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Wind/Pinball: Two novels
256 pages; Knopf
In 1978, Haruki Murakami, the 29-year-old proprietor of a jazz café in Tokyo, sat at his kitchen table to compose his first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, and he closely followed it with Pinball, 1973. Largely unavailable in English until now, the novels (published in one volume by Knopf) chart the bohemian adventures and erotic escapades of two restless young men, the unnamed narrator and an aspiring writer. The stories don't feel like apprentice work; Murakami's trademark postmodernist flourishes abound—disrupting the narrative to insert a song lyric, say, or a graphic of a T-shirt—and never fail to surprise and delight. 
— Hamilton Cain