Pinball 1973 by Haruki Murakami

Source – Library

Translator Alfred Birnbaum

Now this is a book I jumped for joy when I got from Library on an inter library loan from Manchester ,it is Murkami’s second book and the second part of the rat trilogy the others being the first hear the wind sing and the last part wild sheep chase .Now this book, like the first part is only available in Japan in english translation as Murakami has never let the rights be issued world-wide ,so what is it about .

The book is classic Murakami or what we now call his classic style ,the ,main character and narrator a nameless lonely man in his twenties works as a translator and his friend the rat ,we follow the narrator during a obession with pinball he starts playing late a night a relationship with a pair of twins called 208 209 by the narrator ,this obessin=on leads him in the end on the quest for a lost machine ,elsewhere there are references to themes that crop up in Murakami’s others books ,wells for one even couple mention of hard-boiled eggs but maybe I was looking to hard the book is gentle a man struggling with the real world ,he looks back on his student days a dead girlfriend ,yet another event Murakami use in his other books .

By the time I broke 150,000 ,winter had really set in .There I d be alone in the freezing deserted games center ,bundled up in my duffel coat , muffler  wrapped around my neck up to my ears grappling with the machine .

the narrator talking about his obsession .

Well what did I think of this book it was a great insight into what madeMurakami the writer he is now this has parts used in other books and in some way maybe this narrator is nearest Murakami the man ,I did miss Jay Rubin’s translation style thou a certain zing you get from his work withMurakami particular with the more recent books were they have worked together for a number of years .Not to take away from Alfred Binbaum ,who lives in Japan and has translator a number of other books and teaches creative writing at the moment in Japan ,he does a great job but the tie between Rubin and Murakami isn’t there .Murakami use lots of references to music and film stars of the time which gives it a very personnel feel ,only music missing was the who which I kept hoping to see because he must have listen to pinball wizard at some point whilst reading this book .Why this book yet to have a UK publication is beyond me it is a sign post on the road to the writer Murakami is today .

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK ?

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SE IN PUBLISHED IN UK ?

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March 2011
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