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A Wild Sheep Chase (The Rat #3)

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  52,862 Ratings  ·  2,591 Reviews
Alternate cover edition here.

His life was like a recurring nightmare: a train to nowhere. But an ordinary life has a way of taking an extraordinary turn. Add a girl whose ears are so exquisite that, when uncovered, they improve sex a thousand-fold, a runaway friend, a right-wing politico, an ovine-obsessed professor and a manic-depressive in a sheep outfit, implicate them
Paperback, 300 pages
Published April 20th 2003 by Vintage (first published October 15th 1982)
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Will It's the third book of what people refer to as The Rat Trilogy, the first being Hear the Wind Sing and the second being Pinball.

This book also has a…more
It's the third book of what people refer to as The Rat Trilogy, the first being Hear the Wind Sing and the second being Pinball.

This book also has a sequel named Dance, Dance, Dance, which is arguably also a part of the series, but unlike the other two it doesn't involve the rat.

This being said, all of the books are quite readable as stand-alone books.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Reading Murakami is like experiencing someone else's dream. Trying to review Murakami is like trying to remember your own -- scattered events, confusing narrative lapses, inexplicable elements, petrified whale penises. A series of images:

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seven-stars-limited-edit-m 135-Sapporo-draft

black_sheep_lighters KissaneSheepFarm

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And then you wake up. And wonder what that was all about.
Apr 01, 2008 Jaci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want a rather light read that can develop into something deeper
Shelves: read-in-2008, own
A Wild Sheep Chase was the third book that I have read by Murakami. I found out after I finished that it is that third book in "The Trilogy of the Rat". The first two books in this series are now out of print, but after reading A Wild Sheep Chase, I think I have to chase down some used copies of the novels and experience the trilogy in full.

I interpreted the novel to be a story of emotion journey more than a story of physical journey. There was an actual journey involved as the main character we
Apr 28, 2009 Megha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
'A Wild Sheep Chase' is a trippy tale with a mix of detective story, myth, fantasy and philosophy. Though it can be enjoyed simply as a fable at its face-value, just a little thought reveals a multi-layered allegory. On one hand, "the sheep" could signify post-war Japan itself. At the same time, the protagonist's sheep chase also ends up being a search for his own identity, his emotions and meaning of his existence. It is as much a physical journey as a spiritual journey. There are also several ...more
Andrew Smith
A play on the old saying ‘a wild goose chase', I'm afraid this book reads more like another old saying, ‘a complete waste of time’. It felt to me that a random series of events had been linked together to form a very loose and aimless narrative. I really had no idea what was going on or what I’m supposed to take from this tale.

I’m a fan of the author and I believe he’s written some stunning books, my personal favourites (in order) being:
1. 1Q84
2. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle
3. Kafka on the Shore
Thank you again, brian tanabe!

Books like these, I feel like a child who has finally graduated to the grown-up table only to find that the cultery is too big and sharp, the edge of the table is level with my eyes, and the conversation always above my head. But no! I refuse to be demoted back to the kids' table with all the babies! I wanna eat here and contribute to the discussions about whether a vacation home in Hawaii or the SE islands would be better (so boring...zzzz....) and did you catch wh
Chris Shaffer
Oct 18, 2007 Chris Shaffer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the impossible and the fantastic.
Shelves: translations
When one is approached by a random person and asked to locate a life form that is physically unable to exist, but which you have a picture of, and you choose to do it because you have to, you know you're in for something fantastical. Part noir thriller, part philosophical daydream, the wild sheep chase moves effortlessly along (partially due to the brilliant translation), and scene by scene we are more and more drawn into the story of soon to be thirty year old J. Philosophical detours into enty ...more
Franco  Santos
Este libro me aburrió muchísimo. Podría haber sido más corto, y con corto me refiero a la mitad de su extensión. Hay bastantes capítulos que sobran completamente, que no afectan en absoluto a la trama. Encima esas partes no están dedicadas a las reflexiones tan características de Murakami, sino que consisten en un seguimiento tedioso de actividades anodinas del protagonista.

Otra cosa que no me gustó fue que los personajes de las dos entregas anteriores de esta saga hayan cambiado tanto. Dejaron

But that's why I loved it!!!

I'm serious. This book was so creepy it had me wiggling around in my seat in discomfort. Yet, I was absolutely captivated! I couldn't put the book down!

If you're a reader looking for a book that will take you more than one read to truly grasp, then this is the book for you. It had my brain churning and my fingers tapping with nervous energy.

