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I tried to get into Wind Pinball Two Novels and I have to say that although the prose reads beautifully, it flows into my mind and out again, smoothly, a slick of oil on a ripple, now it s gone I readthan half before finally wondering why was I putting myself through this It wasn t a test I don t have to measure up to any standard This is just for enjoyment and I wasn t enjoying it Nothing I read, or listened to I tried both held my attention Marukami s characters were just people I tried to get into Wind Pinball Two Novels and I have to say that although the prose reads beautifully, it flows into my mind and out again, smoothly, a slick of oil on a ripple, now it s gone I readthan half before finally wondering why was I putting myself through this It wasn t a test I don t have to measure up to any standard This is just for enjoyment and I wasn t enjoying it Nothing I read, or listened to I tried both held my attention Marukami s characters were just people I might have observed in a cafe while I was waiting for someone Their lives were of momentary interest but, distracted by somethinginteresting and I ve forgotten them already.That trite phrase, It s not you, it s me comes into my head whenever I don t like an author or book everyone else is madly praising, but really there s another, evenclich d phrase that isappropriate, different strokes for different folks I can now add Haruki Murakami to Charles Dickens and all the other prolific authors I really don t like and think that they are in my future We change, our tastes change and maybe one day I will really, really like these authors and will be thankful they wrote so much After all I didn t like olives when I was a kid, now a visit to an olive bar is a treat.One star because of boredom and an extra star because of the writing.Written when I had just started the book and before I knew what I was really in for Lack of interest elevated to the posh word, ennui view spoiler My first Murakami I never thought I would like his books The reviews never pointed up anything that appealed to me and I m not much of a fiction aficionado anyway I was given this on audio a while ago and started to listen to it yesterday and although it hasn t hooked me, the writing flows so beautifully I just want to hearhide spoiler 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 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,original and enthralling efforts when he incorporates magical realism into actual stories that go somewhere Perfect example of beauty in simplicity Even after having read a bunch of novels by Murakami, I always find a new flavor in each of them Sure they have some similar characters and recurring themes, but each of his novels does have a different note in its voice and a different mood Hear the Wind Sing again has a nameless narrator, quirky characters, off the wall dialogue, lots of beer, some music and some literature His characters are the last people one would expect to break into an emotional Perfect example of beauty in simplicity Even after having read a bunch of novels by Murakami, I always find a new flavor in each of them Sure they have some similar characters and recurring themes, but each of his novels does have a different note in its voice and a different mood Hear the Wind Sing again has a nameless narrator, quirky characters, off the wall dialogue, lots of beer, some music and some literature His characters are the last people one would expect to break into an emotional monologue And yet Murakami brings out the sense of sadness and loneliness that lurks beneath the nonchalant exterior very well Where this sadness emanates from, they know not And their stories have often to do with finding themselves.Not surprisingly, there is no single straight forward storyline What we see are little anecdotes describing various images swimming in the narrator s head, his experiences over a summer and some of his past memories However, the narrator doesn t yet take a flight to the world beyond That will have to wait till later books.Both this and Pinball, 1973 do feel somewhat incomplete and aimless But they give a clear picture of the humble beginnings, which with later novels matured into stronger works Pinball, 1973 isof a prelude to what came later on It carries a glimpse of almost all of the familiar Murakami elements Hear the Wind Sing is relatively simpler This simplicity really works for it and makes it an evenpleasurable read than Pinball, 1973 I wish there were a way for me to see how his mind works Well, however it works, what comes out of it is wonderful.I can t believe how super tiny this book is Lighter, smaller, thinner and cuter than kindle nook kobo or what have you.My copy arrived in the mail today The seller had even gift wrapped it in a beautiful paper How can those who live in the light of day possibly comprehend the depth of nightNietzcheA 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, strHow can those who live in the light of day possibly comprehend the depth of nightNietzcheA 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 When the time comes, everybody s got to end up where they belong Only me, I didn t have a place to call my own It s like musical chairs A little rough around the edges, and heavily influenced by Kerouac i.e On the Road , Hear the Wind Sing is Murakami s first ever novel The novel tells the story from the perspective of an unnamed narrator as he writes down the events of the summer vacation of 1970 that he spent at his hometown on the seaside The story introduces some of the most notable MWhen the time comes, everybody s got to end up where they belong Only me, I didn t have a place to call my own It s like musical chairs A little rough around the edges, and heavily influenced by Kerouac i.e On the Road , Hear the Wind Sing is Murakami s first ever novel The novel tells the story from the perspective of an unnamed narrator as he writes down the events of the summer vacation of 1970 that he spent at his hometown on the seaside The story introduces some of the most notable Murakami characters, like Rat and J, and introduces the setting of the J s bar which makes multiple appearances in the his writing The book is the first part of the Rat series I didn t enjoy this first book in the Rat series quite as much as books 2 and 3 A Wild Sheep Chase and Dance Dance Dance but it was still fun I am glad to have read the series out of order otherwise, I might not have been sufficiently engaged by this one to continue I think it s better appreciated having read the others first