Several days ago, I managed to finished one of two debut story from Haruki Murakami: Hear The Wind Sing. It was a fun experience, I tell you. And it goes like this...
PlotAn anonymous narrator - which also had a role as the protagonist of the story - along with his best friend, nicknamed Rat, enjoyed their long summer vacation, with smokes, beers, girls, books, and also JFK. It was some kind of flashback story, where the narrator recalled several important events on that particular summer, just before he went back to Tokyo, to continue his college.
Opinion*following were my tweets (in bahasa Indonesia) on #HearTheWindSing
1. Penulisannya unik: ada bagian seperti dairy excerpt, ada penggalan program radio, bahkan ada satu chapter yang rada "buang2 kertas." Hehe
2. In the end, considerint this was a debut for Murakami, it's a light fun stuff. And a promising one too. #HearTheWindSing
3. Kisah ini jauh lebih ringan dibandingkan cerita beliau yang lainnya; disini slash of lifenya lebih ngena. Dan gak ada unsur magica nya sih~
4. Dan unsur eroticanya cuma secuil~ sedih sih~ #HearTheWindSing
5. Sebagian org menganggap ini adalah cerita Murakami yg paling lemah. Yha memang. Lha wong debut. At least he knows where and how to started.
6. Anyhow, it's a fine story. Cukup sayang untuk dilewatkan. Consider bgaimana gaya penulisan beliau yg seperti saat ini dan dgn yg dulu...
7. Dannnnn.. Ini merupakan penampilan perdana dari Rat yg bakalan sampai ke The Wild Sheep Chase. The beginning of a trilogy.
8. With that bombshell, I may conclude that: Reading #HearTheWindSing was a fine pleasure. Not great. Just fine.
Okay. Some of you may not able to read my tweets above and yelled "what the hell is this?" Fine, I'll give you the summary.
In my honest opinion, and considering this was Murakami's debut in writing, it was a fun stuff. A light, easy to read, one. I may said it was "a promising one" because, if I became one of those people who read it for the first time, before he became a great one like this time, I might love it. It was not too heavy, it was entertaining, and it had some jokes too. And once again, considering this was his first debut, he might be still kind of "soul searching", in a journey on his perfect writing style, his own trademark. In this story, you might found his several earlier-trademark: a silent and good listener protagonist, chatterbox companion, flashbacks, and an appearance of wicked protagonist's lover (well, at least the prototype of protagonist's lover).
This story has no magical or surreal world on it, or even there was no waaaaayyyy to wicked character: he kept it rational and real this time. And because of that, some readers who already read it, said that this was his weakest. But I don't think so. This is his foundation, his first step. Without this, he might be no one, just a guy who strove for his life by clinging to his jazz cafe. He might be known as Murakami the Barista. Not Murakami the Writer.
Sorry. I got emotional back then.
Anyhow, just a trivia, this was the first appearance of Rat. He had roles on next two full novel made by Murakami: Pinball, 1973 and The Wild Sheep Chase. It was a trilogy. I've read Wild Sheep once, and it was great. But back then I just don't know who Rat was and thought that he was just a character without backgrounds.
As a conclusion, it was a great book and will provide you a decent experience; reading the first piece that not too great but became a foundation and start line for a man who wrote fantastic and surreal pieces. It was too bad to be missed. Even you didn't like it, saved it or store it on the bookshelf. For just a reminder, that anybody could be a writer, how bad their first writing was.