Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World: A Novel by Haruki Murakami, translated by Alfred Birnbaum. Hardcover book published by Kodansha International 1991 First U.S. Edition, 401 pages with some black and white decorative illustrations.
Quite a while ago, I stumbled upon a UK edition of One Hundred Years of Solitude and at the time I was shocked and amazed to have stumbled upon something as special as a first edition of this incredible book. Here we are a few years later and i've got another incredible find that, quite honestly, left me speechless.
There's something incredibly nice about finding a book that you can feel proud to have found and then have for sale... even though in this instance I didn't find it. A good friend of mine walked up to me at a book sale and handed over this book, my jaw dropped (and still remains dropped) and I was speechless. I don't think I even properly thanked him at the time... but have done so since then.
Haruki Murakami is one of those writers that booksellers love to find. The reason is quite simply that whether new or secondhand, paperback or hardback, first edition or not, he sells. I have read a number of his books over the years and have like most people that have delved, become entranced and despite being a book seller (that is, someone who sells books as apposed to someone who keeps them) still own a number of them. Who can forget the Wild Sheep Chase and the whole sheep thing... and the ear thing... I can't. I've got a number of his newer books sitting in my 'to be read' stack and as i'm writing this blog entry i'm working myself into a Murakami reading frenzy to the point that... I will start reading the mammoth and intimidating 1Q84 in the next few days... I will do it.
So, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, do I think it will sell? It will take the right person (other than myself) to appreciate what this book is. I'm assuming it will be a collector and a fan, and based on my knowledge of how big this guy is, it will sell.