Haruki Murakami is, as I’ve probably mentioned before, one of my favorite authors. I am always so intrigued by his surreal story lines stringed together with a cast of disturbed and troubled characters. Whenever I recommend Haruki Murakami to my friends I always mention that if I were to describe his books to them, I’ll only sound like a mad woman because of the weird plots (a man in a sheep costume urging you to dance in Dance, Dance, Dance as an example) and will never do him justice. They need to read his works for themselves to understand. Only Murakami can make something so weird be read as beautiful. Hear the Wind Sing is his first ever novel and it has been amazing to see where and how he started.
Right off the bat you recognize some of Murakami’s signature styles and subjects: a protagonist who drinks a lot of alcohol, music, literature, and mysterious acquaintances. Throughout the book you get the dreamy mystery quality Murakami always delivers. However, unlike his more recent works, the story isn’t so weird or intricate. In fact, it is quite ordinary.
We follow a nameless protagonist’s summer holiday as he spends his days drinking at a bar with a friend known only as The Rat. Here he meets a mysterious girl with one finger missing. Throughout the book we read about the protagonist’s thoughts, his past girlfriends, and the structure is quite messy. Stories are pulled out at random chapters painting an unfinished picture of a backstory every time.
Hear the Wind Sing feels very incomplete, having no straightforward story line and just anecdotes of the narrators’ thoughts or conversations he has with the people he meets. I guess this all adds to the dreamy mystery of it all. Still very interesting to see what young Murakami had flowing through his wonderful mind as he writes his very first novel, a beautiful representation of what his work was before he bloomed.