'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.
"Murakami fans will no doubt delight in this new publication. For newcomers, these early works are an excellent introduction to a writer who has since become one of the most influential novelists of his generation"
"Murakami’s way of making emotionally resonant images and symbols bump around on the page, and in one’s mind, remains fresh, miraculously, more than 35 years on"
"Wind/Pinball is a fresh, heart-warming dose of the Japanese master"
"To read a Murakami book is to feel comforted by the familiarity and predictability of its strangeness. These are Murakami’s two earliest novels and so, like archaeological artefacts, they detail the early construction of his now-famous style."
"quintessential Murakami… an excellent introduction to a writer who has since become one of the most influential novelists of his generation"
Tokyo has inspired all manner of writers, from home and abroad, seeking to evoke its unique atmosphere over the years.