Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
‘I like wells, though. Every time I see a well, I can’t resist tossing a rock in. There’s nothing as soothing as the sound of a pebble hitting the water in a deep well.’ (page 10)
‘That’s this: if a person would just make the effort, there’s something to be learned from everything. From even the most ordinary, commonplace things, there’s always something you can learn. ...
Fact is, if it weren’t for that, nobody’s survive.
‘I think I see what you’re getting at, but’ - the Rat began, then swallowed the thought. But - the word was on his lips, there wasn’t anything more he could say. So he smiled and stood up, thanked J …’ (page 62)
‘On any given day, something claims our attention. Anything at all, inconsequential things. A rosebud, a misplaced hat, that sweater we liked as a child, an old Gene Pitney record. A parade of trivia with no place to go. Things that bump around in our consciousness for two or three days, then go back to wherever they came from the darkness. We’re always digging wells in our head. While above the wells, birds flit back and forth.’ (page 71)
‘“Good night”, said the Rat
“Good night,” -said J. “Oh, and one last thing. Somebody said it: Walk slowly and drink lots of water.”
The Rat smiled at J., opened the door, and climbed the stairs. Streetlamps brightly illuminated the deserted street. The Rat sat down on a guard-rail and looked up at the sky. And thought, just how much water does a guy have to drink?’ (page 94)
‘Everything was immersed in darkness. Not just a monotone black, but smeared on butter-thick in paints of all colors.
I kept my face glued to the taxi window looking at that darkness. It looked strangely flat, like the cut surface of some unreal material sliced off with a razor-sharp blade. A queer kind of perspective prevailed in the darkness.’ (page 98)
‘It’s like Tennessee Williams said. The past and the present, we might say, “go like this.” The future is a “maybe.”
Yet when we look back on the darkness that obscures the path that brought us this far, we only come up with another indefinite “maybe.” The only thing we perceive with any clarity is the present moment, and even that just passes away.’ (page 118)
‘I brewed coffee. And the whole day through I watched that Sunday pass by my window. A tranquil November Sunday of rare clarity shining through each and every thing.’ (page 119)
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