.

The Rat chapters read like the worst kind of pretentious arthouse movie scenes – he drinks, he smokes, he says inane drivel that I guess is intended to be profound wisdom – and I have no idea what his inclusion added to the novel; far as I can tell, it’s nothing.

There are bits and pieces of the book that are intermittently interesting like the section on the country well digger, the history of the pinball manufacturer and the twins, who were just strange as they didn’t seem real. And the book overall is as clearly written as most of Murakami’s work is.

This being Murakami’s second novel, readers familiar with his later, much better books will recognise here what will become trademarks of his storytelling style: cats, wells, jazz, The Beatles (the book closes with the protagonist playing Rubber Soul, the second track of which, Norwegian Wood, would become the title of his breakthrough novel).

His female characters though remain as one-dimensional as ever. Besides a minor character at the start, none of the female characters are named – the interpreter’s colleague is simply referred to as “the girl”, as is the college girl in his flashback, while the twins are numbers, 208 and 209!

I’ve tried deciphering it but I’m completely clueless as to what this one was supposed to be about. The narrator talks about meeting people from Saturn and Venus at the start, the pinball machine is called Spaceship, so… ? Is the pinball machine meant to symbolise something, like a lost love – is that what that hallucinatory sequence at the end was about? No real point is established and the book just stops so it’s fairly unsatisfying. What I’ll charitably call “the story” as a whole was a bit too obtuse for me and could’ve been more focused.

It wasn’t a total bust but Pinball, 1973 is definitely one of Haruki Murakami’s lesser novels – fans only. For those who’d like to start reading Murakami, I recommend checking out A Wild Sheep Chase or The Strange Library instead.
Profile Image for Sean Smart.
152 reviews121 followers
November 14, 2015
Pinball was very good and written in the style that most Murakami readers/fans would recognise and enjoy. However Wind felt unfinished, confusing and felt like it was written by someone else.
Profile Image for Kyriakos Sorokkou.
Author 6 books201 followers
August 2, 2019
My first book in September.
My first Murakami.
Murakami's first novel(la)s

Before becoming a novelist Murakami was owning a jazz bar and during breaks he has writing these two novellas. They are part of a four book series with a common protagonist, the Rat.

I don't know if it was wise to start with my Murakami experience by reading his first novels instead of something more well known, but many people said that these books contain seeds in the germination phase of some of his most well known books, which I liked.


these two stories were utterly plotless, especially the 2nd one. Even though I enjoyed the writing style and read this book in less than 2 days, there was not much of a plot and I'm afraid I'll forget most of what I read in a few months' time.

I was fine with it since both stories were short, but I'm not sure if I will like his other books which are longer and written in the same style.

Even though I didn't really like these stories, they didn't dissuade me from trying more Murakami in the future, something I'll do probably chronologically.

4 stars for the introduction (on his epiphany he receives to start writing novels) and 3 stars for the stories = 3.5 stars average.

Snotchocheez's review is much more eloquent and can give you a clearer view of these two early novels.
Profile Image for alittlelifeofmel.
888 reviews346 followers
February 6, 2017
I think the reason I am so drawn to Murakami right now is that he is writing my feelings. There are a lot of really painful things going on in my life right now and Murakami captures the feelings I've been having so well. His characters are so relatable that I feel like they are me when I read this book. While Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball 1973 really weren't about anything, and nothing happened, I don't even care. I just felt this novel. These 2 short stories, and Norwegian Wood, have stayed with me. I think about them, I remember moments and quotes that represent how I feel. I still see myself in all these characters and compare my life to theirs. I love it.
There is a specific scene at the end of Pinball 1973, a very weird scene involving the main narrator and a pinball machine and I never knew that a pinball machine could make me so emotional. That was probably my favourite moment in all the Murakami novels I've read to date.
Profile Image for Snotchocheez.
595 reviews335 followers
August 24, 2016
2 stars

Easily the best part of this two-novella collection (his very first written/published output, written in the 1970s) 'is Haruki Murakami's introduction, wherein he tries to explain the epiphany (to switch his career focus from bar owner to novelist) he receives from watching a Yakult Swallows baseball game. (Not unlike the epiphany to stop chain-smoking and become a marathon runner he relates in his What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, written long after this.) Murakami completists will not want to miss what gives this wonderfully offbeat writer his inspiration and motivation. They will probably delight in encountering, within the novellas, seeds in the germination phase of some of.his beloved offerings like Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore.

