Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words

by Jay Rubin

Paperback, 2002




Harvill Pub (2002), 288 pages


As a young man, Haruki Murakami played records and mixed drinks at his Tokyo Jazz club, Peter Cat, then wrote at the kitchen table until the sun came up. He loves music of all kinds - jazz, classical, folk, rock - and has more than six thousand records at home. And when he writes, his words have a music all their own, much of it learned from jazz.Jay Rubin, a self-confessed fan, has written a book for other fans who want to know more about this reclusive writer. He reveals the autobiographical elements in Murakami's fiction, and explains how he developed a distinctive new style in Japanese writing. In tracing Murakami's career, he uses interviews he conducted with the author between 1993 and 2001, and draws on insights and observations gathered from over ten years of collaborating with Murakami on translations of his works.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member PaulMysterioso
Jay Rubin has translated several of Haruki Murakami's novels into English and interviewed him extensively over a number of years. But Rubin is not just a mere translator, he is also a fan of Murakami's work and this book is an invaluable introduction to Murakami the person as well as a look at his influences.
LibraryThing member tedmahsun
Probably of interest only to hardcore Murakami fans. Includes some interesting trivia of Murakami and his wife, Yoko, and provides insight to almost all of Murakami's major works.
LibraryThing member tronella
A biography of Murakami focusing on his fiction, but also discussing his translations and his love of jazz, among other things. Now I want to reread all his books... and in fact after reading this I think I may not have actually ever read A Wind-up Bird Chronicle, so I'd better get on that!

The book is a little repetitive in its choice of quotes somehow and I found it a little weird when the author (Rubin) spoke about himself in the third person in one part, but otherwise it was a good read. But if you aren't already quite familiar with at least most of Murakami's novels, this would probably just be an incomprehensible spoiler party.… (more)


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