Where can I get a first european edition of Murakami's Wind Up Bird Chronicles?
November 14, 2006 2:01 PM   Subscribe

I need helping trying to find a first European edition of a Haruki Murakami book.

When my boyfriend was younger, he went on a family trip around Europe. To pass time on the trains, he bought The Wind Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami. I am pretty sure it was a first edition and in hardcover. Unfortunately, he accidentally left his copy on one of the trains.

He got a paperback copy just to finish the book and he still has it but I would like to try to get him a first European edition for Christmas. I am completely fine with getting him a first American edition from alibris or abebooks if I can't locate a european edition, but I kind of want to bring it up to eleven and make it that much more special.

Can anyone suggest ways I can go about obtaining this?
posted by spec80 to Shopping (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I got a signed copy from eBay. Took me 2 years.
posted by four panels at 2:21 PM on November 14, 2006

( How romantic! )
posted by silusGROK at 2:27 PM on November 14, 2006


If you mean English, you probably want the British hardcover edition.
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 3:18 PM on November 14, 2006

You can search by First Edition and Hardback on abe. There only seem to be American first editions on there, from 1997, and the cheapest is $82. This seems to have come out earlier than the UK first edition, judging by the British Library and Bodleian catalogues, which both have copies from 1998.
posted by paduasoy at 3:47 PM on November 14, 2006

Well, this shows how difficult it can be to find reliable bibliographical information on the Internet. I've spent the last 15 minutes trying to track down the publication details of the first European edition, without much success.

However, it looks as though the first UK edition was actually in paperback, published by Harvill in 1998, the year after the American first edition. (The US hardback edition came out under the Knopf imprint, the US paperback under the Vintage imprint.) There are several copies of this Harvill edition currently listed on ABE, at fairly affordable prices.
posted by verstegan at 3:56 PM on November 14, 2006

Certainly with a couple of later Murakami books (Sputnik Sweetheart, After the Quake), Harvill released an 'export' edition for airport bookstores, etc. alongside or even before their standard UK edition. I wonder if they might have done this for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle too, & if so perhaps it's the 'European edition' your boyfriend remembers. ISBN 1860464696 is descibed on one abebooks listing as 'the first UK impression' and has an earlier date on amazon.co.uk than ISBN 186046470X, so that could possibly be the edition you're looking for (both of these are paperbacks, though)...
posted by misteraitch at 1:17 AM on November 15, 2006

I have a trade paperback edition of Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and think this was the first edition available in the UK. (I'll have a look at it tonight.) You are more than welcome to my copy if you really want it, but it's in very bad condition and I also don't think it's what your boyfriend had. I strongly suspect your boyfriend had a softcover with french flaps not a hardback - my other Murakamis are in that format and I'm pretty sure that there are no hardback Harvill Press Murakamis at all. (The Harvill Press soft covers with french flaps are lovely but expensive to produce, and a friend in publishing says that they're part of the reason why Harvill is now a Random House imprint and no longer independent!)
posted by boudicca at 5:52 AM on November 15, 2006

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