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Wind/Pinball: Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973

(The Rat #1-2)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  14,841 ratings  ·  1,596 reviews
In the spring of 1978, a young Haruki Murakami sat down at his kitchen table and began to write. The result: two remarkable short novels—Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973—that launched the career of one of the most acclaimed authors of our time.

These powerful, at times surreal, works about two young men coming of age—the unnamed narrator and his friend the Rat—are stor
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Vintage (first published 1979)
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Andrea Oh yeah, you are absolutely correct on that one. The reason that it was out of print for so long is that Murakami considered his earliest work not…moreOh yeah, you are absolutely correct on that one. The reason that it was out of print for so long is that Murakami considered his earliest work not good enough to be out there. Perhaps pressure from the publishers finally changed his mind. (less)
Niko Thomas They were retranslated and the copies that were printed were only in limited quantities.

Community Reviews

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3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,841 ratings  ·  1,596 reviews

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Aug 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 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 n
Edward Lorn
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Murakami completionists
When I find a new-to-me author and dig their work, two things normally happen. I seek out everything they've written and buy it all up. Next, I do some research. I find out which titles are their least favorite and/or which titles have the lowest overall fan approval/rating here on Reads of the Good. Because of this, my experiences are usually predictable. Fifty-million Elvis fans can't be wrong. Right? If I start with the shittiest stuffs, I'm bound to have shitty experiences, at least at first ...more
da AL
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Franco  Santos
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 pe
Helene Jeppesen
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 be ...more
Sam Quixote
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 - a
Kyriakos Sorokkou
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,
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 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 cof
Sean Smart
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars, read-in-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 w ...more
Mutasim Billah
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
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
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
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rec
Vicky "phenkos"
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. i
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 s
By pure chance my first encounter with the authors I came to love most was never through their early works. In the case of Haruki Murakami, this was pure luck. Because if “Hear the Wind Sing” had been my first novel of his, I hardly ever would have read a second one.

More than anything else, “Hear the Wind Sing” is a series of atmospheric snapshots – it offers rather impressions than events. Still, the novel does show quite some elements in which you can recognise your typical Murakami from his
Sep 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, re-read, 2017
The thing is, although these are Murakami's first books, they were late being available in English. This means that if you read them it is probably because you have already read Murakami and have already decided you enjoy his books. You start these books predisposed to like them. This was my second reading of them.

In the cold light of day, trying to put that predisposition to one side, these are still good books of their genre. Their genre being "Murakami". I freely admit to being a fan. I have
Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
"Para dizer a verdade, devorava os grandes romances russos do século dezanove e os romances negros americanos, mas tenho de admitir que desconhecia a literatura japonesa contemporânea (...) Decidi então começar a escrever um romance em língua inglesa, para ver no que resultava (...) Em resultado disso, a prosa revelava-se algo tosca e despojada (...) porém, à medida que me esforçava por escrever assim, a escrita começou a ganhar forma e encontrei o meu próprio ritmo." - O nascimento da minha esc ...more
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Copy and pasting from my Twitter.... because it captures the inanity.

"Ok so these two old-ass Murakami novellas I'm reading are wacky. The first one, literally nothing happens except the narrator drinks......a lot of beer, contemplates the meaning/purpose of writing, and dates a girl with 9 fingers....sadness and regret galore...YET I still found it ENTIRELY COMPELLING somehow. Much better than Colorless Tsukuru....The second novella is about a translator who wakes up one morning to find twins
Paul Secor
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 b ...more
Bach Tran Quang
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lâu lắm rồi mới đọc một mạch từ đầu chí cuối một cuốn sách Tiếng Anh. Một món quà tặng của một bạn tận trời Tây xa xôi.

Đây là tổng hợp 2 cuốn tiểu thuyết đầu tay của Murakami: Hear the wind Sing và Pinball. Lần đầu tiên nó được chuyển ngữ sang tiếng Anh (do ý muốn của tác giả, muốn cuốn sách này chỉ nằm trong lòng nước Nhật) - Có được tính là đọc 2 quyển không nhỉ?

