A wild sheep chase

Hardcover, 299 pages

English language

Published Jan. 4, 1989 by Kodansha International.

ISBN:
978-0-87011-905-7
Copied ISBN!
OCLC Number:
19670739

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (75 reviews)

It begins simply enough: A twenty-something advertising executive receives a postcard from a friend, and casually appropriates the image for an insurance company's advertisement. What he doesn't realize is that included in the pastoral scene is a mutant sheep with a star on its back, and in using this photo he has unwittingly captured the attention of a man in black who offers a menacing ultimatum: find the sheep or face dire consequences. Thus begins a surreal and elaborate quest that takes our hero from the urban haunts of Tokyo to the remote and snowy mountains of northern Japan, where he confronts not only the mythological sheep, but the confines of tradition and the demons deep within himself.

11 editions

A wild sheep chase

4 stars

I first decided to read this book in the original Japanese. In order to do so, I got the English translation, to compare and check my understanding (my Japanese is not so good yet). Very quickly I discovered that the English translation, while obviously telling the same story, is rather a loose interpretation stylistically (there are articles out there explaining these deliberate choices that Murakami himself agreed to). So then I got the French version. The French version is closer to the original text; I was reading the three in tandem, and at around the halfway point, there was a sentence which the English translator translated as : "She changed into a red dress and went home" (he's talking about a woman he was looking at through the window) and the French translator translated as "My girlfriend came back, having changed into a red dress". This piqued my interest, and …

My favorite Murakami Book 🐑

5 stars

Wild Sheep Chase is for me, the perfect version of Murakami's work. The real magic of his work is his ability to easy you into a surreal narrative just slowly enough that you're always engaged but never surprised. Wild Sheep Chase nails that effect so so well. It's honestly one of my favorite books of all time.

No joke this is the one novel I'd suggest to people if they wanted to start with Murakami. I would actually specifically recommend reading this prior to Hear the Wind Sing or Pinball 1973 (the first two parts of the Trilogy of the Rat). I know it sounds a little weird but I think this book is better if you don't have that context the first time through. Then you can have the very gratifying experience of going back to the first two novels and getting all that sweet sweet lore. For me …

Review of 'A Wild Sheep Chase' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

A man has to find a sheep, because a shady secretary is ready to bring down his world if he doesn't. This is no ordinary sheep, either. No, this sheep is something else. For those it has met, in "spiritual communion," their world is forever changed.

This is the third book I've read by Murakami, and it certainly fits a certain formula that is familiar to his other works (I've read "1Q84" and "Kafka On The Shore"). It was a good read. It was a bit slow to start, but Murakami's way of storytelling seems to work as a slow burn with firecrackers starting to go off along the way.

Definitely can see his craft building up into what would be his style in later works.

[Extra notes]

I haven't read the other books in The Rat series, and didn't know it was part of a series initially, but this …

Review of 'A Wild Sheep Chase' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Wow! Murakami has taken a surreal and completely preposterous plot and produced a very interesting book. If you love whale penises and women with ears as much as me then you'll love this too. Pretty sure the book doesn't need any more of a review than that... but I'll waffle on for a bit more.

I find it interesting that in the 3 books by Murakami I have read the only character that has a name is a cat and that was only cos another character demanded it was given one. So far this is my favourite of his books, I find it amazing that somebody can actually come up with a story like this, I'm really looking for to the next book in the Rat series.

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