I'm not going to give a bit of a run-down of the book as I've done in previous reviews mostly because it w
Oct 21, 2010 Mariel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Miss New Zealand
Recommended to Mariel by: Little Bo Peeping Tom

I wish I could have written about Murakami's A Wild Sheep Chase here when I'd read it. I wish that goodreads was around back then. The magical and plain old world as we know it life through best teacher voice (this is my favorite kind of voice because I'm a confused person) that made the every day seem full of possibilities. Sinister possibilities as well as good ones. That's my favorite kind of thing, the ability to make that stuff interesting, with easy humor. I'm really into the build-up of t
Mar 23, 2016 Pavle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: takozvano-ostalo
Jedinu stvar koju Murakamiju nikada neću oprostiti je što više voli mačke od pasa.

Ova knjiga je... mnogo knjiga. Na šta se svodi, koja je ta jedna tema koja čini srž romana? Čini se potera za identitetom, ali opet nešto tu škripi. Šta još može biti? Pojma nemam. Niti želim da znam, ako mogu iskreno. Imam nagoveštaj, jeste, povremeno nazrem deliće, pa možda bih čak mogao i da napišem i kratku (i šturu) interpretaciju ovog iznad zanimljivog štiva. Ali neću. Ovako je daleko zabavnije, ostaviti te
Jul 17, 2011 Carol. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit-fiction
An interesting read, three and a half stars for beauty in language. While I can't say I "really liked it" in the "will re-read one day" sense, I appreciated the richness of the ideas and language offered. I normally tend to devour a book in two or three sittings, but this was a book that worked well reading three or four chapters a night, breaking into small, choice pieces. Although there is a mystery that drives the plot, I would hesitate to say that is the focus of the book, so I didn't feel l ...more
Feb 04, 2013 Zenmoon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Just about everyone ... spread the world with Murakami

Our hand-reared cockatiel is on borrowed time if she continues to peck lumps off the books on my Murakami shelf. Clearly, she likes his books as well (but for different reasons than me). She moved from 1Q84 (unread), to this book, as the little bite marks attest.

Vacuum the paper trail. Breathe. Ahhhhhhhhh.

Oh my goodness, every time I read this man I swoon with admiration. There’s something extremely comforting for me, knowing I’m in the hands of a masterful technician of the written word like M
Nov 09, 2014 Ana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um livro surreal e fantástico, bem ao estilo de Murakami.
Uma louca aventura da caça ao carneiro selvagem (“wild sheep chase” é um trocadilho com a expressão “wild geese chase”, que em português equivale a “caçar gambozinos”), que começa com um telefonema e uma fotografia perfeitamente vulgar (uma paisagem, montanhas, nuvens, prados e trinta e três carneiros).
Um carneiro sobrenatural, ou uma metáfora de algo que tem o poder de mudar as pessoas e o mundo…
May 25, 2008 Amber rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't all that impressed with this book. I love Murakami and have read three other books by him. The ideas in this book are good and some of them kept me thinking and even inspired me to write about them, but the themes took over the book and the plot and characters suffered. I found myself only finishing it in hopes that somehow I would end up being impressed by it, as I was with the Wind Up Bird Chronicle. Whta I did really like about it and this can be said of all his writing is that the s ...more
On the back cover of this special 3D edition of "The Wild Sheep Chase", there's this quote by The Washington Post which goes like this: "Lean forward and topple headlong into magic". Well, it couldn't be more aptly put!

You know when you read something which as a story, is not particularly great, and yet deep inside you find it amazing? It's like there are two parts of you that simultaneously read the story. The pragmatistic part, that interprets what you read in a matter-of-fact way, and the emo
Jul 24, 2012 param rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: patient readers, lovers of language
This is not an easy book to read, review or discuss. You will either love it or hate it (more likely - never read it). I liked it. The swirling, kaleidoscopic imagery with freely overlapping of the physical and the metaphysical, the real and the imaginary, the utterly sane and the completely cuckoo makes us question what is real and what is not.

For a tranquil setup, the Prelude (the first 7 pages) whizzed by before I even realized. And I was appropriately intrigued. By page 20, I don’t know wha
Omid Majidy Pour
برخلاف تصور خودم، کتاب دو روز زودتر تموم شد، از اون دست کتاب هایی هست که 150 صفحه آخرش اجتناب ناپذیره و آدم به اون آخرا که می رسه ترمز می بره!