Unfortunately, though, I wouldn't consider myself a Murakami completist, and what I really would've liked him to explain (if indeed it's true what GR friend Edward mentioned in his review of this that Murakami didn't want these released to English-reading audiences) was: Why on Earth were these even published to begin with? Sure, peppered throughout are scant scintillas of scintillation, dribs and drabs of promise (quoted liberally and clung to desperately like life rafts by those that found these incipient Murakami's works deep and meaningful and 4-5 star-worthy), but neither of these novellas, when you boil them down to their essence, make a lick of sense.

Both "Hear the Wind Sing" (a random-noodling-disguised-as-waxing-philisophical mess) and "Pinball, 1973" (slightly more promising) feature an unnamed first -person narrator/protagonist (probably Murakami, if this is at all autobiographical, and it probably is), and his besr friend "The Rat" (no reason given for the rodential moniker), whose raisons d' etre seem to be smoking prodigious quantities of Seven Stars cigarettes and drinking beer and contemplating their love lives. No story arc, no narrative flow, just aimless, random thoughts on their places in the world, as filtered through the nicotine fug of J's Bar, a drinking hole in Tokyo (probably not unlike the one Murakami owned in real life) Only "Pinball, 1973" has anything resembling a story, but it's just as frustrating as the first because, yeah, you can finally see glimpses of the Murakami we know and love, but the story (with an eerie eldritch scene involving an abandoned chicken plant and dozens of pinball machines) abruptly ends with no resolution, just when things are finally starting to get somewhat interesting.

I suppose if you've got a massive Murakami jones that needs fed (after devouring everything else he's written...and can't wait for his Colorless Tsukuru... follow-up,) this might appease you, the completist. All others, you might just want to skip this and re-read your favorite by him (in my case, probably The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle) and patiently await his next offering than subject yourself to this shumbling, unfocused essence-of-Murakami.
Profile Image for Lisa (NY).
1,547 reviews602 followers
April 28, 2022
These two short, not fully-formed novels, offer a taste of future Murakami with some elements of his later novels. A scattered reading experience, especially with Pinball - not sure if it was me or the novel but I kept losing focus. I wouldn't recommend for those new to Murakami!
Profile Image for JimZ.
1,061 reviews495 followers
March 23, 2020
The version of “Hear the Wind Sing” is in a book that has another novella, “Pinball, 1973”. “Hear the Wind Sing” was a quick read. Mainly it involves am unnamed young woman I believe in her 20s and the protagonist, an unnamed student also in his 20s. Nothing much of consequence happens. There is a great deal of conversation between he and she, and he also has commentary at several places in the novella about a writer who committed suicide in 1938, Derek Hartfield. Hartfield is made up, i.e., a fictional character. I have yet to read the Introduction of the two novellas from Murakami, so maybe I will be enlightened as to why this fictional author was part of the story. I did google his name (Derek Hartfield) and there appear to be a number of articles written by others about Murakami and the fictional author. There is another character in the book and his nickname is Rat, and he is rich – Rat and the unnamed protagonist hang out together and drink many beers at a tavern. SOUNDS INTERESTING SO FAR, DOESN’T IT? 😊 I would give this book 2.5 stars, so rounded up it’s a 3. It is Murakami’s first book translated into English. It was originally published in 1979 and its title was Kaze no uta o kike (Koshanda Ltd., Tokyo). The novella was translated into English by Ted Goossen.

