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A Wild Sheep Chase (The Rat Series #3)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  42,152 ratings  ·  2,061 reviews
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 inc
Kindle Edition, 364 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Vintage (first published 1982)
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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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
'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
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Oct 21, 2010 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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…
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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

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 review mostly because it wo
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
Jul 24, 2012 param rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Robin Webster
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
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
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
Gregor Xane
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
- 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 05, 2010 Amanda rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
Nated Doherty
Jul 04, 2007 Nated Doherty rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who's already read Murakami
This book, as others have said, was slow to pick up. Many elements are familiar, seeminly standard washed out Murakami male lead looking lacking meaning. Initially a complete lack of identifiable female characters with ummmm...character...a sense of nhilistic freedom.

Also as others have said, it picks up a great deal around the half way mark, once the character gets on the quest. The sketching of Hokkaido makde me want to go there, as Pat said, the environment, the atmosphere of the book are gre
Jul 30, 2007 Bina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a pulse
I read this book after being medically evacuated to Singapore, while locked up for a two-day recovery in a French hotel. I couldn't walk very much at the time but it was no matter thanks to this book.

For me, it is Murakami's best, a lucid dream strung together with some of the most beautiful phrases in literature. At the risk of sounding pathetically infatuated, it made me happy to be alive; it gave me the hope I often lack about the potential for creative genius in our times.

Its sequel, Dance,
Apr 10, 2009 Anna rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Murakami completists only--not a good entry point into his oeuvre.
I have to say that I didn't like it quite so much as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I have yet to encounter anyone who violently dislikes Murakami, but this particular novel contains many of his trademarks carried to such an extreme that I imagine any would-be detractors would certainly hold this particular novel up as reason enough to dismiss his body of work: meandering plot, unsatisfying ending, inexplicably surreal imagery, pop culture allusions. It definitely started out with some promise, but ...more
More like a mild and meek sheep chase. A soft and hazy stroll through Japan's mountains with magic ears and a delicious dream swirling like an illusion through the pages. So much to ponder...
Nick Klagge
I was surprised at how much I liked this book--I nearly gave it four stars. The reason I picked it up was basically a Murakami-completist urge: since I consider him to be my favorite author right now, I figured I should read everything he's written. (I'm now pretty close--"Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World" is the only novel of his that's widely available in English that I still haven't read.) I started out somewhat biased against it, because "Dance Dance Dance" is my least favorit ...more
Jennie Tichich
This book was friggin' funny. I sound a bit defensive because I just read some snobbish NYTimes review that was basically calling it bunch of crackpot red herrings that were sloppily thrown together. If this is the opinion of that columnist then, he obviously missed the point and clearly was too distracted by a red herring called intellectual snobbery.
The Wild Sheep Chase is witty and leaves a lot of interpretation up to the reader. There is this sort of mocking tone of well held norms but, so
Tsveta Haydarova
"Има символични сънища- сънища, символизиращи някаква действителност. Има и символична действителност- действителност, символизираща сън. Символите могат да се нарекат почетни граски съветници на всемира на червея. Във всемира на червея няма нищо необичайно, ако една дойна крава търси клещи. Кравата все някога ще си получи клещите. Това няма нищо общо с мен.
Но фактът, че кравата е избрала мен, за да се сдобие с клещи, променя всичко. Потапя ме в цяла вселена от алтернативни съображения. И в тази
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
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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 Series (4 books)
  • Hear the Wind Sing (The Rat, #1)
  • Pinball, 1973 (The Rat, #2)
  • Dance Dance Dance (The Rat, #4)
Norwegian Wood Kafka on the Shore The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle 1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3) Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

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