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About the book
  • Published: 16 May 2016
  • ISBN: 9780099590392
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $26.00
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Wind/ Pinball

Two Novels




Haruki Murakami’s first two novels, available for the first time in English outside Japan. With a new introduction by the author.

Haruki Murakami’s first two novels, available for the first time in English outside Japan. With a new introduction by the author.


'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.

  • Pub date: 16 May 2016
  • ISBN: 9780099590392
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $26.00

About the Author

Haruki Murakami

In 1978, Haruki Murakami was 29 and running a jazz bar in downtown Tokyo. One April day, the impulse to write a novel came to him suddenly while watching a baseball game. That first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, won a new writers’ award and was published the following year. More followed, including A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, but it was Norwegian Wood, published in 1987, which turned Murakami from a writer into a phenomenon. His books became bestsellers, were translated into many languages, including English, and the door was thrown wide open to Murakami’s unique and addictive fictional universe.

Murakami writes with admirable discipline, producing ten pages a day, after which he runs ten kilometres (he began long-distance running in 1982 and has participated in numerous marathons and races), works on translations, and then reads, listens to records and cooks. His passions colour his non-fiction output, from What I Talk About When I Talk About Running to Absolutely On Music, and they also seep into his novels and short stories, providing quotidian moments in his otherwise freewheeling flights of imaginative inquiry. In works such as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84 and Men Without Women, his distinctive blend of the mysterious and the everyday, of melancholy and humour, continues to enchant readers, ensuring Murakami’s place as one of the world’s most acclaimed and well-loved writers.

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Praise for Wind/ Pinball

“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”

Hannah Beckerman, Observer

“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”

Jerome Boyd Maunsell, Evening Standard

“Wind/Pinball is a fresh, heart-warming dose of the Japanese master”

Economist

“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.”

Claire Kohda Hazelton, The Times Literary Supplement

“quintessential Murakami… an excellent introduction to a writer who has since become one of the most influential novelists of his generation”

Guardian, Hannah Beckerman

“This two-for-the-price-of-one hardback really is something special… The decorative covers are exquisite, but it is the literature between them that cemented Murakami as one of the world’s most celebrated writers”

Dan Lewis, Travel Guide

“Early Murakami isn’t Murakami-in-the-making, it’s already and entirely Murakami”

Ian Sansom, Guardian

“bizarre and often surreal, these stories act as an intriguing exploration into Murakami’s wacky mind and thought processes”

Herald

“Wind/Pinball makes a great introduction to Murakami for new readers, and is a real treat for long-time fans”

Brendan Wright, Nudge

“From the very beginning, it seems, Murakami has had the ability to make a story in which nothing happens seem completely irresistible. And to make almost any degree of bizarreness seem completely natural”

Skinny

“Both are honest and witty novels, colourfully written as ever, and come highly recommended to Murakami fans.”

Luke Owain Boult, Buzz

“The introduction alone makes Wind Pinball worth reading… Two perfectly shaped novellas, as experimental and pleasantly offbeat as they are easy to enjoy in Ted Goosen’s crystalline translation… Both tales showcase the loneliness and erotic pull that paint the sets of so many of Murakami’s surreal stages.”

Nora Mahony, Irish Times


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