I would give “Pinball, 1973” 1 star. I get the sense that either Murakami himself or somebody other than Murakami wanted his entire oeuvre out there for the public to read. I do not feel this novella should ever have seen the light of day. The Rat is in the novella as he was in Murakami's first book but I don’t know why. The protagonist relates to us that the Rat has a relationship with a woman in which they meet once a week, and then that ends. The protagonist works with another person and they translate American works of literature into Japanese. He sleeps with twins and can’t get their names right and so he assigns them numbers. A god-awful humongous cigarettes are smoked by all of the males in the novella as are many bottles and cans of beer consumed. I seem to remember that Murakami has a thing for female breasts…maybe I am wrong and in that case forgive me. He does make mention of female breasts 2 or 3 times in this novella. I wish I could say something good about this novella…it was another one of those reads where I couldn’t wait to get to the end and be done with it. With most books I read, I bookmark pages so that I can return to them when writing my review or when there is a word I want to look up later in the dictionary. Here are my comments written verbatim on the four bookmarks I have for this book:
• What is the point of this piece of shit? (p. 159)
• Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse. (p. 186)
• Breasts…breasts….breasts (p. 202)
• Breasts again (p. 219)
It was originally published in 1980 and its title was 1973 nen no pinburo (Koshanda Ltd., Tokyo). The novella was translated into English by Ted Goossen.

The Introduction is quite nice. I understand Murakami’s writing style now. And I guess I could see him publishing “Hear the Wind Sing” because it was his first book, it won a literary prize, and it was OK. But “Pinball, 1973”? Oh, well….

Here are reviews:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/201... (The reviewer liked them...well once again I bet I will be an outlier… ☹…)
https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/bo... (one paragraph review)
Profile Image for Paul Secor.
564 reviews53 followers
September 10, 2021
Reading Haruki Murakami's two earliest works, I was brought back to the situation he describes in his introduction - being at a baseball game and being struck by the realization that he thought he could write a novel. My thoughts went back to 1990 and seeing Bernie Williams play for the Albany-Colonie Yankees, a class AA minor league team. It was obvious to me (and, I'm sure to others), that Bernie Williams had all of the skills and tools to become a major league ball player - they just had to be developed and refined. Two years later, he was in the major leagues and at the beginning of a very fine big league career.

Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 are the equivalents of Murakami's minor league career. Two years after the second of these was published, A Wild Sheep Chase brought him to the major leagues.

I felt that Wind was beginner's writing, while Pinball brought him close to his stride - the alienation of the first person narrator and the Rat, and the odd quality of the twins are elements which would become integral parts of his later, more accomplished works.

Murakami says it much better than I can in his introduction:

"...these two short works played an important role in what I have accomplished. They are totally irreplaceable, much like friends from long ago. It seems unlikely that we will ever get together again, but I will never forget their friendship."

Edit - At one point in Pinball, the first person narrator relates that he was listening to the Stan Getz/Jimmy Raney Quintet's version of "Jumping with Symphony Sid" and whistling along with Getz's solo. That got me to get out that music, play it, and enjoy it for the first time in a long time. So thanks, Mr. Murakami, both for the writing and for getting me back to that music.

Edit 9/10/21 - I recently started reading Jay Rubin's Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words and started thinking about seeing Bernie Williams playing in a minor league game in 1990. I recall vividly that he went 4 for 5 and was robbed of a 5 for 5 game by a second baseman whose last name was Byrd and who had just been called up to the New Britain's Double A team. I remember thinking that Byrd, who hit a double in that game and had good speed on the bases, was going to have a good major league career.
I couldn't remember Mr. Byrd's last name, but the wonders of internet never cease to amaze me. I punched in major league baseball players named Byrd on Google and came up with an answer: https://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...
Jim Byrd did make it to the big leagues, even if it was only for two games and no at bats . It appears he may have been used as a pinch runner, but he did make it. Not many can say that they did.

For my part, I have to admit that I wouldn't have made much of a baseball scout.
Profile Image for Mutasim Billah .
112 reviews199 followers
July 20, 2018
The foreword to the book has Murakami recalling his early days as the owner of a jazz bar, how he had the sudden inspiration to write after attending a baseball game, how he spent nights at the kitchen-table writing his first two novels and his feelings towards them after all this time. For reviews to the novels, go to the following links.

-> Hear the Wind Sing

-> Pinball, 1973
Profile Image for Liong.
147 reviews116 followers
August 16, 2015
"Is there anything in the world that can't be lost?"
"I believe there is. You should too."

