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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
6,241112932 (3.92)255
Recently added byordet, private library, SAzcuy, anjenue, President_Fred, TomLookabaugh, melsvu, pgmcc, mboudreau, JanetNoRules
Legacy LibrariesLeslie Scalapino
  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 255 mentions

English (90)  French (7)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (3)  Italian (3)  Portuguese (2)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (112)
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
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 |
3.5 Stars.

I read my first Murakami novel, Dance Dance Dance, earlier this year. I learned from that book why Murakami has become an international favorite for many literary fiction readers. I decided I wanted to read another Murakami novel before the year ended. I chose A Wild Sheep Chase, the precursor to the aforementioned Dance Dance Dance.

A Wild Sheep Chase tells the story of an unnamed protagonist who receives a postcard for an insurance ad. However, the ad includes an image of a sheep with a star on its back. The postcard draws the attention of a shadowy figure who demands the unnamed protagonist go find this unusual sheep or suffer the consequences. The protagonist begins a journey that takes him to the remotest part of Japan to find this sheep. What he discovers is something that shakes him to his core and reveals an identity he had not realized.

Surreal. Strange. Philosophical. Readable. Murakami has all of those elements intertwined in A Wild Sheep Chase and symbolism of the sheep brought this verse of New Testament Scripture to my mind:

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” (Luke 15:4-6)

This is from Jesus’ Parable of the Lost Sheep. It seems in this novel our unnamed protagonist was the lost sheep that had to be found. Murakami fans and critics consider A Wild Sheep Chase to be one of the best novels in his oeuvre and I agree with that assessment. Recommended. ( )
1 vote kammbiamh | Mar 25, 2018 |
Listened to this on audiobook. In all fairness, I should disclose that I read this as my first Murakami novel, not realizing it was the middle of a series. It was strange, confusing and occasionally intriguing. Mostly the whole thing went way over my head, which I'm hoping is because it was read out of order. I think I'll try a Book #1 of Murakami next. ( )
  Cat.rector | Feb 17, 2018 |
Listened to this on audiobook. In all fairness, I should disclose that I read this as my first Murakami novel, not realizing it was the middle of a series. It was strange, confusing and occasionally intriguing. Mostly the whole thing went way over my head, which I'm hoping is because it was read out of order. I think I'll try a Book #1 of Murakami next. ( )
  Cat.rector | Feb 17, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (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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