Wind/Pinball: Two Novels by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
So basically Murakami has always been amazing. These were his first two books/novellas really and they were amazing. I loved it! It's like seeing him find his voice and style as a writer. This is the first time these we published in mass in English and I'm so happy to have been able to read them finally! There's also a super cool introduction where Murakami talks about how he initially wrote in Japanese but didn't like it so he then wrote it in English and translated it into Japanese! How cool is that! He said once he did that he liked his writing much more. He started writing after going to a baseball game and just had the thought that one day he'd be a famous writer, so he better start now. At the time he and his wife owned a jazz bar! He's just fascinating I need to read his memoir too, but I just loved these stories and love his writing.
All the usual Murakami themes and motifs are there- music, a story inside a story, women who are smarter than men, men who are absolutely useless and way too old to be going through identity crisis, cats, weird sex dreams, other literary references (quotes, retelling of other's stories, reading at all), minimalist stuff (apartments, design), trains, and food- eating always plays a role. It's just so fun to see these things told over and over again and it never seems repetitive or boring.
This books fits in the larger scheme of his Rat stories. A character without a name but Rat, who effects other's lives without really living his own, or by just being passive in his own. The first book he was just a side character and in the second I'm not even sure who he was. But that doesn't take away from anything.
If you've never read Murakami and are wanting to get into it I still highly suggest Norwegian Wood as your first, but these as a close second because if you don't like this you're probably not going to like where Murakami goes in his late works either. YAY!!!
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