Hear The Wind Sing – Haruki Murakami

September 25, 2010 § 16 Comments

There’s no such thing as perfect writing. Just like there’s no such thing as perfect despair.

I don’t think there are many ways to go wrong with reading Haruki Murakami, especially during a time when reading for leisure is taking a backseat (slightly). I mean, if that’s how he starts his books, there is simply no better way to pull this reader in.

Hear the Wind Sing is the first of Murakami’s work. And because of this, he has simply refused to allow this book to be translated and published outside of Japan. It is only thanks to Tanabata that I managed to get a hold of this book. This is also the first of the Rat Trilogy (as I am told it is so), the next two being Pinball, 1973 and A Wild Sheep Chase. It’s also widely recognised that Dance Dance Dance makes this Trilogy into some sort of quadrilogy.

So anyway, back to this lovely book. I have to admit, I’m somewhat not used to reading such a thin Murakami book. All the books I’ve read were full-length novels (I think Sputnik Sweetheart and After Dark were probably the two shortest, but still, much much longer than this one), and maybe it’s for this reason that I am left with a little of a dilemma on my hands. You see, I’m just so used to getting a minimum dosage of Murakami, that this book just doesn’t give me enough.

This book being his first ever published, it also reads a little less deep compared with his other more recent work. There seems to be less layers, less ambiguity, less confusion all-round. Though there are some signature phrases that you just know comes from Murakami, this book is, in a way, not quite complete.

Still, it’s awfully hard to tell things honestly. The more honest I try to be, the more the right words recede into the distance.

To be honest, I’m probably a bit biased with my thoughts on this book, myself being such a fan of his work. Not quite as satisfying as the others that I have read of his, of course, as I’ve already mentioned. But still, it’s just the way his story flows – the language, the structure (or non-structure) – that sweeps me along with the characters and their emotions.

You keep looking at the sea and you start to miss being with people; you stay around people all the time and you just want to go look at the sea.

For me, though not my favourite Murakami by a mile, but still worth every grain of salt. I’m now really wanting to read Pinball, 1973. Though it’s available for download on the internet somewhere (it should be easy enough to find. Just Google it), I just want to get my hands on the physical book, which is also not published outside of Japan.

Rating: 3.5

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§ 16 Responses to Hear The Wind Sing – Haruki Murakami

  • Bellezza says:

    How interesting that you find this book not quite complete…I haven’t read it yet, but I bought it from eBay when I was looking for his works during the second Japanese Literature Challenge. It’s strange that I’ve read Dance Dance Dance, and A Wild Sheep Chase, but not this, his very first ever let alone in that trilogy. It does have a wonderful first line, though!

    • Michelle says:

      Dance Dance Dance was my first Murakami, and of course, there was no turning back after that! Since then, I found out that A Wild Sheep Chase was the third in the trilogy, so I kept on putting the book back into the shelves whenever I came across it at the library.

      That’s a beautiful first line, isn’t it?

  • Suko says:

    I’ve missed your posts, Su. Good review! 🙂

    I haven’t read Murakami, just reviews of his work, but I like the second quote, quite a bit.

    • Michelle says:

      Thanks Suko. =)

      I hope you do read Murakami one day. Though he’s not exactly for everyone, and there are many different reviews of his work, but I do hope you’ll like him.

  • JoV says:

    Ahhh.. this is the first of the rat trilogy.. so I know. I have Pin ball with me not sure if I can download or get hold of this one you are reading?

    I’m interested to know how Murakami writes in his early days and how I feel about it. Hope you read Pinball soon!

    • Michelle says:

      I hope I read Pinball soon too! I wonder where I can get myself a copy of the book…

    • Michelle says:

      Oh, and I don’t think Hear the Wind Sing is available for download on the internet. I had a copy once, but lost it when my computer went kaput. Since then I’ve not been able to find a copy anywhere at all!

  • mee says:

    Have you read his short stories? Some people I know in real life actually like his short stories more than his novels. I’m guessing this novella might feel like short story than novel?

    • Michelle says:

      Now that you mention it, I think I’ve only read ONE Murakami short story!! (The one you so lovingly recommended to us!) I so need to read more of his short stories. =)

      And yea, I think this book feels more like a novella.

  • chasing bawa says:

    Hello! I always thought A Wild Sheep Chase and Dance, Dance, Dance came as a pair. Looks like I’ve been missing out and need to get my hands on the first two. I’ve actually been dying to read Pinball 1973, but now I’ll just have to read both! There’s just something about Murakami’s writing that immerses me completely in his world. So, what is your favourite Murakami?

    • Michelle says:

      My favourite Murakami? So far, I think I loved Dance Dance Dance, and that’s the book that is most memorable for me, probably because it was my first Murakami. But other than that, I loved The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Sputnik Sweetheart too. =)

  • Novroz says:

    I haven’t read this one and as far as I can remember I’ve never seen it in my library. It looks interesting. Just like you, I’m also a Murakami fan

    • Michelle says:

      Glad to know yet another Murakami fan!

      I don’t think this book would be available at any library outside of Japan. Like I mentioned, it’s not published outside of Japan, and was actually only translated to English as a lesson book for the Japanese in some way.

      • Novroz says:

        I thought so too.
        Have you read Norwegian Wood, I’m planning to read it this year (if I can push it among my other TBR books), the book is going to be made into movie this year.

        • Michelle says:

          Haven’t read Norwegian Wood, though I hear that it makes it into a lot of people’s favourite lists. =)

          It’s news to me, though, that it’s going to be made into a movie!

  • brad says:

    hey, do you have any estimates of a word count on this one? I just finished reading a downloaded copy, but it was only a few chapters long, and the story sort of just fell off. I really liked /Pinball, 1973/, and all of his other stuff, so I feel like another half of this book might still be stranded out there somewhere.

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