It s short just over 100 pages and so not a whole lot happens However, we do learn how our young protagonist and the Rat meet, and there are some other interesting I didn t enjoy this first book in the Rat series quite as much as books 2 and 3 A Wild Sheep Chase and Dance Dance Dance but it was still fun I am glad to have read the series out of order otherwise, I might not have been sufficiently engaged by this one to continue I think it s better appreciated having read the others first It s short just over 100 pages and so not a whole lot happens However, we do learn how our young protagonist and the Rat meet, and there are some other interesting if unconventional happenings and characters too If you ve read other books in the series, you don t want to miss this one If you haven t, perhaps try jumping into the 3rd book first as I did It s wild and whacky and enjoyable, once you get pulled onto the ride.Update Having now read the entire series, I would recommend reading them in this order 2, 1, 3, 4 |READ KINDLE ♫ Hear the Wind Sing ♷ Hear the Wind Sing is the first novel by Haruki Murakami it first appeared in the Juneissue of Gunzo, one of the most influential literary magazines in JapanIt is the first of the boku tetralogy translated by Alfred Birnbaum James found out that the only two Murakami books I haven t read are this one and Pinball, 1973 He got me this one and then, because the other is like rare and therefore expensive these two earliest Murakami novels have been translated but not published here only in Japan, I guess, by cute Kodansha HE MADE ME A COPY OF PINBALL That is right, he MADE me one He got the text from some fan s website, printed everything out, COLLATED that shit or whatever, and then BOUND it Tell me that is not James found out that the only two Murakami books I haven t read are this one and Pinball, 1973 He got me this one and then, because the other is like rare and therefore expensive these two earliest Murakami novels have been translated but not published here only in Japan, I guess, by cute Kodansha HE MADE ME A COPY OF PINBALL That is right, he MADE me one He got the text from some fan s website, printed everything out, COLLATED that shit or whatever, and then BOUND it Tell me that is not the most amazering boyfriend in the history of TIME.This book was lovely, by the way, now that I am done raving A brief note before we begin, this review may or may not be revised later I ve written it while suffering from major jet lag literally traveled for 30 hours, and went through a 11 hour time change in the process For all I know, it may only make sense to me as the person who wrote it and be absolutely incomprehensible to everyone else If so, consider it a rather parallel to the novel itself For those of you who have ever endeavored to write a novel, I feel your pain That moment of putt A brief note before we begin, this review may or may not be revised later I ve written it while suffering from major jet lag literally traveled for 30 hours, and went through a 11 hour time change in the process For all I know, it may only make sense to me as the person who wrote it and be absolutely incomprehensible to everyone else If so, consider it a rather parallel to the novel itself For those of you who have ever endeavored to write a novel, I feel your pain That moment of putting everything into a work, only to read it and realize that it sounded much better in your head, I know the feeling well I have numerous stories stored away in a box because part of me loves them, but also needs to keep them far away and out of sight Those of you who give those a read every once in a while and wonder why bother let me offer one note of encouragement to you Murakami is pretty much an international literary rock star, and he wrote this book first So, you know, there is hope Now that I ve offered that rather intimidating start, let me say that this isn t really a bad book it s just not a very good one I fully admit that I gave it three stars on account of a fascination aspect, and not because it is good It s interesting to see the start of an author I will come to respect, in pure amateur mode I mean, you see ideas he will go on to play with and perfect, and there are little moments of genius here and there, but this is not the Murakami I love This is very much someone still trying to find a voice It is pretty much the definition of a first novel it is mostly plotless, yet still full of holes, unanswered questions, a rambling nature and some just downright weird choices As someone who started reading Murakami with The Wild Sheep Chase, it is quite interesting to see early versions of those characters it s also weird seeing how tonally different the first novel is compared to the third This strange little slice of life story will somehow evolve in a future book to a borderline metaphysical noir Is this a book I can recommend Only to those who already have a firm grasp on Murakami s work, as it s mostly a curiosity something to read after you ve gone through his major works, and want to see where many of the ideas began For those who fit into that category, you ll probably find it a fascinating quick read In November this book traveled from Japan to New Orleans via my son and then traveled back to Japan with me the following month I brought it because it s small and lightweight, easily fitting in my carry on, so I could read it on the plane ride over.If you already know HM s work, this first novella of his might seem lightweight in substance as well though it is well written but you ll have the pleasure of recognizing many of the themes and motifs that will surface and grow in his later, longe In November this book traveled from Japan to New Orleans via my son and then traveled back to Japan with me the following month I brought it because it s small and lightweight, easily fitting in my carry on, so I could read it on the plane ride over.If you already know HM s work, this first novella of his might seem lightweight in substance as well though it is well written but you ll have the pleasure of recognizing many of the themes and motifs that will surface and grow in his later, longer and or fuller works adrift, emotionally detached young men disappearing or dead young women and, here, only mere mentions of underground tunnels, wells, the cooking of pasta and cats.Interesting to me at the time I read it the few times yen are mentioned I could easily convert the amount to American dollars as I had to deal with that while planning our trip and a character s mention of a visit to Nara as it was a place we d be seeing in just a few days