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WILDE SCHAFSJAGD - AUDIOBOOK

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Un novel·la de misteri barrejada amb els elements de realisme màgic tan murakamians. L’autor explora en aquesta novel·la detectivesca, farcida de diàlegs brillants i hiliarants, la identitat cultural japonesa després de la Segona Guerra Mundial. Amb la col.laboració de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament de Cultura.


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Un novel·la de misteri barrejada amb els elements de realisme màgic tan murakamians. L’autor explora en aquesta novel·la detectivesca, farcida de diàlegs brillants i hiliarants, la identitat cultural japonesa després de la Segona Guerra Mundial. Amb la col.laboració de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament de Cultura.

30 review for WILDE SCHAFSJAGD - AUDIOBOOK

  1. 5 out of 5

    unknown

    Reading Murakami is like experiencing someone else's dream. Trying to review Murakami is like trying to remember your own -- scattered events, confusing narrative lapses, inexplicable elements, petrified whale penises. A series of images: And then you wake up. And wonder what that was all about.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jaci

    A Wild Sheep Chase was the third book that I have read by Murakami. I found out after I finished that it is that third book in "The Trilogy of the Rat". The first two books in this series are now out of print, but after reading A Wild Sheep Chase, I think I have to chase down some used copies of the novels and experience the trilogy in full. I interpreted the novel to be a story of emotion journey more than a story of physical journey. There was an actual journey involved as the main character we A Wild Sheep Chase was the third book that I have read by Murakami. I found out after I finished that it is that third book in "The Trilogy of the Rat". The first two books in this series are now out of print, but after reading A Wild Sheep Chase, I think I have to chase down some used copies of the novels and experience the trilogy in full. I interpreted the novel to be a story of emotion journey more than a story of physical journey. There was an actual journey involved as the main character went in search of the mythical sheep, but the true focus of the book was on the character's emotions. Murakami didn't even give the protagonist (or many of the other characters in the novel) a name. The main character could stand for any one of us. I believe that the mythical sheep can be seen as either "the meaning of life," which sounds cliche but bear with me, or, "what happens when we lose sight of the true meaning of life". Our main character (let's call him Max for discussion's sake) finds himself at the end of his marriage. His wife have left him for a friend of his, and he can't understand what that guy has that he doesn't, since the friend doesn't have a lot of money and he plays the guitar too much. The girlfriend that "Max" hooks up with following the breakup of his marriage is a talented, quirky girl who compliments his own quirks nicely. Yet throughout the relationship, he is obsessed with her ears, a part of her, instead of the whole of her. She, on the other hand, has shown herself to be quite devoted to him, even supporting and joining him on his quest for the sheep. These examples, plus his long-running friendship with his business partner and the company that they ran together, all worked together to form a meaning to his life that "Max" was unable to recognize or embrace. He was on his own sheep chase looking for meaning that he already had. When he finally caught up with The Rat and had their final chat on the mountain, he realized, to a small degree, what he had been doing wrong. The Rat had left everything he knew behind, including a woman who loved him, in search of new environments and new adventure in hope of some new meaning in life. What he ended up doing was forsaking the people and life that cared about him, that gave his existence meaning, and was overtaken by the mythical sheep. The encounter and habitation with the sheep revealed to The Rat that he had wasted his true meaning and life and was now left with an empty existance, when he should have appreciated and found meaning in the path he was originally given. The results for The Rat were thusly catastrophic. "Max", realizing this, leaves the mountainside with no girlfriend, no business, no business partner, and no wife, but with the enlightenment that it is not too late to find meaning in his life. As a side story, the Sheep Professor serves as a microcosm of the larger plot. Having everything he needed in a profession that he loved and a family who cared for him, he gave it all up and sought "the sheep". He had the sheep as a part of him for a period of time, only to lose even that. In the end he was left with nothing except a son who wished that his father had cared more about him. I loved the way that "Max's" emotions were described throughout the novel and how through "Max" we can see the results of not appreciating what we have, and also the overall process of what it is like to develop emotionally and truly realize what is important to us, what fulfills us, and what we need to do to keep those things in our lives.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Hitsuji o meguru boken = A Wild Sheep Chase (The Rat, #3), Haruki Murakami This quasi-detective tale follows an unnamed, chain-smoking narrator and his adventures in Tokyo and Hokkaido in 1978. The story begins when the recently divorced protagonist, an advertisement executive, publishes a photo of a pastoral scene sent to him in a confessional letter by his long lost friend, 'The Rat.' He is contacted by a mysterious man representing 'The Boss,' a central force behind Japan's political and econo Hitsuji o meguru bōken = A Wild Sheep Chase (The Rat, #3), Haruki Murakami This quasi-detective tale follows an unnamed, chain-smoking narrator and his adventures in Tokyo and Hokkaido in 1978. The story begins when the recently divorced protagonist, an advertisement executive, publishes a photo of a pastoral scene sent to him in a confessional letter by his long lost friend, 'The Rat.' He is contacted by a mysterious man representing 'The Boss,' a central force behind Japan's political and economic elite who is now slowly dying. The Boss' secretary tells him that a strange sheep with a star shaped birthmark, pictured in the advertisement, was in some way the secret source of the Boss' power and that he has two months to find that sheep or his career and life will be ruined. The narrator and his girlfriend, who possesses magically seductive and supernaturally perceptive ears, travel to the north of Japan to find that sheep and his vagabond friend. As he discovers that he is chasing an unknowable power that has been exerting its influence for decades, he encounters figures from his own past, unusual characters, and those who have encountered the sheep before. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز پنجم ماه فوریه سال 2017 میلادی عنوان: تعقیب گوسفند وحشی - کتاب 3 - سری موش صحرایی (رت)؛ نویسنده: هاروکی موراکامی؛ مترجم: مهدی غبرایی؛ تهران، نیکونشر، 1392؛ در 360 ص؛ شابک: 9789647253628؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ژاپنی سده 20 م متن پشت جلد: در تعقیب گوسفند وحشی (1989) شخصیت اصلی و راوی، وجود میانمایه‌ ای دارد. شور و شوقی ندارد؛ انگار به خیانت زنش، و سپس جدایی او بی اعتناست، و تنها به این دلیل جلب نامزد تازه‌ اش می‌شود، که گوشش «شگفتی آفرینش» است؛ و هرکس آن را ببیند، در برابرش بی اختیار میشود. با این نکته که در سراسر کتاب، هیچ شخصیتی نام واقعی ندارد، بر این منظر سطحی تاکید میشود. هنگامی که رت، دوست خانه به دوش راوی، عکسی از گوسفندها، در هوکایدو برایش میفرستند، سلسله زنجیر رخدادها به حرکت درمیآیند. عکس گوسفندها، توجه چهره ای نیمه پنهان، که فقط به رییس مشهور است - یکی از مهره های اصلی اسطوره ی نیرومند دنیای زیرزمینی - را به خود جلب میکند، که نیاز مبرمی دارد، تا به یکی از گوسفندهای عکس، دست یابد. رییس، منشی خود را پیش راوی میفرستد، و حالیش میکند، که اگر گوسفند را برایش پیدا نکند، با عواقب وخیمی روبرو خواهد شد. آنچه در پی میآید، سفری فراواقعی (سورئال)، از توکیو به ساپورو، و شمال ژاپن است، هتلی (هتل دلفین)، که انگار از یکی از فیلمهای استنلی کوبریک، سر برآورده، و موجودی ملقب به استاسفند، که در خور فیلمهای دیوید لینچ است. راوی طی این سفر، و در برخورد با رخدادهای فراواقعی، با جهان بینی ساختگیی خود، و تاثیری که بر زندگیش میگذارد، رودررو میشود. پایان نقل از پشت جلد با اصلاح. ا. شربیانی