برعکس تصور و تبلیغات خیلی از سایت ها و انتشارات، من توصیه می کنم کتاب های چهارگانه رت رو به ترتیب بخونید، این کتاب، سومین کتاب این مجموعه بود، اگه شماره یک و دو رو نخونید، خیلی از جاها نسبت به خاطرات و شخصیت ها براتون سوال پیش می یاد که اگه جوابشونو ندونین لذت کتاب رو خیلی کم می کنه...
موراکامی گاهی توی این کتاب یاد خاطراتی می افته که توی کتاب اول و دوم رخ
Bach Tran Quang
Cái mình nhận ra rằng, mình yêu thích Murakami không phải là ở cốt truyện mà ông dựng nên, mình yêu thích bởi những "mẩu" độc thoại nhỏ, những đoạn văn miêu tả nỗi cô đơn, tả cảnh, tả người, tả thị trấn, tả cái xưa cũ nó cứ miên man ám ảnh mãi. Kiểu như đọc rồi rơi hẫng mất một lúc vì những "mẩu" những câu những từ đó. Nó kỳ lạ, kỳ quái đan xen vào nhau làm người đọc cứ nửa thật nửa ảo mà cảm nhận.

Cuộc Săn Cừu Hoang là chuyến đi săn kỳ quái, cũng là một dạng nhân vật Tôi lại lần nữa đi tìm bản t
Robin Webster
Apr 11, 2013 Robin Webster rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended by a friend and it is the first Haruki Murakami novel I have had the pleasure of reading. In a sense the book is plot driven with our nameless hero searching for a wild sheep that has possessed and drastically altered the lives of certain characters in the book. However, to outline the plot does not give a true sense of what this book is all about. The book has a rich array of characters that include his girlfriend with exquisite ears, a man in a sheep outfit, a sheep p ...more
Mar 30, 2008 Tosh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Murakami, even thought he's super famous, is someone I wouldn't read if I read the plots. They sound on the surface too new agey for me. But the fact is he is an incredible craft-style writer that makes you want to turn the page faster and faster. I rarely met a person who doesn't at the very least enjoy his books.

"A Wild Sheep Chase" is one of the first for him to go into a sort of fantasy world - but still based on the world that we know. There's Tokyo but it could be almost any large city in
Gli ingredienti usati sono sempre quelli: un protagonista in una condizione esistenziale perennemente tendente al vuoto, un inizio vagamente scialbo e ordinario, specchio della vita del protagonista, uno straordinario e irreale che si innesca a partire da una banalità, da un nonnulla quale può essere una fotografia di pecore. In piùMurakami scrive molto bene, sempre. Fin dagli inizi, a quanto pare.
Ovviamentec'è un ma. Murakami scrive sempre benissimo, nessuno può osare dire il contrario (pena la
Gregor Xane
Nov 26, 2013 Gregor Xane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
Murakami's books are very hard for me to review/write about. Before I sat down to write this, I went back to look at my reviews for the other works I've read by him. They weren't helpful in the least. Two of the reviews were extremely brief and for the other book, it appears that I just left a star rating and went on with my life.

So, I guess I'll start by saying that Murakami has moved into my list of favorite authors. His writing style is so smooth, so idiosyncratic, and his subject matter is s
Aug 05, 2010 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amanda by: Sam Rosenberg
Shelves: book-club
I think most accurately 3.5 stars.

Exactly what it purports to be: a wild sheep chase. Our protagonist sets out to a far corner of Japan in search of a mutant sheep on a deadline imposed by a mysteriously powerful man in black. Along the way we meet a girl with beautiful ears, the perhaps saddest cat in a Murakami book yet, a chaffeur who calls up God every night, and many people associated with sheep.

I actually liked A Wild Sheep Chase better than some of the other Murakami fiction I've read (so
Deniz Balcı
Jan 19, 2016 Deniz Balcı rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japon-edebiyatı
İlk olarak şunu söylemek istiyorum. Bu kitabı okuduktan sonra kitap forumlarında vb. yerlerde, birçok "Japonya hakkında fikir sahibi olmak amacı ile okuduğum..."gibi yorumlar okudum. Böyle bir şey öncelikle çok yanlış. Bu kitapla, sadece bu değil bu değil bütün Murakami kitapları ile Japonya, Japon Kültürü ve Japonlar hakkında sağlıklı bilgi edinemezsiniz. H.Murakami yazdıkları Japonya ile iliştirilebilecek son Japon yazar. Tanizaki, Mişima, Dazai, Agutagava, Kavabata vb. yazarlar okuyarak gerçe ...more
Pankaj Suneja
This is my first haruki murakami read-"The wild sheep case". I enjoyed reading it. It is a story about a guy who smokes, drinks and have sex, and somehow gets trapped in business that becomes the plot of the novel. And this journey keeps one involved in the novel and in the end things scatter and some make sense and some left as the way reality is, incomprehensible.
He writes with passion and individuality in his thoughts which brings out his uniqueness in perceiving the situation. I like indepe
switterbug (Betsey)
Reading Murakami is like falling into a waking dream, sideways. Or watching the slanting orange sunlight during the waning days of autumn, the cool blue rays on the periphery just outside your reach. It's a field of fertile thought, a radiant garden; the pollinating, winged creatures absorb the nectar of its flowers, their fecundity extending the garden from the earth to the air, visibly and ethereally. Murakami's surreal prose invites the reader into a wonderland of quirky motifs and recurring ...more
Jan 18, 2012 T4ncr3d1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: surreale, giapponesi
Alla ricerca della pecora interiore.

