A new Haruki Murakami book is always a big event. However, I approached the publication of Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 with a little trepidation. Neither is actually new. They are in fact Murakami’s debut works, the first two volumes of the Rat Trilogy which were, at his request, never published outside of Japan.
Murakami described them as “immature works … very small books” that were part of a learning process: “What I was trying to do in my first two books was to deconstruct the traditional Japanese novel. By deconstruct, I mean remove everything inside, leaving only the framework. Then I had to fill the framework in with something fresh and original,” he told The Paris Review. “I discovered to do it successfully only after my third book, A Wild Sheep Chase in 1982. The first two novels were helpful in the learning process – no more than that. I consider A Wild Sheep Chase to be the true beginning of my style.”