What’s This? The Latest Murakami I’ve Been Waiting For? Details About The Physical Book Itself

How surprised I was to find the little cellophane windows which are indeed colorless:
Underneath each clear stripe is a color indicating one of the main characters, with Tsukuru’s leaning off to one side. Rather alone, clearly separate.
The cover under the dust jacket “reveals” more about the characters, particularly Tsukuru who loves train stations.
And did you notice this? Every page number “4” is white.
Here’s a number without 4 (above),

…and here’s one with double 4.  If you flip through the pages you’ll see that every 4 is white. Colorless? I’m not sure yet, as I have about fifty pages to go.
I’ve been marking passages as I read, ever so slowly on purpose, and I will put up an initial post probably in a few hours knowing we will talk about it more thoroughly in days to come.

And I won’t mention the rip in the dust jacket ever again. (Thank you, amazon.com)
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38 thoughts on “What’s This? The Latest Murakami I’ve Been Waiting For? Details About The Physical Book Itself”

  1. They really went all out with the design for this book, didn't they? In the end I went with the UK edition because stickers, but this one looks great too (and the page numbering is interesting… I can't remember the number 4 having a specific meaning but I'd have to reread it)

    But really, I am so disappointed with the Dutch edition now! The cover was hideous to begin with, and there wasn't even a hardcover edition. Only good thing was the deckle edges… alas *sulks*

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  2. I wish I would have purchased the UK edition for the stickers, too. Somehow I imagined that they would be included in all the first editions, silly me.

    Let's think about why the number 4 might be 'whitened'…

    I haven't seen the Dutch edition, I'll go look it up online. I don't even really care if the edges are deckled, actually. They're sort of irritating to feel, if you want to get picky about it. Which clearly I am doing.

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  3. I'd decided that I could wait a while to read this book, but now I don't know. I saw it the other day at the bookstore, and it's gorgeous! I love also its compact dimensions. It's a book asking to be fondled. (I'm pretty sure it's a Chip Kidd design.)

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  4. Um, I don't think you should wait. It's one of Murakami's more realistic books, filled with emotions I can completely relate to. It's beautiful, and thought-provoking, and worth every penny should you buy the hardcover as I did. Plus, you could join in the read along with us, questions to be discussed September 12.

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  5. Such a stunning volume! I had decided to wait to read this, but an unexpected gift of Amazon vouchers came my way and I am going to have to snap up a copy. Because really, I'd rather be reading Murakami than almost anything else. Enjoy!

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  6. Bellezza,

    The design of this book is creative and intriguing. (I hope this doesn't spoil anything, but I wonder if the colors are train lines?) The new Murakami book looks and sounds spectacular.

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  7. Hurrah! You finally got your copy 🙂 I loved how much thought went into the production of the book. I just loved how the book looked (although I do wish our copy came with stickers like the UK's version). I can't wait to find out what you think of this one! Enjoy 🙂

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  8. I got a review up on my blog with the cover (click my name). It's pretty baaaad 😉

    Hm well, it might make a bit more sense if you think about it like that, but then I'd even link it to the Japanese word for 4 and that seems a bit farfetched perhaps orz

    Oh Murakami, oh publishers, why are you messing with us 😉

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  9. I know that feeling: Murakami more than anyone else! And, it's terrible to finish one of his books because most everyone else cannot come up to his level of writing. Glad you're getting a copy, even if it's from my now hated amazon.

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  10. At least a) you had it in your hands long before I did and b) your copy isn't ripped! Still, it is a beautiful book. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to have two copies, one electronic one paper?

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  11. What a beautiful and imaginative design! This is the way forward for physical books, surely. Covetable hardbacks are one of life's little indulgences, and the design must add so much to the experience of reading this book. I'm glad it arrived at long last!

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  12. I'm pretty sure (like with very other Murakami review) my review will change 100% after I reread 😉 but looking forward to hearing what you think about the book, and to sharing thoughts!

    (Oh and guess what arrived today? Darkness in Summer 😀 Thank you so much!!)

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  13. Argh, that rip in the cover would make me so mad. You should actually contact them. They once sent me something with the package partially ruined but the items still salvable. I complained to them and they sent a replacement right away. Needless to say, we ended up with 12 boxes of steel cut oats. Now we just need to cook and eat them.

    But that cover is beautiful! I love it when book designers put in some extra effort into packaging a book and staying true to its themes.

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  14. The 5 characters' name all meant a certain color except Tsukuru. I think that's why tere are 4 colors (4 colums). The fifth rectangle, shorter and sideways is colorless and shows the train's route.

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  15. one more detail I noticed spending a long time considering the cover myself: I thought it looked like a hand, and then near the end of the book Murakami does use this image for the group of 5 friends. that was fun. I need to kick myself and write my review. the awesome cover is so much part of the book, well done!
    I interpreted the cover colors differently. all the others have a color, as in their names, but the only thing that defines Tsukuru is not a color but a picture of train stations, the only real thing that filled his life

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  16. Really like the look of the Knopf edition, although jackets with cut outs seem to always be a slight liability. Just finished this and really enjoyed it, can't wait to read the reading groups thoughts.

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  17. I am so (selfishly) sad that we in the United States are stickerless! I will have a post up later this evening of initial thoughts, but my, this is a marvelous book. As we expected, right?

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  18. Until I started looking closely, I had little idea how perfectly the cover details went with so many aspects of the novel. Bravo to the designers of this gem! And yes, it makes the ready experience so much better than a self-lit digital page of hard plastic.

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  19. Lucky for you that they sent you a replacement right away. I'm afraid if I sent this off that's the last I'd see of my book and my money. But, perhaps I will cotact amazon all the same. This book as a package absolutely stays true to its themes; such a joy.

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  20. Isn't it nifty how the cover reflects each character? Another interesting point: not only are the little transparent windows colorless, they are also empty. It makes me think of the emptiness each one carried inside once the friendship was abandoned. Especially our Tsukuru.

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  21. What an amazing insight, of course the cover looks like a hand wih five fingers for our five characters, Tsukuru being the thumb and the circle part a palm! I would not have noticed that without your perceptive comment, thanks. And,mi like how you say that the train station map fills his life, as only that passion (not dependent on people) could.

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  22. I spotted the hand design too – esp in the pic you took of the cover looking through the window.
    I wonder if it has something to do with the meaning of Tsukuru's name – to make or build – you need a hand !

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