Page 209
Profile Image for Abeselom Habtemariam.
50 reviews50 followers
February 23, 2023

These are the first two short novels of the widely celebrated Japanese writer Harukai Murakami. They are also the first two books in his Rat Series. This edition is a two-in-one volume that includes, ‘’Hear the wind sing’’ and ‘’Pinball, 1973’’, as well as an introduction by Murakami himself. He collectively calls the two books his ‘’Kitchen-table novels’’ reason being he wrote them late at night on his kitchen table while running the jazz bar he and his wife owned in Shibuya, Tokyo. With his adoration of cats, who feature frequently in his novels, Murakami named this bar ‘’Peter Cat’’. I imagine that bar to be just like J’s bar in the books; a beer soaked-smoke stuffed space filled with sounds of pinball machines, a jukebox and clatters of ice cubes in Whiskey glasses.

The Americanophile he is, Murakami timestamps the two stories with American pop-culture references from the 60s and early 70s like Tennessee Williams, ‘Ruby & the Romantics’, The Beach Boys, JFK, Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon, Bob Dylan, ‘Peter, Paul and Mary’, Ricky Nelson, Bobby Vee, The Carpenters, Stan Getz, and other influential cultural icons. He uses them as a motif to express aspects of American culture that had a strong sway amongst the Japanese youth of the 60s. This is the post-war Japan Murakami grew up in whilst reading hard-boiled American mysteries and nineteenth-century Russian novels. What we are getting thus are little bits of yarns about the coming-of-age story of a narrator and his mysterious buddy, The eponymous ‘’Rat’’.

This book is pertinent if you want to see where Murakami started his writing career from. ‘’Hear the wind sing’’ doesn’t have much in the way of magical realism or other peculiarities of his latter works. Instead, It has his distinctive melancholic atmosphere inhibited by lonely characters. In this respect the difference with ‘’Pinball, 1973’’ is much of a muchness, except for the presence of more eccentric elements in the latter’s story. Embedded in both novels, are western musical references in a style that will come to define his more renowned books. The best summary I can give here is to say that this book is best suited for those who are already familiar with Murakami’s body of work and are just curious to appreciate his evolution as a writer through the years.
Profile Image for Vicky "phenkos".
145 reviews101 followers
July 30, 2018
3.5 stars.

I enjoyed this - Murakami's first novel. It certainly didn't have the polish of later work, and the storyline was pretty basic, however it did convey a sense of displacement, broken relationships, thwarted ambitions. The dialogue is snappy, the rhythm is syncopated, thoughts and emotions are "shown", rather than "told".

"You like Tokyo?"
"One place or another - it's all the same to me."
"I guess so. I haven't left this town once since the Tokyo Olympics."
"You like it here?"
"As you said. it's all the same."

This made a lot of sense as a first novel - a novel whose author goes on to develop and captivate audiences worldwide. My rating reflects the book as it is, though, not as the first attempt to someone who would become famous. There is a wonderful introduction which describes Murakami's journey to becoming a writer. After graduating, Murakami opens a jazz club, "a place where people could go to listen to jazz records, have a coffee, eat snacks and drink". It was 1974, an era when "all over the world, one could still find gaps in the system."

Murakami says that he had an epiphany during a baseball game when he suddenly realised he could write a novel. I'm normally very suspicious of 'epiphany' moments, I simply don't believe in them. You think you have a great idea, a life-changing idea, but when you get to write it down you understand it's not worth what you thought it was. However, Murakami did go on to write his novel, the book that would become Hear the Wind Sing, writing nights whilst working at the jazz club at all other times. Of special interest is his account of how he developed his writing. After completing a first draft, Murakami says, he read through the result and was "far from impressed". Of course, it had been a mistake to assume that "a guy like me who had never written anything in his life could spin off something brilliant off the bat." So he works on his writing, first by abandoning Japanese and writing in English instead. His English was not grear, therefore the language "had to be simple". "The result was a rough, uncultivated kind of prose." However, this was a breakthrough because:

Since I was born and raised in Japan, the vocabulary and patterns of the Japanese language had filled the system that was me to bursting, like a barn crammed with livestock. When I sought to put my thoughts and feelings into words, those animals began to mill about, and the system crashed. Writing in a foreign language, with all the limitations that entailed, removed this obstacle."

