Haruki Murakami Wind / Pinball

ISBN 13: 9780099590392

Wind / Pinball

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9780099590392: Wind / Pinball

The first two short novels--never before widely available in the U.S.--by the internationally acclaimed writer, newly translated, in one volume, with a new introduction by the author.

Widely available in English for the first time ever, Wind/Pinball brings together the two first novels-- Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973--by the legendary Haruki Murakami. Written at his kitchen table in the hours before dawn, these remarkable short works--powerful, at times surreal, stories about two young men coming of age--launched the career of one of the most celebrated authors of our time. Bearing all the hallmarks of Murakami's later books, Wind/Pinball gives readers a fascinating insight into a great writer's beginnings.

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About the Author:

HARUKI MURAKAMI was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. His work has been translated into more than fifty languages, and the most recent of his many international honors is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J. M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V. S. Naipaul. Translated by Ted Goossen. The author lives in Tokyo, Japan.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The twins woke me up on Thursday morning. Fifteen minutes earlier than usual, but what the heck. I shaved, drank my cof­fee, and pored over the morning paper, so fresh from the press that its ink looked ready to smear my hands.

“We have a favor to ask,” said one of the twins.

“Think you can borrow a car on Sunday?” said the other.

“I guess so,” I said. “Where do you want to go?”

“The reservoir.”

“The reservoir?”

They nodded.

“What are you planning to do at the reservoir?”

“Hold a funeral.”

“Who for?”

“The switch panel, of course.”

“I see,” I said. And went back to my paper.
 
Unfortunately, a fine rain was falling Sunday morning. Not that I knew what sort of weather befitted a switch panel’s funeral. The twins never mentioned the rain, so neither did I.
I had borrowed my business partner’s sky-blue Volkswagen Beetle. “Got a girl now, huh?” he asked. “Mm,” I answered. His son had smeared milk chocolate or something all over the back­seat, leaving what looked like bloodstains from a gunfight. Not a single one of his cassette tapes was any good, so we spent the entire hour-and-a-half trip in silence. The rain grew stronger, then weaker, then stronger, then weaker again, at regular inter­vals. A yawn-inducing sort of rain. The only constant was the steady whoosh of oncoming traffic speeding by on the paved road.

One twin sat in the front passenger seat, the other in the backseat, her arms around a thermos bottle and the shopping bag that held the switch panel. Their faces were grave, appropri­ate for a funeral. I matched my mood to theirs. We maintained that solemnity even when we stopped to eat roasted corn. All that broke the silence was the sound of kernels popping off the cob. We gnawed the cobs bare, tossed them away, and resumed our drive.

The area turned out to be populated by hordes of dogs, who milled around in the rain like a school of yellowtail in an aquarium. As a result, I spent a lot of time leaning on the horn. The dogs showed no interest whatsoever in either the rain or our car. In fact, they looked downright pissed off by my honk­ing, although they scampered out of the way. It was impos­sible, of course, for them to avoid the rain. They were all soaked right down to their butt holes—some resembled the otter in Balzac’s story, others reminded me of meditating Buddhist priests.

One of the twins inserted a cigarette between my lips and lit it. Then she placed her little hand on the inner thigh of my cot­ton trousers and moved it up and down a few times. It seemed less a caress than an attempt to verify something.

The rain looked as if it would continue forever. October rains are like that—they just go on and on until every last thing is soaked. The ground was a swamp. It was a chilly, unforgiving world: the trees, the highway, the fields, the cars, the houses, and the dogs, all were drenched.

We climbed a stretch of mountain road, drove through a thick stand of trees, and there was the reservoir. Because of the rain there wasn’t a soul around. Raindrops rippled the water’s surface as far as the eye could see. The sight of the reservoir in the rain moved me in a way I hadn’t expected. We pulled up next to the water and sat there in the car, drinking coffee from the thermos and munching the cookies the twins had bought. There were three kinds—buttercream, coffee cream, and maple—that we divided up into equal groups to give everyone a fair share.
All the while the rain continued to fall on the reservoir. It made very little noise. About as much as if you dropped shred­ded newspaper on a thick carpet. The kind of rain you find in a Claude Lelouch film.

We ate the cookies, drank two cups of coffee each, and brushed the crumbs off our laps at exactly the same moment. No one spoke.

“Shall we?” one of the twins said at last.

The other nodded.

I put out my cigarette.

Leaving our umbrellas behind, we picked up the switch panel and marched to the end of the dead-end bridge that jutted out into the water. The reservoir had been created by damming a river: its banks followed an unnatural curve, the water lapping halfway up the mountainside. The color of the water suggested an eerie depth. Falling drops made fine ripples on the surface.
One of the twins took the switch panel from the paper bag and handed it to me. In the rain it looked even more pathetic than usual.

“Now say a prayer,” one of the twins said.

“A prayer?” I cried in surprise.

“It’s a funeral. There’s got to be a prayer.”

“But I’m not ready,” I said. “I don’t know any prayers by heart.”

“Any old prayer is all right,” one said.

“It’s just a formality,” added the other.

I stood there, soaked from head to toenails, searching for something appropriate to say. The twins’ eyes traveled back and forth between the switch panel and me. They were obvi­ously worried.

“The obligation of philosophy,” I began, quoting Kant, “is to dispel all illusions borne of misunderstanding . . . Rest in peace, ye switch panel, at the bottom of this reservoir.”

“Now throw it in.”

“Huh?”

“The switch panel!”

I drew my right arm all the way back and hurled the switch panel at a forty-five-degree angle into the air as hard as I could. It described a perfect arc as it flew through the rain, landing with a splash on the water’s surface. The ripples spread slowly until they reached our feet.

“What a beautiful prayer!”

“Did you make it up yourself?”

“You bet,” I said.

The three of us huddled together like dripping dogs, looking out over the reservoir.

“How deep is it?” one asked.

“Really, really deep,” I answered.

“Do you think there are fish?” asked the other.

“Ponds always have fish.”

Seen from a distance, the three of us must have looked like an elegant memorial.

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Combined volume. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099590392

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Combined volume. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099590392

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 are the author's earliest novels. They follow the fortunes of the narrator and his friend, known only by his nickname, the Rat. In this title, the rat goes on a quest to find the exact model of pinball machine he had enjoyed playing years earlier: the three-flipper Spaceship. Translator(s): Goossen, Ted. Num Pages: 336 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 129 x 197 x 23. Weight in Grams: 238. . 2016. Combined volume. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099590392

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Book Description Vintage, 2016. Book Condition: New. Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 are the author's earliest novels. They follow the fortunes of the narrator and his friend, known only by his nickname, the Rat. In this title, the rat goes on a quest to find the exact model of pinball machine he had enjoyed playing years earlier: the three-flipper Spaceship. Translator(s): Goossen, Ted. Num Pages: 336 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 129 x 197 x 23. Weight in Grams: 238. . 2016. Combined volume. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099590392

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