PINBALL IN PRINT
Date: 4th August 2015
His name is Haruki Murakami and he is the international bestselling author of novels such as A Wild Sheep Chase, Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore.
His latest publication is the reason we were in Central London, heading down to Piccadilly Circus and the flagship store for the Waterstones book shop chain.
Penguin Random House were launching a back-to-back special edition of Murakami's first two novels, entitled Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 - the first time these two novels have been published in the UK. These two, together with A Wild Sheep Chase, form the so-called Trilogy of the Rat, named after the protagonist's friend in the stories. This special edition - referred to simply as Wind/Pinball - is printed as a reversible hardback, with the Pinball side featuring a die-cut front cover.
To celebrate the launch, Penguin Random House arranged for electromechanical pinball machines to be placed in the London Piccadilly Circus and Glasgow Sauchiehall Street branches of Waterstones for the day and invited members of the public to play them.
Both machines had custom cabinet and backbox artwork designed to match the book's cover artwork.
The London machine was a Williams' Lady Luck which had been modified so it was only a single player and didn't reset, giving a single game with an unlimited number of balls. In the Glasgow branch they had a Paddock machine, also by Williams.
Members of the UK Pinball League turned up to help support the launch, posing for pictures with the customised machine.
The special edition of Wind/Pinball is available from Waterstones for £12.99 ($20.21/€18.51), and in a more conventional form from other book sellers.
© Pinball News 2015