I'd recommend this introduction to anyone aspiring to write fiction. "In the process", says Murakami," a new style of Japanese emerged. The style that would be mine." And I think that's true, you do get a clear sense of the signature Murakami style when you read this.

And now for the second novel, Pinball...


Halfway through Pinball now, and I just wanted to jot down some very quick thoughts. One thing that strikes me in these two novellas is the lack of machismo in Murakami's male characters. The narrator in Pinball is portrayed as a lonely young man, living in the University halls of residence, who never receives phone calls or gets visits. There are of course plenty of lonely young men in the literature of the 60s and 70s (I'm thinking the Beat generation right now), but what sets these characters apart from Murakami's is that the latter do not seem intent upon proving their masculinity, for example through drunkenness and sexual exploits, through an incessant desire to have their maleness vindicated, through occupying space. We can see this everywhere around us: go out on a Saturday evening and you see hordes or young men shouting at each other, mostly playfully (at least at the beginning of the evening), but always with the clear and distinct intention of claiming this space for themselves.

Murakami's characters are not like that. They do not seem possessed by this voracious appetite for affirming their maleness even when sex is referenced in the novel. Maybe it's the difference between Japan and the Western world; or maybe it's the particular sensibilities of Murakami's. However that may be, the absence of machismo in Murakami's male characters, their vulnerability, is what brings me closer to them.

Finished Pinball. Not sure I enjoyed it as much as Wind, esp. after about the 60% mark. It seemed to me that Murakami was getting on a bit. Too many lit cigarettes and finished bottles of beer. Then it struck me how visual this book was. The author in bed with the twins, two identical identical twins. The Rat drinking at J's bar. The vast warehouse with the pinball machines being brought back to life. It could make a brilliant movie - but as a book? I think it bears the signs of its era. Raymond Carver. William Burroughs. Counter-culture. "Show, don't tell". In fact, don't tell them anything, just allow them to seep in the aura. Does it work? A little bit, yes. But I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Wild Sheep Chase and see how Murakami moved on.
Profile Image for Stewart.
23 reviews4 followers
August 7, 2015
I'm sure a lot of people choosing to read this book are aware that Murakami did not originally believe these were worthy of translation, as he wrote them at a time where he was discovering who he was as an author while owning a jazz bar.

I would have to disagree. Before I move forward I want to say that I'd rate Hear the Wind Sing at five stars, and put Pinball, 1973 down for four.

It is easy to notice the unpolished parts of Wind in comparison to Murakami's other works, and though I'd never recommend this book to someone who has never read Murakami before, it worked well enough for me to read again. It's short, fast-paced, and nostalgic. His handle on conversation are a little rough at the beginning, but get better as the book goes on, and the narrative, which is raw in places throughout, is still so filled with the writer that Murakami is to become that it's hard not to appreciate this book in that lens. Since Murakami wrote the forward to the book, I'm rating the book and reading the book according to the information and the passion described there. I'm sure some people won't like that, or think a book that can be written better shouldn't receive five stars, but oh well. That's cool, too. For me, the imagery in the book is strong, and I enjoyed the transitions, and the way the story played out as a whole, and that's why I gave it five stars. I find it hard to believe that the book was written late at night, with no training or education, after getting home from work. Reading the book made me want to go back in time and have a conversation with myself, perhaps in my school cafeteria, or after a baseball game. Can't say I would earn much from the conversation, but the book made me want to do it. I've seen people critiques of the book say that the conversations are boring and don't have a point, but there really isn't a point to feeling nostalgic. One of my friends had a similar feeling towards the movie Dazed and Confused, saying the movie has no plot, and boring conversations, and really it is just about the last day of school, but I'm sure it would mean different things for different people. For some reason, I think of movies like that when I read Hear the Wind Sing, though I can't say they are that closely related, though it had a great soundtrack too (like a lot of Murakami books). One of my favorite chapters is 23. I'm not sure if that's worth putting in a review, but why not?

