A wild sheep chase

Hardcover, 299 pages

English language

Published Jan. 4, 1989 by Kodansha International.

OCLC Number:

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4 stars (4 reviews)

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.

12 editions

A wild sheep chase

4 stars

I first decided to read this book in the original Japanese. In order to do so, I got the English translation, to compare and check my understanding (my Japanese is not so good yet). Very quickly I discovered that the English translation, while obviously telling the same story, is rather a loose interpretation stylistically (there are articles out there explaining these deliberate choices that Murakami himself agreed to). So then I got the French version. The French version is closer to the original text; I was reading the three in tandem, and at around the halfway point, there was a sentence which the English translator translated as : "She changed into a red dress and went home" (he's talking about a woman he was looking at through the window) and the French translator translated as "My girlfriend came back, having changed into a red dress". This piqued my interest, and …

My favorite Murakami Book 🐑

5 stars

Wild Sheep Chase is for me, the perfect version of Murakami's work. The real magic of his work is his ability to easy you into a surreal narrative just slowly enough that you're always engaged but never surprised. Wild Sheep Chase nails that effect so so well. It's honestly one of my favorite books of all time.

No joke this is the one novel I'd suggest to people if they wanted to start with Murakami. I would actually specifically recommend reading this prior to Hear the Wind Sing or Pinball 1973 (the first two parts of the Trilogy of the Rat). I know it sounds a little weird but I think this book is better if you don't have that context the first time through. Then you can have the very gratifying experience of going back to the first two novels and getting all that sweet sweet lore. For me …

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rated it

4 stars
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rated it

3 stars