  4. 5 out of 5

    Megha

    'A Wild Sheep Chase' is a trippy tale with a mix of detective story, myth, fantasy and philosophy. Though it can be enjoyed simply as a fable at its face-value, just a little thought reveals a multi-layered allegory. On one hand, "the sheep" could signify post-war Japan itself. At the same time, the protagonist's sheep chase also ends up being a search for his own identity, his emotions and meaning of his existence. It is as much a physical journey as a spiritual journey. There are also several 'A Wild Sheep Chase' is a trippy tale with a mix of detective story, myth, fantasy and philosophy. Though it can be enjoyed simply as a fable at its face-value, just a little thought reveals a multi-layered allegory. On one hand, "the sheep" could signify post-war Japan itself. At the same time, the protagonist's sheep chase also ends up being a search for his own identity, his emotions and meaning of his existence. It is as much a physical journey as a spiritual journey. There are also several references to Japan's history, its cultural and spiritual beliefs, which fit very smoothly with the obvious western influence and pop-culture allusions. For a multi-layered story, the writing is deceptively simple. It was mainly the last few chapters where the symbolism struck home and left me thinking about the novel long after I had finished reading it. More than the plot, it is the little things about Murakami's writing which make this book memorable. What I am going to remember the most is how Murakami captures the mood of a place or a moment of time. It is as if a room or a rock or wind are really alive and that time, darkness, silence have several characteristics of their own. There is marvelous imagery, astounding descriptions of natural landscape and beautiful metaphors. The lead character is apathetic and mostly emotion-less, yet he does notice the shimmer of water in the sunlight or chirping of birds. He also has an interesting way of looking at mundane things and his thoughts often wander in strange directions. And Murakami's sense of humor is so cute! (PS: If I happen to see a sheep during the next few days, it might creep me out a little. Damn you magic sheep!)

  5. 5 out of 5

    F

    My first Murakami and I really enjoyed it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Smith

    A play on the old saying ‘a wild goose chase', I'm afraid this book reads more like another old saying, ‘a complete waste of time’. It felt to me that a random series of events had been linked together to form a very loose and aimless narrative. I really had no idea what was going on or what I’m supposed to take from this tale. I’m a fan of the author and I believe he’s written some stunning books, my personal favourites (in order) being: 1. 1Q84 2. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle 3. Kafka on the Shore 4 A play on the old saying ‘a wild goose chase', I'm afraid this book reads more like another old saying, ‘a complete waste of time’. It felt to me that a random series of events had been linked together to form a very loose and aimless narrative. I really had no idea what was going on or what I’m supposed to take from this tale. I’m a fan of the author and I believe he’s written some stunning books, my personal favourites (in order) being: 1. 1Q84 2. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle 3. Kafka on the Shore 4. Norwegian Wood Although the order of the first three is interchangeable, depending on my prevailing mood. I should have been forewarned regarding this offering as I’d previously, randomly, read Dance, Dance, Dance which I found incomprehensible. They’re both part of the mini-series of ‘Rat’ books Murakami penned through the 80’s and 90’s and AWSC is the precursor to DDD. I’d rather hoped that the former would provide some structure and some background to the latter but I’m afraid it just didn’t hold my interest sufficiently to fully test this. I found myself drifting off through sections of the book and the whole thing just washed over me without leaving much of an impression at all. So, the answers might have been there... I really don't know. So why two stars and not only one? Well, at heart, this is a detective story and I like detective stories. There are too many unlikely coincidences and shaky plot connections here but Murakami’s natural flow is also evident – it’s easy to read and has some nice lines. Also, I only ever give one star to books I can’t bring myself to finish and I did finish this one. My advice is give this one a miss but do catch up with his better work, you won’t be sorry you did.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Raeleen Lemay

    Read for Popsugar's 2018 Reading Challenge #7: A book set in a country that fascinates you This was my first full-length Murakami novel, and it was fantastic! I was expecting it to be a bit more weird and surreal than it ended up being, but near the end there it definitely got... strange. I sort of lost interest a bit near the end, but all in all I think this was a great book. Something I really liked is how every character is nameless, at least their real names are never mentioned. The narrator, Read for Popsugar's 2018 Reading Challenge #7: A book set in a country that fascinates you This was my first full-length Murakami novel, and it was fantastic! I was expecting it to be a bit more weird and surreal than it ended up being, but near the end there it definitely got... strange. I sort of lost interest a bit near the end, but all in all I think this was a great book. Something I really liked is how every character is nameless, at least their real names are never mentioned. The narrator, his ex-wife, his cat, and his girlfriend (among other characters) are essentially blank slates with no names or faces, and it really added to the overall vibe of the book (some other characters are The Rat, J, The Sheep Man, The Sheep Professor... etc). This book wasn't really about the characters or the plot so much, which sounds really weird and is hard to explain, but I think this wacky style for writing a book just somehow works perfectly for Murakami. I don't know how he does it, but I'll definitely be reading more of his books in the future.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mutasim Billah

    “I don't really know if it's the right thing to do, making new life. Kids grow up, generations take their place. What does it all come to? More hills bulldozed and more ocean fronts filled in? Faster cars and more cats run over? Who needs it?” This is the first book Murakami wrote as a full-time novelist, and his third overall. The third book in the Rat Trilogy, the story revolves around a strange mystery surrounding an enigmatic sheep in Hokkaido, and how the narrator starts on an adventure to f “I don't really know if it's the right thing to do, making new life. Kids grow up, generations take their place. What does it all come to? More hills bulldozed and more ocean fronts filled in? Faster cars and more cats run over? Who needs it?” This is the first book Murakami wrote as a full-time novelist, and his third overall. The third book in the Rat Trilogy, the story revolves around a strange mystery surrounding an enigmatic sheep in Hokkaido, and how the narrator starts on an adventure to find something that even he can't grasp properly. Here, Murakami touches up on themes like right-wing politics in Japan, and ear fetish. Take a dip into this fast-paced mystery with a strange surrealistic undertone, as we smoke Seven Stars and enjoy the dull, cold weather of Sapporo, searching for a long-lost friend.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris Shaffer

    When one is approached by a random person and asked to locate a life form that is physically unable to exist, but which you have a picture of, and you choose to do it because you have to, you know you're in for something fantastical. Part noir thriller, part philosophical daydream, the wild sheep chase moves effortlessly along (partially due to the brilliant translation), and scene by scene we are more and more drawn into the story of soon to be thirty year old J. Philosophical detours into enty When one is approached by a random person and asked to locate a life form that is physically unable to exist, but which you have a picture of, and you choose to do it because you have to, you know you're in for something fantastical. Part noir thriller, part philosophical daydream, the wild sheep chase moves effortlessly along (partially due to the brilliant translation), and scene by scene we are more and more drawn into the story of soon to be thirty year old J. Philosophical detours into entymology, time and space, and the nature of what it means to have arrived just too late abound, and they're actually fun to think about (too much philosophical jargon really gets me going). One of my favorite themes was the notion of silence, especially one that follows some kind of dramatic action. Several times throughout the novel the protagonist finds himself on a room, both alone and with other people, where different kinds of silence rest on things. I was blown away by the different ways one could express a single concept, and in each new description bring a completely new meaning to the word. For example, "The silence was not unlike the feeling one could get when the last curtain closes after a performance, the audience now gone, and the janitor, perhaps a man in his fifties with a wheeze, stands for a moment to inspect the job before getting on with the sweeping." Or: "A silence hung in the room as if a window, open since earlier in the day, had finally been shut, the dust now settling onto the furniture." You see what I mean. It's little things in this book. And things that are not said. Those always get me. Ultimately, this was a very satisfying read, and I highly recommend it. And I'm probably going to read others.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chris_P

    I wrote the following review two and a half years ago. Now that I've read A Wild Sheep Chase again, I don't think there's any need to change anything. Or maybe there's a great need to do so, I'm not sure. In any case, I'd rather put Benny Goodman's Airmail Special and breathe in deep the spring evening air. On the back cover of this special 3D edition of "The Wild Sheep Chase", there's this quote by The Washington Post which goes like this: "Lean forward and topple headlong into magic". Well, it I wrote the following review two and a half years ago. Now that I've read A Wild Sheep Chase again, I don't think there's any need to change anything. Or maybe there's a great need to do so, I'm not sure. In any case, I'd rather put Benny Goodman's Airmail Special and breathe in deep the spring evening air. On the back cover of this special 3D edition of "The Wild Sheep Chase", there's this quote by The Washington Post which goes like this: "Lean forward and topple headlong into magic". Well, it couldn't be more aptly put! You know when you read something which as a story, is not particularly great, and yet deep inside you find it amazing? It's like there are two parts of you that simultaneously read the story. The pragmatistic part, that interprets what you read in a matter-of-fact way, and the emotional part that sort of does so in a more inner and abstract fashion that you can't really put your finger on. For instance (and this is only a minor spoiler, so don't worry), the part where the girlfriend leaves the house on the mountain, made me feel inexplicably sad. Though Murakami doesn't seem to deliberately try to make you feel sad at that particular point, I felt genuine and pure sadness. Like a reflective reaction. I really hope what I'm trying to say gets through so far. This is the third book of The Rat series and Murakami's third novel overall. Like any of his works, this one can be read in two ways: as a modern fairytale about a man on a quest to find a special sheep, or as an allegory of a modern person's quest to find the meaning of life. Choosing the former (although it's not so much a matter of choice), one misses a lot and probably ends up baffled and frustrated. Many of Murakami's stereotypic allegorical themes are there. Unnamed characters for instance which, the way I see it, is a way to portray the also unnamed protagonist's detachment from everyone. Indeed our hero, like most of Murakami's heroes, shows a tendency to avoid emotional connections. Not even his cat has a name, until a secondary character gives it one. What's more, there is a constant uncertainty throughout the book of what is real and what is not, as realistic facts mingle with... not so realistic facts. There is even a point toward the end where the main protagonist is unsure of who and why he really is. These elements really hit home and are the main reason Murakami gets so much praise from me. Trying to rationalize everything you read in this book won't work, so don't waste your time. You should rather let your inner eye read this amazing story about sheep. Trust me, you never know what you might discover within the pages of "The Wild Sheep Chase".

  11. 4 out of 5

    carol.

    An interesting read, three and a half stars for beauty in language. While I can't say I "really liked it" in the "will re-read one day" sense, I appreciated the richness of the ideas and language offered. I normally tend to devour a book in two or three sittings, but this was a book that worked well reading three or four chapters a night, breaking into small, choice pieces. Although there is a mystery that drives the plot, I would hesitate to say that is the focus of the book, so I didn't feel l An interesting read, three and a half stars for beauty in language. While I can't say I "really liked it" in the "will re-read one day" sense, I appreciated the richness of the ideas and language offered. I normally tend to devour a book in two or three sittings, but this was a book that worked well reading three or four chapters a night, breaking into small, choice pieces. Although there is a mystery that drives the plot, I would hesitate to say that is the focus of the book, so I didn't feel like I lost tension or details. Murakami seems to work best for me when savored in little bites with the opportunity to linger over phrasing, rather than reading for plot or conflict resolution. I also couldn't escape the nagging feeling that I was missing considerable subtext, as I know almost nothing about Japanese history, or even culture. It had very Vonnegut or Kafka overtones, where there is potentially digressive philosophical musing, and whose impact is strengthened by underlying meaning. I enjoyed the book, and didn't even feel that it was particularly unrealistic, as other reviewers have charged. I know those kind of people that get into existential discussions with taxi drivers, if not chauffeurs. One of the only aspects that bothered me what the emotional depression of the narrator. While I'm sure it was intentional, it made it hard to sustain interest in him as a character study. I suppose that could have been the point--just another nameless, disenfranchised person passing out of his twenties and distanced from everything of meaning in life. Nonetheless, Murakami and the translator achieved really wonderous feats with their word choices, and have a knack for gestalt description, for crafting line upon line that builds a priceless whole. It's given me courage to attack my long-unread copy of The Wind-up Bird Chronicles. Favorite lines: At the pinnacle of this tower was affixed a decorative lightning rod. A mistake. Lightning was meant to strike the building and burn it down. The sofa was an unappealing orange, the sort of orange you'd get by leaving a choicely sunburnt (sic) weaving out in the rain for a week, then throwing it into the cellar until it mildewed. This was an orange from the early days of Technicolor. "Haven't those ears of yours gotten the message yet?" "No message for the time being," she said, eating her simmered fish and miso soup. "That much I know. I only get despairing messages when I'm confused or feeling some mental pinch. But that's not the case now." The children were quiet too. They sat still and stared out the window. Occasionally, someone coughed with a dry rasp that sounded like a mummy tapped on the head with a pair of tongs.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eh?Eh!

    Thank you again, brian tanabe! Books like these, I feel like a child who has finally graduated to the grown-up table only to find that the cultery is too big and sharp, the edge of the table is level with my eyes, and the conversation always above my head. But no! I refuse to be demoted back to the kids' table with all the babies! I wanna eat here and contribute to the discussions about whether a vacation home in Hawaii or the SE islands would be better (so boring...zzzz....) and did you catch wh Thank you again, brian tanabe! Books like these, I feel like a child who has finally graduated to the grown-up table only to find that the cultery is too big and sharp, the edge of the table is level with my eyes, and the conversation always above my head. But no! I refuse to be demoted back to the kids' table with all the babies! I wanna eat here and contribute to the discussions about whether a vacation home in Hawaii or the SE islands would be better (so boring...zzzz....) and did you catch when the bridesmaid tripped and fell on the groom hahahaha oops there's a kid here (*eyes snap open* what?) and the land war brewing in Asia and, and, whatever it is grown-ups talk about. Which is still mysterious to me. I'm reminded of when I tried to read The Crying of Lot 49 with Elizabeth and Ceridwen (you're supposed to flip back and forth between their posted reviews to get the full conversation). It was such a treat to listen to them tear into the book! I didn't understand a word of it! Pass the peas, please. The confusion Pynchon brought was similar to the confusion from Murakami for me, but I tried to watch for all those double-meaning grown-up things for this book. With the main character and mysterious Boss in a tightly controlled advertising industry, sheep everywhere, a girlfriend with special ears, and a quest to find the meaning of a certain photo, I think it may be something about control of information and loss of individual will that comes with lack of accurate facts? Well. Maybe. I wasn't sure about the significance of the disolving of the main character's patched-together life at the beginning. At the end, I wondered if the character had gone insane. The magic-y bits were unexpected. I wonder if it would be better to ramp up to Murakami, since I've always had difficulty with English and Literature classes in school and then all my training and work is for such literal things, where metaphors are not used and a sheep is just an animal that requires passage from field to stream. After reading reviews of others who love Murakami (notably, BenH), I know I'm missing much beauty and meaning. But then I read something like this, http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/39456993, and I feel better. In my larval stage of lit appreciation, it's too easy to attempt to take on other opinions instead of concentrating on my own. Another reason for loving gr, all the varying loves and hates for the same things.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Auggie

    Creepy.....as....hades. But that's why I loved it!!! I'm serious. This book was so creepy it had me wiggling around in my seat in discomfort. Yet, I was absolutely captivated! I couldn't put the book down! If you're a reader looking for a book that will take you more than one read to truly grasp, then this is the book for you. It had my brain churning and my fingers tapping with nervous energy. I'm not going to give a bit of a run-down of the book as I've done in previous reviews mostly because it w Creepy.....as....hades. But that's why I loved it!!! I'm serious. This book was so creepy it had me wiggling around in my seat in discomfort. Yet, I was absolutely captivated! I couldn't put the book down! If you're a reader looking for a book that will take you more than one read to truly grasp, then this is the book for you. It had my brain churning and my fingers tapping with nervous energy. I'm not going to give a bit of a run-down of the book as I've done in previous reviews mostly because it would sound too convoluted out of context. All you really need to know is our main character is forced to go chase a non-existent sheep out in the cold country. He gets trapped on a mountain, in a creepy cabin, all alone, and is occasionally visited by a sheep-man. There you go. Murakami's imagery is rich and the meaning of his works heavy and grey, like a cloud hanging right over your head while the sun shines everywhere else. He is not an "IN YOUR FACE" horror master. He's the type that likes to really get under your skin in a very subtle way so that he has unguarded access to your subconscious. When he gets there he gets busy digging and thrashing around and without suspecting it... you're suddenly disturbed. I honestly have no complaints about this book. To be truthful, I really need to read it a few more times to better gather an understanding for the work. As a piece of pure entertainment it's thrilling, as a work of intellect it's probing and there are quite a few exchanges in the book that make you say "Wait... What?" You wish you had the option to raise your hand and ask for an explanation. A Wild Sheep Chase is a love child of myth and philosophy and there's plenty to decipher along the literary journey from cover to cover. That's what's so nice about it, and it's what makes this book a fantastic one for a book club that's really looking for some grit to grind. The sheep-man is probably my favorite character, though he's undoubtedly the most bizarre and unsettling. He shows up randomly and you're never quite sure if he's real or not. You're never completely positive that the main character hasn't lost his mind. Near the end of the book you're not even completely positive that you haven't lost your mind. Doesn't that make a darn good book?! Highly recommend this work. ABSOLUTELY.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mariel

    I wish I could have written about Murakami's A Wild Sheep Chase here when I'd read it. I wish that goodreads was around back then. The magical and plain old world as we know it life through best teacher voice (this is my favorite kind of voice because I'm a confused person) that made the every day seem full of possibilities. Sinister possibilities as well as good ones. That's my favorite kind of thing, the ability to make that stuff interesting, with easy humor. I'm really into the build-up of t I wish I could have written about Murakami's A Wild Sheep Chase here when I'd read it. I wish that goodreads was around back then. The magical and plain old world as we know it life through best teacher voice (this is my favorite kind of voice because I'm a confused person) that made the every day seem full of possibilities. Sinister possibilities as well as good ones. That's my favorite kind of thing, the ability to make that stuff interesting, with easy humor. I'm really into the build-up of the little things. Just something worth living and writing about, mental connections and wave lengths. I dug the off-kilter off the map stuff not as (sur)reality, but a new voice in my head. It's not hard to relate to being confused about the future. Murakami has written some of my favorite narrarators I've ever read, the kinds of guys that remind me of best friends (or friends I would have, if I ever met people like that). Like from a line in one of his books [probably Norwegian Wood D'oh it was Sputnik Sweetheart! My memory picks the most inconvenient times to correct my gr reviews (such as when I'm trying to sleep).] about having a friend you could call up at three in the morning and talk about anything. I can't remember everything I thought about it (it must be time for a reread), but I remember very well that elusive things almost making sense and being restless 'cause I couldn't feel like that all of the time. There's something about Haruki Murakami that makes me want to just go somewhere. Those are the strong feelings in my memory gut, and why I'd not hesitate to name A Wild Sheep chase as one of my favorite books. It made me feel something outside of the book, a moving for something... The sequel Dance, Dance, Dance was not as good to me as A Wild Sheep Chase. What I felt I was almost getting was nowhere to be found (I'll have to review this one sometime because I had a lot of nagging thoughts about the so-called fantasy life of prostitutes. Murakami's later work After Dark is not so short sighted). The prequel Hear the Wind Sing I had to buy from ebay in early '00s. I felt most keenly a longing for something more than really being moved. I really wanted to go somewhere, I recall. Curse my fleeting memory and confused inner voice. My twin and I sent our brother a post card of a sheep with a drawn on black star on its butt. He devoured every Murakami he could get his hands on. It's too bad I can't send goodreaders sheep postcards.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Neil

    Haruki Murakami ran a jazz club in Tokyo prior to his career as an author. And it’s not just the presence of music in his novels that provides evidence of that. It’s also the books themselves which have a very “jazz like” feel to them. Murakami himself has said: "It's kind of a free improvisation. I never plan. I never know what the next page is going to be. Many people don't believe me. But that's the fun of writing a novel or a story, because I don't know what's going to happen next. I'm searc Haruki Murakami ran a jazz club in Tokyo prior to his career as an author. And it’s not just the presence of music in his novels that provides evidence of that. It’s also the books themselves which have a very “jazz like” feel to them. Murakami himself has said: "It's kind of a free improvisation. I never plan. I never know what the next page is going to be. Many people don't believe me. But that's the fun of writing a novel or a story, because I don't know what's going to happen next. I'm searching for melody after melody. Sometimes once I start, I can't stop. It's just like spring water. It comes out so naturally, so easily." An approach like that means there is plenty of opportunity to riff on a theme, to digress, to take sudden turns for no apparent reason, to go back and forwards. In fact, to read this book feels rather like being in someone’s head as they are dreaming. There’s a girl who is quite ordinary until she exposes her ears when she becomes extraordinarily attractive and who directs a lot of the action by her powers of intuition. There’s a shadowy presence of a man known only as Boss. There’s a race against time in which nothing happens for prolonged periods. The dreamlike quality of the book is increased by the fact that the narrator often seems to have decisions made for him but then ends up in a conversation where his actions have been aimed at a specific objective: at one point he apparently randomly smashes a guitar to pieces and then later provides an explanation for this almost like a dream where you rationalise weird behaviour by bizarre explanations that make sense within the dream. There are mysterious letters from an old acquaintance (The Rat after whom the trilogy of which this is the last part is named) including a photograph of a sheep. There’s a man in a sheep costume. There’s a Sheep Professor. As you would expect in a book called A Wild Sheep Chase, sheep play an important role. But the exact nature of that role isn’t quite clear. Further evidence of the dream-like nature of the book. It could be that a sheep is in charge. Of everything. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable read, probably enhanced by Murakami’s improvisational approach. If the author doesn’t know from page to page where the story is going, there is not really any way the reader can second-guess him! Although when someone is instructed to connect the green wire to the green wire and the red wire to the red wire, you do sort of know where that particular action is going to lead. It's the sort of genre bending/mixing that Murakami does like no one else. You either love him or hate him. For me, it's the former.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barry Pierce

    The third novel in the Trilogy of the Rat sees our unnamed narrator go on his most ambitious and frenzied journey yet. Boiling the deranged plot down to its simplest terms, it is about a man trying to find a sheep. A Wild Sheep Chase is something of a love letter to Thomas Pynchon, or at least that's how I read it. The plot is quite similar to that of The Crying of Lot 49 (an ordinary person accidentally stumbles upon a very dark secret, they see the same mysterious symbol everywhere, there's a The third novel in the Trilogy of the Rat sees our unnamed narrator go on his most ambitious and frenzied journey yet. Boiling the deranged plot down to its simplest terms, it is about a man trying to find a sheep. A Wild Sheep Chase is something of a love letter to Thomas Pynchon, or at least that's how I read it. The plot is quite similar to that of The Crying of Lot 49 (an ordinary person accidentally stumbles upon a very dark secret, they see the same mysterious symbol everywhere, there's a cast of truly strange characters, nothing really makes sense) but it's a much breezier and lighter tale. It's not a novel I'd call particularity deep, but it's a lot of fun.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー

    Was this a good book? Hell yes Was this Murakami's best? No, but he does hold high standards for himself. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely Was I confused since I read the third in this series first? Definitely, but it's Murakami so it might have been more confusing had I known the backstories. Do I remember any of the plot? Nope. Was the man dressed as a sheep/sheep man scary? Yeeep. Would I recommend this book? Definitely. I loved it. Can't remember why, or how, but it was good. 11/10 would read again. Courtesy of Was this a good book? Hell yes Was this Murakami's best? No, but he does hold high standards for himself. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely Was I confused since I read the third in this series first? Definitely, but it's Murakami so it might have been more confusing had I known the backstories. Do I remember any of the plot? Nope. Was the man dressed as a sheep/sheep man scary? Yeeep. Would I recommend this book? Definitely. I loved it. Can't remember why, or how, but it was good. 11/10 would read again. Courtesy of Jen's mini reviews

  18. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    I read this in 2007? 2008? and was able to get all the way through the book without rolling my eyes so hard I could see my brain. The plot kept me moving briskly from event to event, the characters were flat and obnoxious as usual. I'll never voluntarily pick up a Murakami book again, but if you're looking for one to start with, I'd say do it here. It's in no way necessary to have read others in this series, loosely defined, though it's always possible I simply missed maaaaaaaarvelous enrichments I read this in 2007? 2008? and was able to get all the way through the book without rolling my eyes so hard I could see my brain. The plot kept me moving briskly from event to event, the characters were flat and obnoxious as usual. I'll never voluntarily pick up a Murakami book again, but if you're looking for one to start with, I'd say do it here. It's in no way necessary to have read others in this series, loosely defined, though it's always possible I simply missed maaaaaaaarvelous enrichments of my entertainment by not having read them. But I really doubt it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Zenmoon

    Our hand-reared cockatiel is on borrowed time if she continues to peck lumps off the books on my Murakami shelf. Clearly, she likes his books as well (but for different reasons than me). She moved from 1Q84 (unread), to this book, as the little bite marks attest. Vacuum the paper trail. Breathe. Ahhhhhhhhh. Oh my goodness, every time I read this man I swoon with admiration. There’s something extremely comforting for me, knowing I’m in the hands of a masterful technician of the written word like M Our hand-reared cockatiel is on borrowed time if she continues to peck lumps off the books on my Murakami shelf. Clearly, she likes his books as well (but for different reasons than me). She moved from 1Q84 (unread), to this book, as the little bite marks attest. Vacuum the paper trail. Breathe. Ahhhhhhhhh. Oh my goodness, every time I read this man I swoon with admiration. There’s something extremely comforting for me, knowing I’m in the hands of a masterful technician of the written word like Murakami. The crazy loon stuff he writes could really backfire in the hands of some writers. Witness here: sheep angling for a supreme power base, over humans; a girlfriend whose ears, when exposed, increase sexual pleasure to such an extent that you wish you could reach into this nutty world and retrieve a boxful of them; a Mafioso type boss, who (via his strange secretary) insists the protagonist, Boku, find a mysterious lone sheep with a star on its back, despite having not a lead in the world to go on; the sheep professor, just a tad obsessive you’d say, near buried in everything ever written with a whiff of the ovine about it; the sheep man (hitsuji-otoko), a depressive, apparently ‘clothed’ in a suit, yet through which extrudes two horns; a chauffeur who casually offers up the phone number of God (yet doesn’t appear in the slightest bit delusional when he says he speaks to him on the phone, nightly); and a friend called rat who instigates the sheep hunt (indirectly), yet is actually dead. Sheep extravaganza. It’s all whacky, yet it carries the illusion of truth. That’s the art. Murakami makes you believe him, and this is why it works. After I wrote this, I looked up what Jay Rubin (one of his translators) had to say about the book, in Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words. He quotes Murakami, who for the first time in his career, had researched his subject, traveling Japan, immersing himself in all things sheep (so to speak): 'As I wrote A Wild Sheep Chase I came to feel strongly that a story, a monogatari, is not something you create. It is something that you pull out of yourself. The story is already there, inside you. You can’t make it, you can only bring it out. This is true for me, at least: it is the story’s spontaneity. For me, a story is a vehicle that takes the reader somewhere. Whatever information you may try to convey, whatever you may try to open the reader’s emotions to, the first thing you have to do is get them in the vehicle. And the vehicle – the story – the monogatari – must have the power to make people believe. These above all are the conditions that a story must fulfil'. You might say he’s successfully loaded us into the vehicle. What’s more, we just learnt the Japanese word for story. There are just so many things that I’m captivated by in Murakami’s books - in this novel as much as his others that I’ve read - that I don’t know where to begin. His work warrants PhD level analysis, and I recently downloaded one, I’m that intrigued by him. Understandably, he is a frequent on many University syllabuses, including mine. His characters are living, breathing, eating, travelling, sexual beings, he infuses so much movement into them; one of the pivotal markers of establishing believable characters. Even in their pauses, you see them: ‘A brief silence ensued. In that interval, I picked the lint from a shirt button and with a ballpoint pen drew thirteen stars on a memo pad.’ I’m enthralled with his relentless wrestling with dualism (evidenced in his preference for tandem narratives, which eventually inform one another and overlap) and he’s near perfectly adept at conjuring alternate realities that you wish you could stop off in, on the way home from the shops. Oh rave, rave, rave. I’m also continually in awe at the ease with which Murakami uses language. There are no wasted words. Nothing feels superfluous or excessive; he has a supreme sense of structure, and timing. And there’s always a deliciously ominous undercurrent which courses through his work, a hint of mystical foreboding that keeps you slightly on the edge. I’ve learned to expect the unexpected. Just when you fear there might be predictability (as in: will Boku follow suit and ring God), Murakami creeps up behind you with an inflated paper bag and an outstretched hand. Mix in some sardonic humour, quasi-cultural commentary, and a lasting contemplation of all the big themes – ‘the meaning of life and death, the nature of reality, the search for identity, the relationship of mind to time and memory’ (Rubin, 90) and truly, he has a winning combination. Witness Boku, and sexy ear girl, at the movies: ‘The films were exemplars of the dreadful. The sort of films where you feel like turning around and walking out the instant the title comes on after the roaring MGM lion. Amazing that films like that exist. The first was the occult feature. The devil, who lives in the dripping, dank cellar of the town church and manipulates things through the weak preacher, takes over the town. The real question, though, was why the devil wanted to take over the town in the first place. All it was was a miserable nothing of a few blocks surrounded by cornfields’ (161). Murakami is my hands down, all bets off, favourite novelist. A writer so postmodern he makes postmodernism seem like yesterday’s stale popcorn. Fortunately, I have many unread novels of his to work through, all perched up there expectantly on our cockatiel's favourite shelf (seriously). When I reach the end, I’m sure it will feel like I’m finishing all the seasons of something bent yet realist, like Six Feet Under, and being bummed out that I’ve watched it, sorry that it’s now in the past tense. Murakami’s still in my present, and when I’ve worked my way through his corpus I shall turn around and start the process all over again

  20. 5 out of 5

    username

    This is not an easy book to read, review or discuss. You will either love it or hate it (more likely - never read it). I liked it. The swirling, kaleidoscopic imagery with freely overlapping of the physical and the metaphysical, the real and the imaginary, the utterly sane and the completely cuckoo makes us question what is real and what is not. For a tranquil setup, the Prelude (the first 7 pages) whizzed by before I even realized. And I was appropriately intrigued. By page 20, I don’t know wha This is not an easy book to read, review or discuss. You will either love it or hate it (more likely - never read it). I liked it. The swirling, kaleidoscopic imagery with freely overlapping of the physical and the metaphysical, the real and the imaginary, the utterly sane and the completely cuckoo makes us question what is real and what is not. For a tranquil setup, the Prelude (the first 7 pages) whizzed by before I even realized. And I was appropriately intrigued. By page 20, I don’t know what clicked, but I was hooked. And by page 42, the beginning of a “wild adventure” was imminent - the wild sheep chase was about to begin. Plot: The chain-smoking, freshly divorced protagonist with a nihilistic streak has unknowingly attracted the attention of some very powerful people. The reason: He published an innocuous bulletin in which he used “an ordinary photograph of Hokkaido landscape - clouds and mountains and grassy pastures and sheep, superimposed with lines of an undistinguished pastoral verse.” Of course, while the photograph was ordinary, one of the sheep was not. The protagonist is then given a month to find that special sheep. And should he fail, “the world will hold no place” for you [him] ever.” But why? What’s so special about that sheep? The answers (along with more puzzling questions) begin to trickle in as the protagonist meets the Sheep Professor, hears the mythic sheep story, sees the Sheep Man and finally sits down to have beer with The Rat. (I did say cuckoo, didn't I?) A pictorial depiction of the plot would look like this. But what really kept me glued to the book was the language of the book. It is so beautiful, it almost has a surreal feel to it. One is left wondering: How much of the beauty is lost (and gained) in translation? The narration is sprinkled with crisp, luxuriously vivid descriptions of everyday activities, sights, sounds and emotions: -the simple lighting of a cigarette: “The tip of the cigarette crackled dryly as its lavender smoke formed a tracery in the morning light.” (pg 16) -snowfall: “An awfully silent snow,...neither hard nor sticky wet. Pirouetting down slowly from the sky, melting before it amounted to anything. The kind of tranquil snow that makes you close your eyes, gently.” (pg 270) Or the melting of snow after which the “birds sang as if set free.”(pg 259) -the texture and quality of silence: “...silence that rolled like oil into every corner.” (pg 258) “Particles of silence floated about the room for the longest time.” (pg 186) -loneliness: “Loneliness wasn’t such a bad feeling. It was like the stillness of the pin oak after the little birds had flown off.” (pg 246) ----------------------------------------------------------------------- I will leave you with a few lines that stayed with me: “Her face had no expression, like a photograph of a sunken city on the ocean floor.” (pg 16) “A month had passed by since I agreed to the divorce and she moved out. A non-month. Unfocused and unfelt, a lukewarm protoplasm of a month.” (pg 20) “Time. Particles of darkness configured mysterious patterns on my retina. Patterns that degenerated without a sound, only to be replaced by new patterns. Darkness but darkness alone was shifting, like mercury in motionless space.” “... three plump pigeons blurbed mindlessly away. Something had to be on their minds to be going on like that, maybe the pain from the corns on their feet, who knows? From the pigeons’ point of view, probably it was I who looked mindless.” And a few trippy ones: “It is rather our role to take what unrealistic factors that exist and to work them into a more sophisticated form that might be grounded in the grand scheme of reality. The doing of men runs into unrealities. Why is that?”... “Because it appears simpler. Added to which, there are circumstances whereby unrealities contrives to create an impression that overwhelms reality.” (pg 54) (This still gives me a brain-ache.) “...sandwiched as we are between the “everything” that is behind us and the “zero” beyond us, ours is a [an] ephemeral existence in which there is neither coincidence nor possibility.” (pg 60) “...Not that it matters much. It’s like the doughnut holes. Whether you take a doughnut hole as blank space or as an entity unto itself is a purely metaphysical question and does not affect the taste of the doughnut one bit.” (pg 61) “If a group of aliens were to stop me and ask, “Say, bud, how many miles an hour does the earth spin at the equator?” I’d be in a fix. Hell, I don’t even know why Wednesday follows Tuesday. I’d be an intergalactic joke.” (pg 126) “With my eyes closed, I could hear hundreds of elves sweeping out my head with their tiny brooms. They kept sweeping and sweeping. It never occurred to any of them to use a dustpan.” And of course, the Worm Universe : “In the worm universe, there is nothing unusual about a dairy cow seeking a pair of pliers. A cow is bound to get her pliers sometime. It has nothing to do with me. Yet the fact that the cow chose me to obtain to obtain her pliers changes everything. This plunges me into a whole universe of alternative considerations. And in this universe of alternative considerations, the major problem is that everything becomes protracted and complex. I ask the cow, “ Why do you want pliers?” And the cow answers, “I’m really hungry.” So I ask, “Why do you need pliers if you are hungry?” The cow answers, “To attach them to the branches of the peach tree.” I ask, “Why a peach tree?” To which the cow replies, “Well, that’s why I traded away my fan, isn’t it?” And so on and so forth. The thing is never resolved. I begin to resent the cow and the cow begins to resent me. That’s the worm’s eye view of its universe.” (pg 67) ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Questions: Was this a real journey, or a spiritual one? Is the sheep a metaphor? For what? Is the sheep good/evil? Is the sheep God/Satan? Where does the journey’s physicality end and the metaphysicality begin? Or do they run parallel? Answers welcome.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    I wasn't all that impressed with this book. I love Murakami and have read three other books by him. The ideas in this book are good and some of them kept me thinking and even inspired me to write about them, but the themes took over the book and the plot and characters suffered. I found myself only finishing it in hopes that somehow I would end up being impressed by it, as I was with the Wind Up Bird Chronicle. Whta I did really like about it and this can be said of all his writing is that the s I wasn't all that impressed with this book. I love Murakami and have read three other books by him. The ideas in this book are good and some of them kept me thinking and even inspired me to write about them, but the themes took over the book and the plot and characters suffered. I found myself only finishing it in hopes that somehow I would end up being impressed by it, as I was with the Wind Up Bird Chronicle. Whta I did really like about it and this can be said of all his writing is that the story and characters don't seem to take place in any reality. It's this world floating around in space where it seems normal but in fact doesn't rely on normal laws of physics. For this I will read more by him but never again The Wild Sheep Chase.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Caro the Helmet Lady

    I was reading Murakami before it was cool. cough, cough I've read this book for the first time 10 years ago. It was my first Murakami and I fell in love. And since then I started tracing down and devouring everything that he's written and what was translated into any language I could understand. I was successful. So successful that I actually run out of Murakami. So for some time now I was feeling like rereading some of his novels, especially A Wild Sheep Chase and was a bit afraid of disappointm I was reading Murakami before it was cool. cough, cough I've read this book for the first time 10 years ago. It was my first Murakami and I fell in love. And since then I started tracing down and devouring everything that he's written and what was translated into any language I could understand. I was successful. So successful that I actually run out of Murakami. So for some time now I was feeling like rereading some of his novels, especially A Wild Sheep Chase and was a bit afraid of disappointment that might come together with it. The freshness could be gone and the element of magical "first contact" too. Have you seen The Murakami Bingo by Grant Snider? It's somewhere here among GR reviews too, but in case you haven't seen it here you are. You're welcome!! Yeah, while it's very funny, it has a point. Murakami bakes his cakes with same elements every time, let's be honest here. Although it doesn't stop them from being freaking delicious. So I had my doubts. But with buddy reads encouragement (thank you Orient!), trembling hands and fainting heart (hehe, yeah sure) I started turning pages... And I found out that while The Bingo is damn RIGHT yet AGAIN, I enjoyed the novel as much as I did the first time. It was seemingly simple. It was weird, it was funny, it was creepy. It was crazy. I loved it. And I'm not sure, if it's an influence of anime or Japanese dorama, but I kept hearing the characters talking in my head in Japanese, with specific intonations and voices... Or maybe it's the Sheep in my head, taking over... P.S. For more Grant Snider stuff go and check here: http://www.incidentalcomics.com/, he's awesome!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gregor Xane

    Murakami's books are very hard for me to review/write about. Before I sat down to write this, I went back to look at my reviews for the other works I've read by him. They weren't helpful in the least. Two of the reviews were extremely brief and for the other book, it appears that I just left a star rating and went on with my life. So, I guess I'll start by saying that Murakami has moved into my list of favorite authors. His writing style is so smooth, so idiosyncratic, and his subject matter is s Murakami's books are very hard for me to review/write about. Before I sat down to write this, I went back to look at my reviews for the other works I've read by him. They weren't helpful in the least. Two of the reviews were extremely brief and for the other book, it appears that I just left a star rating and went on with my life. So, I guess I'll start by saying that Murakami has moved into my list of favorite authors. His writing style is so smooth, so idiosyncratic, and his subject matter is such an odd mix of the mundane and the otherworldly, that I'm consistently impressed and mystified. I can never figure out how he's achieving any of his effects, and, more importantly, as I'm reading, I simply don't care. I don't know how he makes scenes about getting dressed or making dinner fascinating. I don't know how he makes me care about his oddball characters and their ridiculous, obtuse conversations. I don't know how he keeps me interested in a story about people being possessed by a sheep. But he does. And I guess that's what's important.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Farhana Sufi

    Murakami is not everyone's cup of tea. His books are mostly depressing.. with desolate characters, mostly men, men who do not know where their life is heading, why they are doing what they are doing, men who have women in their lives quite easily, and are not as terribly lonely in a physical way as they are mentally. The women in his books are in short - aloof; women who are independent, strong-willed, leave when they want to, wherever they want to, how they want to. Women who are also lonely and Murakami is not everyone's cup of tea. His books are mostly depressing.. with desolate characters, mostly men, men who do not know where their life is heading, why they are doing what they are doing, men who have women in their lives quite easily, and are not as terribly lonely in a physical way as they are mentally. The women in his books are in short - aloof; women who are independent, strong-willed, leave when they want to, wherever they want to, how they want to. Women who are also lonely and have trouble opening up to anyone. Why do people, or rather I, read Murakami then? Why read his stories knowing that they will throw you in the deepest of depressions? Because, Murakami grows on you. It is his easy and clear style of expressing an emotion, the perfect description of an everyday thought and event is what attracts me. This book in particular has a beautiful description (too long to quote) of someone wandering through a new city, and how it slips from being interesting to well known corners to rather boring. As I like wandering along new cities, I found this extremely relatable. Although this is the third book in Murakami's 'The Rat' series. The books in the series have the same nameless protagonist and refer to his friend 'The Rat' but are stand-alones in a way. This book was sort of co-read with my huge Murakami fan friend. We began last year, then I progressed, but he was lost in depression and then I stopped and during my long depressions he finished it. Then I picked it up again. And here I am. I began reading the series about "The Rat" with the last (4th and the latest) one. And now that I have read the third book, I think I will continue to read it in the reverse order. :) I really liked the ending of this book. Unexpected and refreshing, in my opinion.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Edward Lorn

    3.5 stars rounded down due to some annoyances. In his memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami says that A Wild Sheep Chase was his first serious crack at writing a novel. He'd published two lesser works, (Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973, both of which are collected in Wind/Pinball: Two Novels), but he does not consider them up to his standards. Having now read his first three novels, I'm comfortable saying, Mr. Murakami is correct. This novel is a far superior pro 3.5 stars rounded down due to some annoyances. In his memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami says that A Wild Sheep Chase was his first serious crack at writing a novel. He'd published two lesser works, (Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973, both of which are collected in Wind/Pinball: Two Novels), but he does not consider them up to his standards. Having now read his first three novels, I'm comfortable saying, Mr. Murakami is correct. This novel is a far superior product when stacked against his first two. I did appreciate the Easter eggs laid with regard to those first two novels, though. It was fun making the connections, as much as fun as connecting, say, any one of Stephen King's works to the Dark Tower. For that reason alone, I suggest picking up Wind/Pinball: Two Novels. There was one bit of annoyance I had with this one, and that was with the dialogue of a certain character. HewritesthedialoguealllikethisandseveraltimesIhadtorereadwholebitsofdialoguebecausetherewerenospacesbetweenwordsbecausethecharactertalkssofast. Did you catch all that without any trouble? Then you shouldn't have a problem with this one. The story itself is your typical Murakami fare, so if you dig Murakami, you should dig this one. However, I don't suggest starting here. In summation: I'm cutting an entire 1.5 stars because of how that character's dialogue was written. It took me out of the story and made me dread seeing that character pop back up. Other than that, this is a good book. Much better than his first two. The ending is especially worth the read. Final Judgment: whythefuckwouldyouwritedialoguelikethis???

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Banks

    Notes of true brilliance, combined with whimsical moments that fell somewhat flat. I adore Murakami. I don't think there's any writer out there quite like him (aside from maybe David Mitchell, who obviously was heavily inspired by him). The Wind Up Bird Chronicle is one of my favourite books ever. So, as you might imagine, I had high hopes for this one. Regrettably, it didn't quite hit the mark for me. It's about a guy (don't think we ever learn his name), on literally a 'wild sheep chase', search Notes of true brilliance, combined with whimsical moments that fell somewhat flat. I adore Murakami. I don't think there's any writer out there quite like him (aside from maybe David Mitchell, who obviously was heavily inspired by him). The Wind Up Bird Chronicle is one of my favourite books ever. So, as you might imagine, I had high hopes for this one. Regrettably, it didn't quite hit the mark for me. It's about a guy (don't think we ever learn his name), on literally a 'wild sheep chase', searching for a sheep that once appeared in a guy's dream, with a star on its arse. There are moments that are utterly wonderful / beautiful - where you can see strong glimpses of the writer Murakami will become. The girl with the spectacular ears, for example (loved that whole chapter). But other elements just felt a little forced, as far as I was concerned, particularly the Sheep Man at the end. I'm fairly sure he was meant to be some sort of extended metaphor, but couldn't quite get there. Was it about the futility of searching for the wrong things in life? (Please, someone tell me!). Overall, it was still a good enough read - to be honest, I'm probably judging the poor guy harshly because I know what he's capable of. And I believe this is his first book (?) which should also be taken firmly into consideration. If you're into your Murakami, then definitely don't shy away from this book, but don't expect it to be as magnificent as The Wind Up Bird Chronicle or Norwegian Wood for example.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    My friend will be highly disappointed in me for this, as he's lending me all of Murakami's books one by one (I will be 100% taking a break after this one), but this is a DNF for me. This isn't like Kafka on the Shore where I hated it, this is just lack of interest for me. To be quite frank, I don't have any desire to make the effort to finish the 2/3 I had left. I do not think Murakami's magical realism and I are meant to be. I love his stories about nothing with in depth character studies, but w My friend will be highly disappointed in me for this, as he's lending me all of Murakami's books one by one (I will be 100% taking a break after this one), but this is a DNF for me. This isn't like Kafka on the Shore where I hated it, this is just lack of interest for me. To be quite frank, I don't have any desire to make the effort to finish the 2/3 I had left. I do not think Murakami's magical realism and I are meant to be. I love his stories about nothing with in depth character studies, but when it comes to his plots, I don't mesh well. Guess it will make a fun topic of discussion with my friend.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robin Webster

    This book was recommended by a friend and it is the first Haruki Murakami novel I have had the pleasure of reading. In a sense the book is plot driven with our nameless hero searching for a wild sheep that has possessed and drastically altered the lives of certain characters in the book. However, to outline the plot does not give a true sense of what this book is all about. The book has a rich array of characters that include his girlfriend with exquisite ears, a man in a sheep outfit, a sheep p This book was recommended by a friend and it is the first Haruki Murakami novel I have had the pleasure of reading. In a sense the book is plot driven with our nameless hero searching for a wild sheep that has possessed and drastically altered the lives of certain characters in the book. However, to outline the plot does not give a true sense of what this book is all about. The book has a rich array of characters that include his girlfriend with exquisite ears, a man in a sheep outfit, a sheep professor, his runaway friend ‘The Rat’ and many others. I have read reviews that describe the book as surreal and bizarre which in a sense it is, but it is also very easy to read. It is written in a beautifully rich descriptive style which probably owes as much to the translation from Japanese by Alfred Birnbaum than it does from this extraordinarily gifted author. Although this book is highly acclaimed other reviews suggest this is not his best book. In that case I have many more hours of pleasure reading books by this author.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tosh

    Murakami, even thought he's super famous, is someone I wouldn't read if I read the plots. They sound on the surface too new agey for me. But the fact is he is an incredible craft-style writer that makes you want to turn the page faster and faster. I rarely met a person who doesn't at the very least enjoy his books. "A Wild Sheep Chase" is one of the first for him to go into a sort of fantasy world - but still based on the world that we know. There's Tokyo but it could be almost any large city in Murakami, even thought he's super famous, is someone I wouldn't read if I read the plots. They sound on the surface too new agey for me. But the fact is he is an incredible craft-style writer that makes you want to turn the page faster and faster. I rarely met a person who doesn't at the very least enjoy his books. "A Wild Sheep Chase" is one of the first for him to go into a sort of fantasy world - but still based on the world that we know. There's Tokyo but it could be almost any large city in the world. So he's not Japanese in the sense where one gets an idea of a typical (if there is even such a thing) life in a specific metropolis like Tokyo. I have a deep love for Japanese 20th Century literature, and for reasons that I am not sure about, I don't put Murakami in a Japanese Lit category. He seemed to step out of his country and entered the entire world. Which may explain why he's so popular around the world at the moment.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Phee

    4.5 stars There is something so special about reading Murakami. It’s like you’re reading someone’s dreams. It’s real, everyday life with moments of surreal happenings. You know that what you’re reading is utterly bonkers, yet that’s ok and no one bats an eye to it. This is another book which involves the characters of the unnamed narrator and the Rat. And actually, I found it quite sad. There are some bright and funny moments but I feel like the story on the whole is a little glum. I really enjoy 4.5 stars There is something so special about reading Murakami. It’s like you’re reading someone’s dreams. It’s real, everyday life with moments of surreal happenings. You know that what you’re reading is utterly bonkers, yet that’s ok and no one bats an eye to it. This is another book which involves the characters of the unnamed narrator and the Rat. And actually, I found it quite sad. There are some bright and funny moments but I feel like the story on the whole is a little glum. I really enjoyed the character exploration in this one and as always I loved it when the characters went to places I have I actually been to in Japan. Even some of the more obscure locations. I’m hoping to make my way though all of Murakami’s novels that have been translated into english. I’ll read Dance Dance Dance next.

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