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A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
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A Wild Sheep Chase (1982)

by Haruki Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Rat (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,357116937 (3.91)261
  1. 10
    Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami (cpav55, NatalieSW)
    cpav55: Ademt dezelfde sfeer als De jacht op het verloren schaap.
    NatalieSW: Has a similarly odd look at a world that is like ours but off-kilter in a magical, philosophically absurd way.
  2. 10
    Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami (cpav55)
    cpav55: Dance Dance Dance (Dans Dans Dans) maakt met Pinball 1973 en De jacht op het verloren schaap min of meer deel uit van de serie, maar het zijn wel losstaande verhalen.
  3. 10
    After the Quake by Haruki Murakami (2810michael)
  4. 00
    The Castle by Franz Kafka (olonec)
    olonec: chase, chase, chase
  5. 00
    Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (koenvanq)
  6. 00
    Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (WSB7)
    WSB7: Vonnegut's take on the world is so similar to Murakami's
  7. 00
    Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami (cpav55)
    cpav55: Pinball 1973, Dans Dans Dans en De jacht op het verloren schaap vormen min of meer een serie, maar zijn wel losstaande verhalen.
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» See also 261 mentions

English (92)  French (8)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (3)  Italian (3)  Portuguese (2)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (115)
Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
In which a young man becomes involved in finding a sheep in a remote part of Hokkaido at the behest of a sinister corporation founded by a dying tycoon who is obsessed with being possessed with sheep in general and with this particular sheep. For the most part, the book flies along engagingly, propelled by Murakami's wit, intellect, and gift for the surreal, culminating in a spectacular climax. I did feel that the book had two dead spots. Unfortunately, the first is art the start of the book, which describes in minute detail the enthusiasms of a couple of sex fetishists (don't get your hopes up--it's not sexy and it's not even particularly entertaining); the other is when the corporate functionary takes two chapters to explain the philosophy underlying the corportion's founding, which was far too Hegelian to arouse my interest. The rest of the book is well worth the ride, though. ( )
  Big_Bang_Gorilla | Mar 31, 2019 |
This is probably one of the more interesting Murakami novels (and as this is my 10th one, that's significant. I'll get back with a full review before long. ( )
  jakebornheimer | Mar 27, 2019 |
'Disparate styles' I've read as one way to describe the author's approach here. Unfortunately for me, none of the styles, nor the narrative ventures, are compelling. This to me is an apprenticeship novel, witnessed by one who's read two of Murakami's acclaimed later works. Where, in THE WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLE for example, the strange, otherworldliness is convincing, engaging - here, it's simply unmoored. Certain scenes grabbed me; the writing, purely, is fine. The sum of the parts comes up short. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Nov 5, 2018 |
Most peculiar. I was pulled along despite being puzzled by the whole experience. I don't know if that is because I have not read much Japanese literature, or because I read it while I had a 101 degree fever, or because Murakami just writes that way. Or maybe all three. No matter what, I will be reading more of his books. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
I was somewhat unprepared to read "A wild sheep chase". I was in South Korea in the pre-kindle age and would read absolutely anything in English, so when a friend passed me this example of Japanese fiction I was merely glad that it was in English and not about Marxist didacticism or similar.

As it turns out, "A wild sheep chase" is a very good, if somewhat odd, read. Detailing a Japanese marketing executive, his girlfriend with the alluring ears, an eclectic range of supporting characters and possibly the oddest ending I've read for many years.

As with any book originally written in a language other than English, I wonder what has been lost or gained in translation. If anything, it may have gained something. Highly recommended. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Aug 24, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Birnbaum, AlfredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ortmanns-Suzuki, AnnelieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stalph, JürgenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tamminen, LeenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westerhoven, JacquesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was a short one-paragraph item in the morning edition.
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I went back to the riverside road, and by the time I'd managed to catch a taxi the rain was coming down in a drizzle. To the hotel, I said.

"Here on a trip?" asked the old driver.

"Uh-huh."

"First time in these parts?"

"Second time," I said.
There are symbolic dreams — dreams that symbolize some reality. Then there are symbolic realities — realities that symbolize a dream. Symbols are what you might call the honorary town councillors of 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 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're hungry?" The cow answers, "To attach them to 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 a worm's eye view of its universe. The only way to get out of that worm universe is to dream another symbolic dream.

The place where that enormous four-wheeled vehicle transported me this September afternoon was surely the epicenter of the worm universe. In other words, my prayer had been denied.

I took a look around me and held my breath. Here was the stuff of breath taking.
To sleep with a woman: it can seem of the utmost importance in your mind, or then again it can seem like nothing much at all. Which only goes to say that there's sex as therapy (self-therapy, that is) and there's sex as pastime.

There's sex for self-improvement start to finish and there's sex for killing time straight through; sex that is therapeutic at first only to end up as nothing-better-to-do, and vice-versa. Our human sex life — how shall I put it? — differs fundamentally from the sex life of the whale.

We are not whales — and this constitutes one great theme underscoring our sex life.
"Let me be as frank as possible with you," the man spoke up. his speech had the ring of a direct translation from a formulaic text. his choice of phrase and grammar was correct enough, but there was no feeling in his words.

"Speaking frankly and speaking the truth are two different things entirely. Honesty is to truth as prow is to stern. Honesty appears first and truth appears last. The interval between varies in direct proportion to the size of the ship. With anything of size, truth takes a long time in coming. Sometimes it only manifests itself posthumously. Therefore, should I impart you with no truth at this juncture, that is through no fault of mine. Nor yours."
"I lit up a second cigarette and ordered another whiskey. The second whiskey is always my favorite. From the third on, it no longer has any taste. It's just something to pour into your stomach."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037571894X, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:55 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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 doesnb2st 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.… (more)

» see all 8 descriptions

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