Stan Murai's Reviews > A Wild Sheep Chase

A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
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Jul 27, 11

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This was Haruki Murakami's (村上春樹) third novel, published in Japan in 1982. A Wild Sheep Chase 羊をめぐる冒険. It was the first of his works to be translated into English in 1989. The unnamed narrator is an ordinary fellow who owns and operates a small advertising firm. But suddenly he runs into trouble with a powerful right-wing criminal boss who takes an extraordinary amount of interest in an undistinguished photo of a moutain pasture with sheep that a friend sent him and which he used in an ad. A representative of the big boss sends him to a cold, mountainous area in Hokkaido to look for this mysterious sheep with a barely visible star on its back. His girlfriend with wonderously perfect sexually seductive ears accompanies him. Together they travel to the mountains where he encounters a bizarre man in a sheep outfit and a ghost who drinks beer. This is a fantastic tale of an ordinary man who is inadvertently gets involved in an adventure to search for the sheep with a star on his back. It is in part a mystery, detective story with magical elements and a fantastic surreal quality.

This was the second novel by Murakami I had read. The first one was Norwegian Wood, which is a very different kind of work. I found the other novel to be emotionally very engaging, and I was quickly drawn into the story and characters, which although had some fantastic elements, seemed more rooted in the typical experiences of life, love, romance, death, and sexuality. The narrator and main character of A Wild Sheep Chase remains detached and apathetic from all the events that affect him in the story. And It actually took took me many pages of reading before I was finally caught up into the events of the novel. The whole tone of the work is humorously dry, like detective some novels. The surrealism ,I hear, is more typical of Haruki Murakami's works, some of which are very well received by readers and extremely popular.

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