As for the second book: Pinball, 1973, it took a while for me to get invested in it, but Murakami pulled through. I loved reading about the pinball machines, and about the twins that live with the narrator, they were definitely a favorite for me. The chapters were a lot meatier in this one, but still a little raw. I think Murakami, in this book, is really starting to hit his stride as an author, but not quite there yet. I believe the third book in the trilogy, A Wild Sheep Chase is what started to earn Murakami some international acclaim, and if that's what these books set up, they're worth reading. That's pretty much all that needs to be said. Some will hate it, some will think it's fast paced, others might think it's boring and slow, but really that's the same debate over all his books it feels like. There's something in his books that hooks on to people, the only way to find that thought or perspective is just to read them, and give it a shot.

Reading these books with a Coke or a beer might help, and if possible, read it in the summer.
Profile Image for John Hatley.
1,214 reviews208 followers
May 2, 2021
These are two novels by Murakami that I can recommend to everyone. Amongst the many things I like about his writing is that, for all the melancholy and feelings of loneliness in these two for example, he always displays his remarkable sense of humour. I often wonder if an ability to read the original Japanese would make his books even better than reading them in translation, even though it's difficult to imagine how they could possibly be better.
Profile Image for Neale .
310 reviews143 followers
April 13, 2020
This was buddy read ten with the wonderful Nat K. While Nat reviewed the books together in one review, I reviewed them separately.

"Hear the Wind Sing" - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

"Pinball 1973" - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Nat's wonderful review - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

These two novels have definitely made me a fan of Murakami and I will be reading his other books in the future. Thanks Natto! :-)
Profile Image for Sebastian.
Author 20 books61 followers
September 1, 2015
Mi-era dor de un Murakami, iar aceste prime două volume din trilogia Şobolanului nu m-au dezamăgit. Mulţi se plîng de lipsa unui fir narativ, dar pentru mine a fost ca şi cum aş fi stat într-un bar şi mi-aş fi notat pe un carneţel tot felul de gînduri şi idei care-mi trec prin cap, avînd din cînd în cînd o conversaţie cu un prieten. Murakami pur şi simplu ia viaţa din jurul lui, tot freamătul ăsta zilnic în care aproape că nu se întîmplă nimic şi-l aşterne pe hîrtie.
Auzi, n-ai o fisă? Că vreau să schimb muzica de la tonomat...
Profile Image for Kristina Surguladze.
81 reviews16 followers
July 17, 2023
მას შემდეგ,რაც მურაკამი პირველად წავიკითხე და მასზე ჩვეულებრივად დამოკიდებული გავხდი, ბევრი გულის ტკენა მახსოვს. არამხოლოდ მისი რომანებისა და პერსონაჟებისგან, რომლებზეც ხანდახან ვფიქრობ, რომ ჩემი ცხოვრებიდან - ჩემივე ნაწილები არიან, არამედ იმ ადამიანებისგანაც, ვინც დადგებიან და მურაკამის ლანძღვას იწყებენ.
ჩემს თავს ვეუბნები მერე, დამშვიდდი რა, შენი დაწერილი ხომ არაა, რა აუცილებელია, რომ ყველას ესმოდეს და უყვარდეს.
ჰარუკის წიგნებიდან ყველაზე ძლიერები რომ "კაფკა პლაჟზე" wind up bird და "1ქ84" არიან, ამაზე, მგონი, ყველა ჰარუკიში გარკვეული ადამიანი ვთანხმდებით.
თუმცა შეიძლება მისი რაიმე ისეთი წავიკითხო, რაც ამ ორ წიგნთან ახლოსაც ვერ მივა და ვაღიარო კიდეც, რომ ეჰ, ვერაა ეს მთლად კარგი, მაინც იმდენად ძალიან ძალიან სუბიექტური ვიჩითები, რომ მაინც ძალიან მიყვარდება. :დდ
"ყური მიუგდე ქარის სიმღერას/პინბოლი, 1973" მურაკამის სულ პირველი ნაწერებია და რომ წარმოვიდგენ, როგორ აბოდიალდა ერთ ღამეს, რომ რომანს დავწერო, მერე სამზარეულოში დაჯდა და წერა დაიწყო, თვალები სულ ოდნავ მი-blur-ავს ხოლმე.
და მიუხედავად იმისა, რომ ეს წიგნი ახლოსაც ვერ მიდის იმათთან, რაც მომავალში უკვე გამოცდილმა ჰარუკიმ დაგვიწერა, ალაგ-ალაგ მაინც იგრძნობა მისი სურნელი, მისი ჩახლართული სცენები, სიტყვები, ასოციაციები, მარტოსული პერსონაჟები - ��სახელო მთხრობელები, ჩვეულებრივი ნივთები, რომლებიც ჩვენთვის უზარმაზარ მნიშვნელობას იძენენ, ადგილები, ამინდები, დილები, შუაღამეები, სიგარეტები, ოთახები,რომლებიც ჩვენთან ერთად იცრიცება და გამჭვირვალე ხდება..
სიუჟეტები , რომლებიც ისე წყდება, თითქოს წვიმიან ამინდში, შემაღლებულ ადგილას მდგარი აღმოჩნდი, სულ მარტო, მაშინ როცა იქ იმისათვის ახვედი, რომ კამკამა ამინდიში ზღვისთვის გეყურებინა.
აი, სად არის ჰარუკი.
რომელიც მერე დიდი, ძალიან დიდი ბიჭი გაიზარდა და ლამის მთელი დასავლური მითები ჩადო კაფკასა და ნაკატაში. შემდეგ კი ცაზე ორი მთარეც ამოიყვანა.
ახლა კი ვიჯდეთ მაინც ასე გაბზარულები ნაოკოსავით და ველოდოთ შემდეგ წიგნს.. ან წიგნებს. :/
Profile Image for Carlo Mascellani.
Author 18 books262 followers
August 22, 2020
Un Murakami agli esordi. Forse con uno stile ancora acerbo e non perfettamente affinato come lo si ritrova nei suoi romanzi più maturi. Vi si ritrova molto di Salinger e di Celine, ma le due storie raccolte in questo volume non sono riuscite pienamente a convincermi.
Profile Image for Кремена Михайлова.
612 reviews184 followers
June 30, 2020
„Като че ли ще стигна до момент, когато нещо ще ми прещрака в главата и всичките ми проблеми ще изчезнат. Ама никога не се получава така. Никога нищо не прещраква.“

