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Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami
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Pinball, 1973

by Haruki Murakami

Series: The Rat (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3241148,868 (3.63)38
  1. 20
    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (coolsnak3)
  2. 10
    A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami (cpav55)
    cpav55: Pinball 1973, Dans Dans Dans en De jacht op het verloren schaap vormen min of meer een serie, maar zijn wel losstaande verhalen.
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» See also 38 mentions

English (8)  German (1)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Second of Murakami's novellas of The Rat series. Our nameless narrator waxes poetic over the transcendent quasi-hypnotic trance qualities of a particular pinball machine. When the machine disappears, he embarks on a quixotic search. Mysterious twins show up for a lengthy stay in a deliciously surreal bit of writing. Can already see hints of the mature Murakami in this early work. Glad I read it. ( )
  michigantrumpet | Aug 31, 2017 |
As this is one of Haruki Murakami's first books (over 30 years ago!), I didn't expect something so good. But I can see why I'm such a fan of Murakami's and I will definitely continue to be. I've heard he has another book coming out within the next few months! Yes, the many Murakami cats, cigarettes and wells were present even in the first books. But he has such a wonderful way with words. I'm also surprised that even in his earliest books Murakami almost knew he would be an internationally famous writer (he is now the most famous Japanese writer) --it seems like his writing itself tries to encompass world culture and not just Japanese culture. But maybe this is one of the reasons he IS the most famous Japanese writer -- he is universal.

Here, the Rat (in three other books) and another nameless main character are now a bit lonely after their lives converge after their obsessions with pinball. There are other people in their lives, but it still doesn't seem the same. I would almost think that both of these characters are the same person, but they live in different places and have different girlfriends (one of them is dating twins.) Or maybe it's the same person from different times in their life? I have no idea! It's short and quirky and excellent. I'm looking forward to reading all of Murakami's other books I haven't read yet, since his earlier writing is so amazing. ( )
1 vote booklove2 | Nov 8, 2013 |
I'm very curious to find out how the title fits the contents of the book (or not).

And I did: it appears the main character is desperately trying to find a pinn ball machine "Spaceship" on which he got his own high score and the machine's high score too.

Nothing much happened otherwise. A more or less quet life, with work and twins at home, described in a very pleasant way.
Having read other Murakami books (Kafka on the Shore, The Wind-up Bird Chronicles) I expected in this short story something similar again. Something with senses mixed up, impossible things happening.
Nothing was less true, although a theme from these other books, wells, came by too.
I liked this short story.

I still have other books from him on my shelf that I need to read. Look forward to that :-) ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
The second book in The Rat series. Read just as fast as the first. Symbols and allusions abound in this one. Still, I can see why Murakami didn't release this book to the world. A good read. A pleasant read. But I'm not sure it's a good read for someone who doesn't already enjoy the literature of Murakami. ( )
  TJWilson | Mar 29, 2013 |
Pinball, 1973 is unarguably a better book than its predecessor, Hear the Wind Sing. Primarily, the prose shows a marked improvement over that previous volume — the exception being the 3rd person sections, as far as I can recall a narrative perspective unique among Murakami's bibliography, which are some of the weakest points of the novel.

On the other hand, what hasn't improved is the plotting, which remains as listless and aimless as before. Now, a point could be made that this directionlessness is the entire point of the book; pinball, the book's overarching theme, is described in the first chapter as not having a greater goal and always ending in the Retry light blinking on. Still, while it's harder to see why Murakami keeps this unavailable internationally, one is left wanting something more.

In the end, I'd still probably only recommend this to people who are already fans of Murakami, but I'd certainly have far fewer reservations doing than with the previous volume. ( )
  g026r | Jan 21, 2011 |
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I used to love listening to stories about faraway places.
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