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Wind/Pinball: Two novels - Buy from
Wind/ Pinball: Two Novels - Buy from

pinball 1973
(1973年のピンボール 1973-nen no pinboru)

First published in Japan by Kodansha (1980)
Translated by Alfred Birnbaum
Published in English in 1985 by Kodansha English Library
ISBN 4-06-186012-7

New Translation

Wind/Pinball: Two Early Novels Hardcover – August 4, 2015
by Haruki Murakami (Author), Ted Goossen (Translator)
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Knopf (August 4, 2015)
ISBN: 978-0385352123

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Harvill Secker (4 Aug. 2015)
ISBN: 978-1846558351

That's when I gave up pinball. When the times comes, everybody gives up pinball. Nothing more to it.

The second book in the "Trilogy of the Rat" series, it is preceded by Hear the Wind Sing (1979) and followed by A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)

Very much a continuation of Hear The Wind Sing with the familiar site (J's bar) and characters (J and Rat). The novel is a collage of everyday episodes of the single 24-year-old Tokyoist, his disinterest in his translation job, his asexual relationship with the twin sisters 208 and 209, and his half-estrangement from social world. He oscillates between ceaseless pursuit of interests (midnight visit to Pinball machine) and resignation (painless farewell to the twins), and at times emerges from the cool, semiotic space of his apartment to bath in the autumn light.

Pinball 1973, was never released in any English-speaking countries, but a translation was sold in Japan as a way to improve one's English reading skills, complete with a glossary in the back with the harder words defined in Japanese. So the translation is probably somewhat simplified but Murakami's voice still comes through, and the story is great. The last word I heard on the subject, Murakami didn't want to see this book or his first (Hear the Wind Sing, which was also translated into English for Japanese speakers, and really isn't very good) reprinted or translated into English, so I don't feel too guilty linking to it.

The Birth of My Kitchen Table Fiction - Murakami's introduction to Wind/Pinball: Two Novels

Knopt page containing an except and readers guide

The Guardian's Alison Flood reports that Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball 1973 will get a fresh translation by Ted Goossen, set for release in 2015.



Haruki Murakami's Wind/Pinball Foreshadows His Trajectory as a Novelist - Huffington Post review by Steven Petite

Haruki Murakami’s Early Stories Aren’t Just For Superfans - Cats, jazz and wild dreams make up the writer’s beautiful novellas - (another) Huffington Post review by Maddie Crum

Haruki Murakami’s ‘Wind/Pinball’ - New York Times review by Steve Ericksonaug

Hear the Wind Sing/Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami review – super-elliptical pop-noir
Two early short novels reveal a fully formed writer laying the foundation for his future themes
- Guardian review by Ian Sansom

Fiction: The birth of Haruki Murakami’s writing - Readers must decide if novellas are warm-ups or belong in canon - Hamilton Spectator review by Robert J Wiersema

Are Haruki Murakami’s Re-Released Novels Worth the Hype? by M. Scott Krause

How Haruki Murakami became a writer - Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 are in the collection Wind / Pinball — with a new introduction by the famed Japanese writer - Toronto Star by Robert J Wiersema

An excellent introduction to an important novelist - The Guardian by Hannah Beckerman

Appetisers from the kitchen table - The Independent by Arifa Akbar

On to the beginning - Haruki Murakami’s early work, finally in English - The Economist

Murakami's first novels revisited - The Straits Times by Akshita Nanda

Book Review: Hear the wind Sing/Pinball by Haruki Murakami - DNA Indi review by Gargi Gupta

'Wind/Pinball' - The Michigan Daily review by Karl Williams

Novellas that launched his career released - Fredericksburg review by Kurt Rabin

Nice review and Russian edition cover pic from Alex Wyler

Insightful review by "The Green Fish"

Interesting review by "Cross Scars"

Wikipedia page on the novel page on the novel

Fifty Books 2008 project review by Nathan

Interesting review by Ted Mahsun

Early Murakami - Ronin on Empty article on Hear and Pinball

Bookride - Rare Book Guide to Pinball 73

Memory, hybridity, and creative alliance in Haruki Murakami's fiction - an essay by Amy Ty Lai, which explores the use of animals in Haruki Murakami's fiction (inc Pinball 73)

Tony's Reading List review by Tony Malone

Murakami Haruki: The Simulacrum in Contemporary Japanese Culture by Michael Seats - chapter on HTWS - except available from Google Book Search :

This book offers a new approach to dealing with Murakami's radical narrative project by demonstrating how his first and later trilogies utilize the structure of the simulacrum, a second-order representation, to develop a complex critique of contemporary Japanese culture. This critique is mirrored in the practices of current media-entertainment technologies which allow Murakami's works, and their critical/promotional meta-texts, to cohere under the rubric of the so-called 'Murakami Phenomenon.' Published 2006, Lexington Books, ISBN 0739107852