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A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel by Haruki…
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A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel (original 1982; edition 2002)

by Haruki Murakami (Author), Alfred Birnbaum (Translator)

Series: A Wild Sheep Chase (complete), The Rat (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,3851341,086 (3.9)281
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 realise 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. 'A Wild Sheep Chase has the conventional hull of a thriller - a quest, a mystery, an extraordinary woman, and plenty of elegant duress - but its fantastic superstructure transforms it into something quite different...a science fiction fantasy, a romance, a metaphysical tease, or a dramatisation of philosophical ideas' Independent… (more)
Member:nicksk
Title:A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel
Authors:Haruki Murakami (Author)
Other authors:Alfred Birnbaum (Translator)
Info:Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (2002), 353 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work Information

A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami (1982)

  1. 20
    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. 20
    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
    Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (koenvanq)
  4. 10
    After the Quake by Haruki Murakami (2810michael)
  5. 00
    Subdivision by J. Robert Lennon (Anonymous user)
  6. 00
    The Castle by Franz Kafka (olonec)
    olonec: chase, chase, chase
  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.
  8. 01
    Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (WSB7)
    WSB7: Vonnegut's take on the world is so similar to Murakami's
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» See also 281 mentions

English (109)  French (9)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (3)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (2)  Portuguese (1)  Hungarian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (134)
Showing 1-5 of 109 (next | show all)
Murakami manages to write a ersatz novel; in fact in places I wondered if he was writing a novel-parody. Not, really, for political or ideological reasons, but just because of an uncommon want to go against novel standards. Many critics/readers have compared his writing to other literary roadmarks, yet I have not seen a comparison to the one author that I think this book most feels like: Philip K. Dick. I can imagine most readers not being as accepting as I was of this dream-like novel, some might be angry at the lack of rigid novel features. Still, the experience is probably worth the fast-turning pages. ( )
  AQsReviews | Nov 20, 2022 |
This was a fun book to read — especially the second time. I read it twice, which was good because it seemed really disjointed the first time. It is very well written, which also means that Murakami selected an excellent translator since I read this in English. There is lots of humor, mystery and physical impossibilities, but that does not take away from enjoying the story. My only problem with the book is the ending is sort of empty. The explanation for why the people in the book manipulated the main character to do what he did and what happened (and why) to his girlfriend is not completely clear to me. I don't know whether reading the first 2 books of this trilogy would help, but couldn't find them and somehow think maybe not. Nevertheless, I do recommend reading it. ( )
  krazy4katz | Aug 25, 2022 |
This is an odd book. I've seen it descried as magical realism, but that only partially seems to fit for me. It reads to me more like a contemporary fiction novel (at least, fairly contemporary for when it was written) that has elements of either fantasy or hallucination written into it, and with absolutely no clear indicator which one is the truth. I'm not sure that I like it... but I'm also not sure that I don't. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | Aug 16, 2022 |
Loved it. early murakami. dead on ringer for Raymond chandler. the mysterious powers making him hunt for this starred sheep. knocked around - in over his head - finally figures it out (like Marlowe!). winds up trailing up to cold, cold Hokkaido and the Rat (his friend)- the sheep man. not as subtle or full featured as the later ones, but pretty great still. ( )
  apende | Jul 12, 2022 |
This book ... this book ... this book came at me like Kurt Vonnegut on Risperidone telling his version of Moby Dick.

A great read - I don't quite know what Murakami was trying to say - but I throughly enjoyed being introduced to this author with this book. This won't be the last of his that I read. ( )
  donhazelwood | Mar 12, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 109 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Murakami, Harukimain authorall editionsconfirmed
Birnbaum, AlfredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Degas, RupertNarratorsecondary 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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Wikipedia in English (1)

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 realise 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. 'A Wild Sheep Chase has the conventional hull of a thriller - a quest, a mystery, an extraordinary woman, and plenty of elegant duress - but its fantastic superstructure transforms it into something quite different...a science fiction fantasy, a romance, a metaphysical tease, or a dramatisation of philosophical ideas' Independent

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