wind / pinball by h murakami

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Wind/Pinball is a compilation of Haruki Murakami’s first two novellas that were written in 1973, “Hear the Wind Sing” and “Pinball”, but has only recently been publicized widely.  And I must say this is now, by far, my favorite Murakami of all time.  The best way to describe my feeling after finishing the books is similar to the feeling of being a fan of a renown artist for a long time, admiring him for his masterpieces and ingenuity, and suddenly discovering his humble beginnings and inspirations.  I’ve always imagined of opening up Murakami’s brain and fantasized that it would be burst into rainbow colors of various objects that only made sense inside his imagination.

The two stories follow an unnamed protagonist and his friend, the Rat, as they embark on a creative and quirky journey to discover life beyond loneliness and isolation; a theme that is frequented in Murakami’s other books.  What makes the stories unique is not the plot but Murakami’s writing style.  He initially transcribed the novellas in his rather limited English proficiency because he believed it would help to write his ideas succinctly without  complicated thoughts of writer’s embellishment… cut the ostentatious bullsh*t style, if you will.  It was Murakami’s approach to becoming a genuine writer.

If you’ve never read a Murakami before, this is an excellent starter pack to his authentic world of endless and strange impossible possibilities.  And unlike his other books that contain convoluted matrices of realities and fantasies, this one is very creatively tasteful and effortless to grasp.

dee’s recommendation: 4/5