Regular price: $28.00

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

In the spring of 1978, a young Haruki Murakami sat down at his kitchen table and began to write. The result: two remarkable short novels - Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 - that launched the career of one of the most acclaimed authors of our time.

These powerful, at times surreal, works about two young men coming of age - the unnamed narrator and his friend the Rat - are stories of loneliness, obsession, and eroticism. They bear all the hallmarks of Murakami's later books and form the first two-thirds, with A Wild Sheep Chase, of the Trilogy of the Rat.

Widely available in English for the first time ever, newly translated, and featuring a new introduction by Murakami himself, Wind/Pinball gives us a fascinating insight into a great writer's beginnings.

©2015 Haruki Murakami (P)2015 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    79
  • 4 Stars
    64
  • 3 Stars
    55
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    106
  • 4 Stars
    62
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    65
  • 4 Stars
    60
  • 3 Stars
    57
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    6
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Must For Murakami Fans

The promise of the writer he was to become are evident in these two novellas. It's fun to see that the elements of a Murakami story -- loneliness, sudden death, mysterious women, etc. -- were present from the beginning. These are his first works, and it shows There's an uneven quality to the stories. That said, Heyborne does a brilliant job and this was a very entertaining listen.

If you've read one of Murakami's more celebrated novels and weren't that impressed, I think you should probably pass on this. If you're a fan, though, it's a must listen.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 08-12-15

FOR AMUSEMENT ONLY: Extra Ball at 600,000 points

My first exposure to Murakami was in my early college years. I checked out A Wild Sheep Chase (Boku #3) one summer from a military library and after I read it, but before I returned it, the library had mysteriously burned down. I'm not sure if I still owe the library a late fee or not. I had no way to return the book, and after reading it, I didn't ever want to. I saved it from the fire. I saved it from oblivion. It was now mine.

Both 'Hear the Wind Sing' and 'Pinball, 1973' are novellas best left to Murakami completists. There are better novels to start with and unless you are going to read more than ten Murakami novels, I wouldn't begin here. Start with 'Wild Sheep Chase' or 'Dance Dance Dance', or 'Norwegian Wood'.

\ * / Hear the Wind Sing/Boku #1 \ * /

"How can those who live in the light of day possibly comprehend the depth of night?"
― Nietzche

A nice first novel(la) with most all the known Murakami tropes already stirred in. There is music (pop, jazz, classical) with specific references to actual pressings. There are: cats, bars, whiskey, birds, alienation and needy women. Murakami ventures into existential philosophy and Western literature (both real and fake). It is all there. Things that would later pop up again and again in his later, stronger novels.

It isn't a river that flows very fast.

This isn't a page turner.

It is Gyokuro tea-steeping slowly. It is watching the stray leaves spiral to the center in a cracked, stoneware cup. It is the light and shadows dancing on you, while you sit in the shade watching people walk in and out of view. It is relaxing, interesting, and soon all you have left is the tasseography of a cold cup.

\ * / Pinball, 1973/Boku #2 \ * /

“So many dreams, so many disappointments, so many promises. And in the end, they all just vanish.”
― Haruki Murakami, Pinball, 1973

Like Murakami's first novel 'Hear the Wind Sing' (Boku #1), 'Pinball, 1973' (Boku #2) contains many of those elements that would define Murakami's fiction in the future. In someways this novel is both a story of loneliness and a love story between the protagonist and a specific Pinball machine. 'Hear the Wind Sing' seems to show early signs of Norwegian Wood, but 'Pinball, 1973' seems to be an early protonovel that would develop into Murakami's strange, dream-like later novels.

\ * / \ * / \ * /

If you check out Murakami and the bookstore or library burns down, watch out, you won't be able to rest until you've stalked every novel and read every page.

25 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

too young for me

I love Haruki Murakami's writing. It appears I like his later works better than his younger ones. These stories are OK, but at 70, they did not appeal to me. Youth's follies and interests are no longer what capture's my interests.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kenneth
  • Richmond, VT, United States
  • 01-22-18

Good if you're looking for a Murikami fix

Was Wind/Pinball worth the listening time?

The was definitely worth a listen, but only if you are already a Murakami fan. It was fun and weird, but would ultimately be unsatisfying by itself. I listened to the other books in the "series" first, it would be fun to listen to them again now with a little more of the Rat's back story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Not the best Murakami but very good

The narrator was very good i really like is calm voice that to my opinion is great for Murakami novel but i think that this two novels are better suited for fans of his work

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

classic murakami

I enjoyed feeling the peaceful empty space created by the painstaking attention to detail. like Alice in wonderland, you are transported to a world free of stress and full of possibilities.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely NOT B-list Stories

I'm a bit perplexed why some people write off these freshman efforts as somehow lesser than the rest of Murakami's body of work. True, they're a little rough around the edges when compared to some of his later novels, but there are plenty of popular/successful authors who have never written anything near the caliber of Hear the Wind Sing or Pinball 1973. What's more, they aren't nearly as self-important as some of Murakami's later works, giving them a raw yet honest tone.

Despite their being labeled as books one and two in the Rat series, I'd sooner compare Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball 1973 to the author's short stories, rather than his full-length novels. In many ways, this makes Wind/Pinball more accessible than some of my favorites, namely Kafka on the Shore, The Windup Bird Chronicle, and 1Q84. To that effect, I'd almost recommend Wind/Pinball as a starting point for anyone interested in his fiction. Based on how they react, I could easily steer them toward Norwegian Wood, Wild Sheep Chase, After Dark, or one of Murakami's short story collections.

By the way, here's where I'm coming from: I'm a fan, but not a "fan boy." I've read and reread nearly everything Haruki Murakami has had translated into English. I love the man's work, but not without criticism. For instance, while Kafka on the Shore rates among my top ten favorite novels, I was positively stunned by how bad Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage was. So it's not like I think the author can do no wrong, I just happen to think these novellas are somewhat underrated.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

If you are a Murakami Fan

And I am. So, I am going to say time well spent, but I can't say it was great. Overall experience for me was pretty good because Murakami's style speaks to me. I was captivated by 1Q84. I have to say, there were some moments in these books which made me think and stick with me. I may even listen to them again. However, when I compare to other works, I have to give this a lower rating.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tim
  • United States
  • 08-18-15

Two Short Stories

"Wind/Pinball" are two short stories from Haruki Murakami's early years. I'm very grateful that these stories got translated into English and into audiobook. They could had easily gotten lost in translation and have forgotten over time. These stories are the first from Haruki Murakami and just shows you the pure genius from this author. It makes me wonder how many other books that have to wait to be translated and what we are missing. After Murakami got these stories published in the 70's, he sold his night club and became a full time author. The best career choice that he ever made.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I agree with the girl

He should have left her apt. instead of sticking around like a creeper and staring at her breasts and vagina as she slept.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful