ISBN-10:
037571894X
ISBN-13:
2900375718945
Pub. Date:
04/09/2002
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
A Wild Sheep Chase / Edition 1

A Wild Sheep Chase / Edition 1

by Haruki Murakami
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Overview

A marvelous hybrid of mythology and mystery, A Wild Sheep Chase is the extraordinary literary thriller that launched Haruki Murakami's international reputation.

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. Quirky and utterly captivating, A Wild Sheep Chase is Murakami at his astounding best.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900375718945
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/09/2002
Series: Vintage International Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1949, Haruki Murakami grew up in Kobe and now lives near Tokyo. The most recent of his many honors is the Yomiuri Literary Prize, whose previous recipients include Yukio Mishima, Kenzaburo Oe, and Kobo Abe. His work has been translated into more than fifty languages.

Hometown:

Tokyo, Japan

Date of Birth:

January 12, 1949

Place of Birth:

Kyoto, Japan

Education:

Waseda University, 1973

Read an Excerpt

A marvelous hybrid of mythology and mystery, A Wild Sheep Chase is the extraordinary literary thriller that launched Haruki Murakami’s international reputation.

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. Quirky and utterly captivating, A Wild Sheep Chase is Murakami at his astounding best.

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Wild Sheep Chase 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 88 reviews.
Atena More than 1 year ago
The headline pretty much sums it up. I love Murakami so I liked this book. However, in comparison with his other works, I found this one a bit scattered and affected. I wouldn't recommend this book if it's your first Murakami-you might get discouraged; instead, try: Kafka on the Shore, Norwegian Wood, Sputnik Sweetheart (a good starter book), or The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.
angie33AB More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book because it draws you in in the beginning so as you read it gest more and more interesting.I really like the author's style which is very discriptive, that mekes it easy to understand.Overall the sory is not the best but it also teaches you that when you find somethin that gets your attention to hold on to the and which is the best part of it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is, unbeknownst to most readers of the English edition, actually the third book in a serious, the first two being 'Listen to the Sound of the Wind' and 'Pinball in 1973.' However, I do not believe these have been translated into English yet. Hopefully they will be soon. As I haven't read this book in English, I cannot comment on the translation, but I know that this is a fabulous book to follow up the first two and surpasses them. The main character has such a deep soul in a shallow world, and so lonely. I cannot wait to read the next in the series, 'Dance, Dance, Dance.'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was quite a roller coaster ride but it was well worth it. Loved the twists and turns and flips it took. Look forward to reading more Murakami masterpieces.
yarkan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the quiet surrealism of this. And the thing about the power of her ears.
MellowOwl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A well-written existential noir. A little slow going at first, but builds into a beautiful and brilliant finale. I enjoyed it more than its sequel "Dance, Dance, Dance", but not more than Murakami's more acclaimed works like "Norwegian Wood" and "Kafka on the Shore". A solid addition to Murakami's brilliant corpus.
na-chan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ok you can blame the bookstore at my school for this one XD I picked this up at the bookstore because I had very little of 'the wanting seed' left to read so well I was looking around at random books and this sort of caught my eye. Once I read the synopsis I decided it was at least worth a try so I read through maybe a chapter and ended up buying it. This book is very well written. Honestly while reading it, it doesn't seem as long as it is. The story progression was very natural (although the story's content is weird) and by the end of the book it didn't seem like all that much happened. Thats not to say the story wasn't interesting though. I really liked it, and I think I liked it because the story is pretty odd. I don't think the synopsis actually says this but essentially its about the quest to find a mutant sheep with a star on its back. Why? Well you have to read it to know now don't you XD Anyway back to my lets not give away the story review, I really liked this book and will likely end up reading others by Murakami as a result.
montclairnj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not a review, but some notes I want to attach to this book.
The letter from The Rat seemed to come out of the blue, and it wasn't until I learned that this is the third book that Murakami wrote with these characters (and linked in what's called "The Rat Trilogy") that I understood lines like "you remind me of when I was a comparatively regular guy" have a context that justify them.
All the references to the narrator's reading Sherlock Holmes underscores the "cover story invented just for me" aspect of this book that appears in "The Red-Headed League."
There is a real Junitaki or "Twelve Falls" waterfall, but it's not in Hokkaido.