Sự chuyển ngữ trong cuốn sách này là xuất sắc, vì nó vẫn giữ nguyên cái chất của Murakami. Hiển nhiên thôi, ông nói khi viết cuốn tiể
David Katzman
Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 are Murakami's first two novels, although really more novellas. I read them out of curiousity, to see how he started out, rather than expecting much, and mild curiosity is about what I got out of them.

Hear the Wind Sing is a straightforward story with none of the oddity or surreality of Murakami's later books. The story moves quickly although little occurs. The characters are opaque and don't offer much to care about. My biggest beef with it is the pretentiou
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ojalá no hubiera estado tan ocupada para haberlo leído más rápidamente, pero a Murakami me gusta leerle despacio, qué le vamos a hacer.

Me han gustado las dos novelas cortas, pero se nota mucho que eran sus primeras veces enfrentándose al folio en blanco y no han tenido, a mi parecer, tanta dirección como tienen sus otros libros, que ya escribió cuando contaba con más experiencia en el campo. Pero, incluso aunque a veces parezca que son simples notas de un primer borrador, resultan muy curiosas d
Dec 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Seitdem ich meinen ersten Murakami in den Händen gehalten und mich ein wenig näher mit dem wundersamen Autor befasst hatte, war ich unfassbar traurig darüber, dass seine Erstlingswerke nie aus dem Japanischen übersetzt wurden. Gerade die ersten Zeilen, die ihm quasi den Weg zur Berühmtheit gepflastert haben, waren einfach diejenigen, die mich am meisten interessierten, von denen ich unbedingt wissen wollte, zu welcher Geschichte sie sich zusammenfügen würden und so machte ich buchstäblich Luftsp

Dr Osama
يتضمن هذا الكتاب العملين الأولين للكاتب الياباني هاروكي موراكامي. يحكي فيه قصة شاب وصديقه المدعو الفأر. لا يعتمد الكتاب على حبكة واضحة وبه كثير من التفاصيل الدقيقة دون أن تعلم ما الفائدة منها.
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wind/Pinball: Two Novels by Haruki Murakami, like much of Murakami's work defies simple description and are to be enjoyed for the sheer poetry of his prose. Murakami tells complex tales of thought and relationships and through the twisted mirror of his imagination, we glimpse these worlds that border our own.

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

Wind and Pinball are two short novels that center on the lives of an unnamed narr
I can't do it anymore. I like the idea of reading all of Murakami's published works, but I don't think it's worth it if I'm forcing myself to pick it up. I read about 100 pages of Hear the Wind Sing, and I understand why for a long time, Murakami resisted the reprinting of these books in English. It is somehow neither plot nor character driven, and I'm finding it slow and dry. It doesn't have the same atmosphere or whimsy of his other novels. I understand that he hadn't developed his voice yet, ...more
Aug 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit, translation
Wells, cats, fetishised body parts, a certain magical realism and melancholy, these self-proclaimed kitchen table novels are clearly the work of Murakami despite being his first attempts at writing, yet are far from the unreadable, embarrassing juvenelia not fit for republishing he once claimed them to be. Let him rake in the big bucks for this by all means, it's pretty good anyway.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hierbei handelt es sich um Murakamis erste Werke, die er mit einem rundum gelungenen Vorwort einleitet, durch das einem so einiges klar wird. Die erste Geschichte, "Wenn der Wind singt", fand ich absolut grandios und einfach "typisch Murakami". Die zweite konnte mich nicht ganz so aus den Socken hauen, sie war sehr überspitzt und diffus erzählt. Alles in allem sollte man, gerade, wenn man Murakami mag, auch unbedingt zu diesem Band greifen :)
Nada EL Shabrawi
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
And that's how my beloved Haruki started.
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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:

Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. He grew up reading a range of works by Am

Other books in the series

The Rat (4 books)
  • Hear the Wind Sing (The Rat, #1)
  • Pinball, 1973 (The Rat, #2)
  • A Wild Sheep Chase (The Rat, #3)
  • Dance Dance Dance (The Rat, #4)
“Looking at the ocean makes me miss people, and hanging out with people makes me miss the ocean.” 39 likes
“All things pass. None of us can manage to hold on to anything. In that way, we live our lives.” 28 likes
More quotes…