Hear the Wind Sing

Haruki Murakami

Book cover

I hadn’t read a Murakami book in a while, although he is one of my favorite authors. This book was nearly the last one of his I hadn’t read. Along with “Pinball, 1973”, it is one of two books of his that is not widely available in English translation. This certainly adds some allure for fans like me, but it is moderated by the fact that the reason these books are not widely available is that Murakami does not think they are that good. Nonetheless, I managed to procure copies of each and read them. HTWS is the first of four books by Murakami following the same characters. I have to say that overall these books are among my less favorite of Murakami’s, but that is largely due to the two that are more widely available, “A Wild Sheep Chase” and “Dance Dance Dance.” HTWS is recognizably “Murakami,” with record-listening, beer-drinking anomie, but doesn’t yet introduce any of his favorite hobby-horses like wells, cats, or people disappearing. I can see how the author sees it as not fitting in with his later work, but I don’t think it’s weak. Not much happens, but it is very atmospheric. Worth tracking down for fans (just ask me!).

My Goodreads rating: 3 stars