fieldnotes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of this author. I enjoy reading his novels while moving around: on the subway, in an airplane, amongst distractions. Murakami verges on being little more than an indie rock version of a standard thriller/suspense writer¿producing the literary equivalent of films like ¿Donnie Darko.¿ Apparently, I even read and enjoyed the sequel to this book (¿Dance Dance Dance¿), without realizing that I had a sequel in my hands. This all leads up to me admitting that ¿The Wild Sheep Chase¿ was disappointing; it is Murakami¿s first novel and I don¿t believe he¿d hit his stride or found his voice¿though it is unmistakably forming.In typical Murakami fashion, the novel slowly reveals the latent potential in a respectful but withdrawn person on the far side of personal difficulties. This potential makes itself known in the process of an implausible quest that dispenses with the impossibility of moving easily between fields of existence or universes in such a natural and understated way that the characters remain largely unruffled. Murakami¿s seamless, played-down narration of the uncanny is one of his strengths (think the conclusion of ¿Wind up Bird Chronicles¿ or most of ¿Hard Boiled Wonderland). In his freshman novel, however, he only dabbles with it in the could-this-be-a-hallucination/dream/ghost? sort of way¿instead of making you eat the fact of parallel universes and impossible psychic abilities, like they are your daily vegetables.The protagonist has a standard Murakami sidekick in toe (a, strong, independent, but similarly disengaged female) who is a bit less interesting to read about than usual (all she does is have hunches); but the malignant force of the book is amusingly characterized. The motivation of the titular sheep is comic and its history, as narrated by the somewhat vexing sheep man, is an amusing read.Altogether, Murakami has written much better books; I would skip this one unless you are a real fan.
maggotbrain on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bloke goes looking for a sheep with a marking on it's body. There you go - the plot is so simple isn't it. Urm...no.The book leads you down many paths, takes you back round in a circle, steps off the pavement of reality, and wanders off into the highway of consciousness. If you want a nice sensible plot where all the ends tie up nicely, and you fully understand what you have just read, I would advise you give this book a wide berth. That said, if you are picking up a Murakami, there is a fair chance you will know better than to expect the above.Oddball, humorous, and obsessed with tiny details that probably have nothing to do with anything, I couldn't help but like this book. I almost feel annoyed with myself for feeling that way as it is fairly unsatisfying, but there you have it. Not as good as others I have read of his, and probably a bad place to start if you have not read his work before, but enough there to keep a Murakami fan entertained if not thoroughly enriched.
PrincessPaulina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"A Wild Sheep Chase" is an acid-trip kind of read about a wild treasure hunt / mystery / adventure, with fantastic events and characters, such as the limo driver with access to God's personal phone number.The Sheep Man alone, speaking in phrases with no spaces between words ( "Hopeyoufindyourfriendandthatsheepbeforetoolong") is such a compelling and unusual literary vehicle that Murakami used him in subsequent work.But no matter how crazy the events, they are narrated in a simple, almost bland tone. The fusion of fantastic subject matter and low-key writing style is pure Murakami, and is a large part of his iconic appeal (at least for me).This is nowhere near Murakami's opus ( see "The Wind-Up Bird Crhonicle") but is an easy intro to the author's work, and appears to be the springboard for some of his recurring themes. The few awkward phrases should probably be chalked up to translation issues. Overall, it is a compelling and highly unusual read with tons of great quotes: "a friend to kill time is a friend sublime."
kaipakartik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I tried to read this. I really did but I couldn't finish it. Two thirds of the way in the book got really really boring. There was so much superfluousness.
herbpixie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
fiction, surreal, postmodern, japanese, sheep
JonathanMchll on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It may have been just the frame of mind I was in at the time, but I found The Wind Up Bird Chronicle too strange and directionless about 250 pages in to continue. Despite this, when I found a copy of A Wild Sheep Chase on the street I thought I'd give Murakami another try. This is shorter but is another exercise in abstraction that leaves far more questions than it answers. The characters are thinly sketched and they seem quite disconnected from each other and any recognisable reality - to me at least. They are bound, however, by an underlying force that makes you wonder about a hidden ordering superstructure. A spooky hidden ordering superstructure that guides everyday life. And that is something worth wondering about, if only to feel creeped out which can be fun.
sarainoakland on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I LOVE Murakami! I haven't felt like this about an author in a good while. I want to read everything he's written. He is quirky, poetic, philosophical, and entertaining. His language is beautiful in translation. I wonder what it's like in Japanese! Sheep Chase is a weird, but compelling story, with deep and playful one-liners throughout. Dance Dance Dance continues the story. I get big crushes on his protagonists, even though I think they'd frustrate the hell out of me if I actually met them.
