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Hear the Wind Sing is Haruki Murakami‘s, less well known, debut novel. It tells the story of a young college-aged man, who spends his summer vacation in Kobe, Japan aimlessly wiling away his time with his friend, nicknamed the Rat (a spoiled rich kid), carousing at J’s Bar. Although, the narrative lacks the intricately woven plot, for which Murakami is known for in his acclaimed novels such as Kafka on the Shore and Norwegian Wood, I found myself effortlessly roped in by the characters and sublime, smooth as jazz prose.

My only minor critique of Hear the Wind Sing is that it left me somewhat unsatisfied. It felt to me like the story lacked a clear message (admittedly it was Murakami’s first novel!), much like the rudderless life of the protagonist. Murakami scratches the surface of many interesting concepts in this novel, yet doesn’t quite develop them to fruition.

I would recommend Hear the Wind Sing to anyone looking to delve into the full depth and breadth of Murakami’s writing. It is particularly insightful into his evolution as an author when compared with his more recent works.

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