Aside from acclaimed author Haruki Murakami, his Japanese publisher must be over the moon as his latest novel, Shikisai wo Motanai Tazaki Tsukuru to Kare no Junrei no Toshi (“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage”) is on its way to become one of the fastest selling Japanese novels of the past few years. Bungeishunju Ltd. said that they have ordered one million print copies of the book that went on sale just last April 12.
Before the launch of the book, they had already ordered 500,000 copies and then added 300,000 more when the demand for the book seemed to be growing. In fact, it set a new record number of pre-orders on Amazon’s Japan store, and all this happened without anyone knowing anything about what the novel was all about. Then just this Thursday, almost a week after its release, the publisher decided to print 200,000 more copies, making it one million copies printed and shipped. There are still no official figures available for actual sales, but a spokesperson for the publisher claims that they sold 350,000 copies in the first three days. People lined up at different bookstores during the launch day, with several shops opening at midnight and doing a countdown for the release of the book, just like they would for a new Harry Potter novel.
Early reviews for the new novel, his first in three years, seem very positive, with some readers saying that they were able to finish the book in just hours. The 370 page book tells the story of a young man who is trying to deal with his painful past through the help of a new romance. Sounds simple enough, but as with any Murakami novel, nothing is ever that simple or ordinary. His English-speaking readers however have to wait for a few more months before the book can be translated. There have actually been a few “Twitter campaigns” to pressure his US publisher into coming up with an English translation sooner than later.
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