bookinmind on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Murakami's playful writing in this book with:Sheep wordplay: getting 'sheeped'; becoming 'sheepless';A girl with sexually irresistible ears;A sheep in sheep's clothing;A sheep about to take over the world (forcing me to think of the Biblical reference: "Blessed are the meek--for they shall inherit the earth")My response to Murakami about this book (borrowed from John McEnroe): You can't be serious!.
kntmit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have read a few other Murakami books (Wind-Up Bird..., Kafka on the Shore, After Dark), all of which I enjoyed. A Wild Sheep Chase had a very intriguing premise, and I was quickly drawn in to its mystery. Although this was enjoyable read, I had no idea what was going on at the end, or what the book was trying to say. Not that this makes it any less of a novel, but the Japanese cultural aspects that shaped how the mystery played out were lost on me, and of course as a novel in translation, not explained at all. If you've never read Murakami, I'd try Kafka on the Shore, or Wind-Up Bird Chronicle first. Or at least read about Shinto before tackling this one.
hemlokgang on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Audiobook............Oddly enough, despite the fact that I am a huge Murakami fan, I did not particularly like this novel. I think it is because I had read most of his later works and then read this, one of his earliest. It is strange, but I could see bits and pieces of his later novels throughout this one. I guess I would say that all the seeds of Murakami's greatness are first planted here, but they did not come to fruition until later. Early versions of his symbolism, favorite subplots, and humor are here......just not fully developed.
plabebob on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is probably my favourite Murakami. The story is crazy & full of unbelievable surreal happenings, but rooted in a very believable world that makes it all the more immersive. I love Murakami's aloof style & attention to detail.
DF2A_LilyR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Wild Sheep Chase is an interesting book about a mission to find one special sheep among thousands in Hokkaido, Japan. Murakami has a mind like no other and never fails to creat a plot with wit, twists and dangerious bends.
PhoebeReading on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first couple chapters of Haruki Murakami's A Wild Sheep Chase are beautifully written and very effective--they slowly start to weave a story about a man's unsuccessful romantic relationships. These initial chapters are told with an intense attention to detail, both physical, visceral details and emotional details.But then the book gets "weird" and takes a nose-dive.I say "weird" in quotation marks because nothing in the first two hundred and fifty pages (of a 350-page book) is really that surreal or fantastic. What's more, the plot--briefly, the story of the narrator searching for a sheep in a photograph taken by a friend--is developed at a snail's pace. The "wild" in the title seems to me to be a terrific misnomer.Instead of developing the story naturally, through action, Murakami relies on dialog to hash out the novel's more surreal elements. The conversations that the characters have are painful, unbelievable, and unnatural. Such as:"To return to the cyst, what I mean to say is that the period in which the cyst appeared coincided precisely with the period in which he underwent a miraculous self-transformation.""In your hypothesis," I said, "there was no casual relationship between the cyst and the self-transformation; instead, the two were governed in parallel by some mysterious overriding factor.""You catch on quickly," said the man. "Precise and to the point." Well, I don't catch on quickly, apparently, because I just didn't understand the vast majority of whatever it is they're talking about. And who talks like this, anyway, even in translation? Based on the strength of the first chapters, I won't hesitate to pick up Murakami's realistic fiction, but I think I'll stay far away from his overwrought "fantasy."
g026r on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Part 3 of the trilogy of the Rat is, at least as far as the quality of the prose goes, about on par with its predecessor, Pinball, 1973. This means that it's an improvement over Hear the Wind Sing, but not up to the same quality as Murakami's output.Plotwise, though Murakami considers it his first novel that's any good, I would actually consider it a bit of a step down from Pinball. Whereas the other had a softer, gentler, and more relaxed tone, at times Wild Sheep's attempts at oddness feel forced and a bit too manic. (e.g. Anything involving the Sheep Man.)
sidecar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A truly existential and magical ride. I had no idea where we were going and loved it when we got there.
zugenia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Murakami, like other Japanese fiction writers, dwells on the minutae of mundane human life until it begins to give up its metaphysical secrets¿revelations about our tenuous grasp on our own existence that rise out of boredom and daily repetition, and a blurring of life and death that settles into normality like vague, perpetual drunkenness. Not as complex as come of his later narratives, but uses the skeleton of a detective story to send its protagonist out on a search for something only vaguely defined¿which turns out to be the limit of what a person can understand without really trying.
heathersblue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Amazing, although as with most of Murakami's books I feel I need a few more readings to really figure it out. A must read...