„Нещо в това момиче ми лазеше по нервите. Признавам обаче, че в същото време пораждаше у мен и лека носталгия. По нещо далечно минало.“

„Наистина се държах като глупак, ама това не е новина.“

„Третото момиче, с което спах, следваше френска литература и се запознахме в университетската библиотека, но през пролетната ваканция тя се обеси в рядката горичка до тенис кортовете.“

„Няма истински силни хора. Само хора, които се преструват , че са силни.“

„Присъни ми се, че съм голяма черна птица, която лети на запад над гъста гора. Бях тежко ранен, перата ми бяха покриви с черна кръв.“


Често се чувствам така.“

„Вече много пъти се бях събуждал с момиче, излишно е да подчертавам обаче, че за пръв път се събуждах с близначки.“

„ – Имам котка обаче – додаде Джей. – Справя се и сама, но въпреки това е живинка, има с кого да си бъбря.
– Да си бъбриш ли?
Джей кимна няколко пъти.
– Да, от толкова отдавна сме заедно, че се познаваме чудесно. Усещам настроенията ѝ и тя усеща моите.“

„От югоизточния прозорец на апартамента се откриваше панорамна гледка към града и океана. Когато Плъха отвореше двата прозореца, вятърът довяваше до него чуруликането на птиците и упойващото ухание на дърветата.
Плъха прекарваше много спокойни следобеди в удобния си ратанов стол. Започнеше ли да се унася, усещаше как времето минава през тялото му като бавна река. Седеше си така, а часовете, дните и седмиците се нижеха.
Понякога вълни от емоции обливаха сърцето му, сякаш за да му напомнят за нещо. Когато се случеше, той затваряше очи, затваряше плътно и сърцето си и очакваше емоциите да се оттеглят. Беше съвсем кратко усещане – като сумрак, възвестяващ настъпването на нощта. След като вълните отминеха, отново се връщаше тихото спокойствие, сякаш не се е случило нищо тревожно.“
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