Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami
The plot centers on the narrator’s brief but intense obsession with pinball, his life as a freelance translator, and his later efforts to reunite with the old pinball machine that he used to play. He describes living with a pair of identical unnamed female twins, who mysteriously appear in his apartment one morning, and disappear at the end of the book. Interspersed with the narrative are his memories of the Japanese student movement, and of his old girlfriend Naoko. The plot alternates between describing the life of narrator and that of his friend, The Rat.
3.5 stars, rounded to three
I definitely enjoyed this one more than the first instalment of this series. I found the story and characters more compelling and interesting, and everything seemed connected. I think most of the issues with the first book were solved for the most part in this one. Which makes sense, because Hear the Wind Sing is Murakami’s debut.
The story is, I think at it’s heart, about depression and loneliness and feeling trapped in your life. It’s one of those books with no to little plot. Just the characters going about their somewhat mundane lives. And Murakami conveys that so brilliantly. The writing was, of course, beautiful. I honestly don’t think I’ve read anything more beautifully written. There was one passage that made me feel so weirdly nostalgic? And sad? But like, not necessarily in a bad way. I’ll insert a picture of the part that I mean. But like, how beautiful is that?
I honestly don’t have much more to say about this book. I read it so long ago now that I can’t remember much about it other than the feelings I felt. Which, honestly, I think is the point of a well-written book.
But have you read this book or the first one? What were your thoughts? Let me know!!
Thanks for reading! xx