Chris Shaffer's Reviews > A Wild Sheep Chase

A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
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Oct 18, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: translations
Recommended for: Fans of the impossible and the fantastic.
Read in September, 2007

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 entymology, time and space, and the nature of what it means to have arrived just too late abound, and they're actually fun to think about (too much philosophical jargon really gets me going).

One of my favorite themes was the notion of silence, especially one that follows some kind of dramatic action. Several times throughout the novel the protagonist finds himself on a room, both alone and with other people, where different kinds of silence rest on things. I was blown away by the different ways one could express a single concept, and in each new description bring a completely new meaning to the word. For example, "The silence was not unlike the feeling one could get when the last curtain closes after a performance, the audience now gone, and the janitor, perhaps a man in his fifties with a wheeze, stands for a moment to inspect the job before getting on with the sweeping."
Or: "A silence hung in the room as if a window, open since earlier in the day, had finally been shut, the dust now settling onto the furniture."

You see what I mean. It's little things in this book. And things that are not said. Those always get me.

Ultimately, this was a very satisfying read, and I highly recommend it. And I'm probably going to read others.

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