Tra i romanzi giovanili di Murakami, è un romanzo che presenta una buona parte delle tematiche tipiche dell'autore insieme a una prima ricerca stilistica.
Lo si direbbe un romanzo fortemente introspettivo, che usa, com'è noto, il surreale come espediente per rappresentare gli sterminati campi dell'inconscio. Una natura quasi flaubertiana, per la condivisione emotiva con il protagonista: ampi spazi solitari, deserti, sospesi nel tempo, che amplificano la forte s
Sep 14, 2014 Anastasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-2011
- Ricordati, se vedi per le strade un uomo vestito da pecora..allontanati, non parlarci, non rivolgergli la parola. -
- Perché dovrei voler parlare con un uomo-pecora? -
- Ah, non lo so, ma se ti venisse la tentazione..beh, non farlo. -

Conversazioni dell'ultima ora dell'ultimo giorno di scuola.
Ma parlando d'altro, mi ero fatta un'immagine diversa di Murakami. Avevo un'immagine bizzarra, surreale e simpatica di quelli che sono i suoi romanzi, questo è stato alimentato dalle recensioni altrui e
Aug 20, 2012 Alden rated it really liked it
Shelves: haruki-murakami
First Read: Three out of five (3/5) stars

A Wild Sheep Chase is a Murakami masterpiece which will take you to what seems to be a crazy wild ride. It focuses on an unnamed male character (as always) – a divorced man who works in an advertising firm and ended up going on a wild sheep chase that involves the most surreal characters you could ever imagine -- a sheep man, a sheep professor, a girl with exquisite ears that improves sex drive, a dolphin hotel, a rat, and some endless possibilities. To t
Jackie "the Librarian"
This is, as many before me have observed, a very strange story, involving an extra-terrestrial sheep, a girl with ears with special powers, and a mysterious missing friend, called the Rat. It is fortunate that these details are so intriguing, as the protagonist is not. He is nameless, aimless, and apathetic, and it takes every amount of strangeness delivered up to him by the plot to knock him into taking an interest in life.

He is forced by a mysterious powerful organization to track down the afo
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
2016 Reading Chal...: A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami 9 40 Oct 22, 2015 04:13AM  
Club 451: Group Read: A Wild Sheep Chase 1 11 Apr 04, 2015 12:03AM  
The Rat 15 272 Feb 10, 2014 09:58PM  
Chapter 31 Night in Junitaki 1 62 Aug 12, 2013 06:13AM  
Mic Breaks Only: Sheep: Fin! (Full Book Discussion) 6 75 Jul 19, 2013 07:38PM  
Mic Breaks Only: Sheep: Shear Hell : Part 6 - 7 3 14 Mar 23, 2013 05:42PM  
  • All She Was Worth
  • Masks
  • The Master of Go
  • Sanshirō
  • The Ark Sakura
  • Strangers
  • Some Prefer Nettles
  • Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words
  • Fires on the Plain
  • Coin Locker Babies
  • Thirst for Love
  • Rashomon and Seventeen other Stories
  • Asleep
  • A Personal Matter
Haruki Murakami (Japanese: 村上 春樹) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. His work has been described as 'easily accessible, yet profoundly complex'. He can be located on Facebook at:

Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. He grew up reading a range of works by Am
More about Haruki Murakami...

Other Books in the Series

The Rat (4 books)
  • Hear the Wind Sing (The Rat, #1)
  • Pinball, 1973 (The Rat, #2)
  • Dance Dance Dance (The Rat, #4)

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“Most everything you think you know about me is nothing more than memories.” 585 likes
“Sometimes I get real lonely sleeping with you.” 422 likes
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