This is the first novel ever written by Murakami Haruki – it was written in the ’70s. I read many of Murakami’s books, and I consider him one of my favourite authors. What he does best in my opinion, is incorporating magical realism in stories about loneliness, love and youth. This is why this novel is not the best representation of Murakami’s style, despite still being really enjoyable.

Nevertheless, “Hear the Wind Sing” incorporates all the themes that Murakami has explored in his more recent novels. This, in a very simple novel about summer holidays. This novel is followed by “Pinball, 1973”, “A Wild Sheep Chase” and “Dance Dance Dance” – this series of books is connected by the character of “The Rat”. The style of the latter two books changes noticeably and Murakami said himself that the first two books weren’t as worthy.

I personally think that this novel is very special and fans of Murakami’s works should definitely consider reading it as it feels much more personal than the later works, as if Murakami gave you his diary to read off it.

What I also liked about this novel is the amount of cultural/musical references. Fans of Murakami probably know already about his love for music – especially jazz music. This book is a step up from that, because Murakami shares with the reader the music, books and films that he was interested in at the time of the writing of the novel. While reading, I listened to the music he was talking about it made the story feel much more real, even though this story was written more than 40 years ago.

I made a Spotify playlist with all the songs mentioned in the book: 𝓱𝓮𝓪𝓻 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝔀𝓲𝓷𝓭 𝓼𝓲𝓷𝓰. Hope you enjoy these nostalgic Murakami summer feels.

Linda Arrighi

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