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A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel Paperback – Apr 9 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (April 9 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037571894X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375718946
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Nguyen on June 5 2006
Format: Paperback
What is power? What is life? What is living? Murakami explores all those questions in a hauntingly beautiful and absurdist tale of an everyman on a hunt, then a quest, to find a curiously marked sheep with mysterious powers. Reveling in his mundane life, the protagonist and un-named author reflects the sterilie modern life: our daily routines are but anesthesias against the encroaching dangers of a truly lived life. In his own words, the narrator searches for boredom instead of trying to escape it. Then the sheep spector appears, and begins to wreck his carefully constructed persona -- beginning to pump life into what before had only been shadows of emotions (e.g. J's bar, a dried beach)

This is a great leap down the rabbit hole and back -- and upon coming back, a sense of melancholic affirmation will linger with you beyond the finished words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daffy Bibliophile TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 4 2013
Format: Hardcover
I don't know if sheep ever chase their tails the way dogs do, but if this novel were a sheep, that's what it would do. "A Wild Sheep Chase" is the second book by Murakami that I've read and, while his style is very enjoyable (as translated by Alfred Birnbaum), the meaning of this tale eludes me. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the book but the ending was a bit of a letdown. From pathos to bathos. There is a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek humour in the novel as well and also the fun of a good mystery, but Murakami seems to have lost his way towards the end of the story which is a shame.

"A Wild Sheep Chase" was written early in his literary career and it shows hints of what Murakami would produce with "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" right down to the protagonist wearing worn tennis shoes, having a cat with a crooked tail and breaking up with his wife. However, "A Wild Sheep Chase" lacks the sense of wonderment found in "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle"; it's a good book, but not a great book. Still, if you ever find yourself on a train headed to the middle of nowhere in search of you're-not-sure-what and need something good to read...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Austin M. Kramer on June 11 2004
Format: Paperback
I like to think of there being two very different kinds of novels: ones about characters, and ones about events. Some try to tell a story of something that happened, some try to tell a story about the people that fill up this world.
Of these two, the work of Haruki Murakami is definately character driven. The entier point of his books, actualy, tends to be the people in them, looking for eachother, separating and reconnecting, beeing twisted together in the braids of fate.
Some people, (esspecialy those who prefer the events-driven novels) may be frustrated with this book, because for much of it, very little in the way of events happen, and when events do happen, they are so strange and outlandish that one is half tempted to ignore them as tall tales fabricated by the characters to pull at our collective legs.
Thus, if a reader is of the right mindset, one can discount the plot and events entierely as some bizzaro-world never-never-land hallucinations, and cut straight to the jewels of the book: Murakami's ecstatoc observations about people, places, and things that are normaly so mundane in our life that we just over look them. By brining these banal things under such intense scrutiny he presents a world more fantastic then reality, more concrete than fantasy, and reminescent only of the way you must have looked at things as a child, where a bug in a jar was as fascinating as a plasma screen TV.
I will tentatively outright recomend Murakami to anyone, however, I will attach to that recomendation a warning, that you shouldn't be surprised (or take it personaly) if you don't like it.
To really appreciate his work on a personal level you have to be cut of the same cloth as a mad scientist, a Buddha, or Humphrey Bogart, although which one - I'm not yet sure.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Caught between two worlds, what is real and what is imagined? Tells the story of the Japanese need to believe in both the modern and ancient tales.
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By Sam TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 17 2010
Format: Audio CD
While reading A Wild Sheep Chase, Rupert Degas played the protagonist, his girlfriend, and the butler's voices quite well. However, when it came to the other characters, his voice became raspy and unbearable to listen to, sort of like Marge Simpson from The Simpsons.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A Wild Sheep Chase is a warm-hearted, mysterious, detective story that engages the imagination and elicits conjecture. I think the narration of the story is unique. Haruki Murakami uses a lot of meaningless humor;he brings focus to circumstances or objects that people usually don't pay attention to.He strongly shows isolation, but the way he describes it is not at all gloomy or serious. The story doesn't reveal the answer to the mystery of the sheep easily. I thought I would be able to solve the riddles in the story while reading because Murakami drops many hints. However, as I continued reading, I realized that I still could not have predicted the end. I read it without stopping because of my curiosity. The ending was quite unexpected and desolate. I like the story very much because it was full of suspense, surprise,and shifty turns. I want to read this story again, but in Japanese.I think reading it in the original language is best because the expression and humor will be true to the writer's meaning, which is sometimes lost or compromised in translations. I recommend this book to people who like detective stories, mysteries, and dramas. Also, I think it's better to have a little knowledge of Japan.
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