If you are a fan of Haruki Murakami’s writing and happened to be inspired by how he creates a wholly new and strange world, this should be included in your mandatory reading list.
This very book is the first ever novella written by Murakami himself as a reaction to his sudden epiphany while watching a baseball game. That sudden epiphany was written in the prologue section. In that section, Murakami tells us readers a story on how he got into the world of writing.
I believe I wrote a bit about that in this post. Briefly, Murakami attended a baseball game and right when a batter hit the ball thrown by the pitcher, that exact moment Murakami told himself “I think I can write a novel” and that became a drive for Murakami to write novels up until now.
(if you are curious with the complete passage, go here)
As common for the first-timer, this novella hasn’t show the signature Murakami strange-world-plot where Colonel Sanders can give an advice how to get girls or your bestfriend accused you of raping them in a dream. Instead, what you get is a confusing plot. Suddenly there’s a radio broadcast which you (at least me) will never know what connects with that, plus several pretentious (at least in my view) dialogue and words. Plus several cliffhangers for the bonus.
You can see, however, a spark that leads to present-Murakami in this book. The start of a scene where the protagonist naked with unknown woman on his side and meticulously-described sex scene; The lone ranger who likes old jazz and read books voraciously; Mysterious personality of the protagonist who likes answering people with one or two liner.
This novella could somewhat relieve people who dreams on becoming a writer as prolific as Murakami in terms of making words flow like a diarrhea, because the novella (plus the prologue) gave you a picture of how Murakami starts with nothing than a sudden epiphany with no empirical evident. Murakami didn’t know a lot of vocabularies, even grammar.
But for those who are about to start reading Murakami, I don’t recommend this novella as a starter, read his latest but light novels instead. I started with Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore, successfully gives a kick to read more from him. Because you might end up not liking him due to his first book