Review: A Wild Sheep Chase


A Wild Sheep Chase
A Wild Sheep Chase
By Haruki Murakami
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375718946, April 2002, 368pp.)

The Short of It:

Quirky, thought-provoking and strange. In other words, classic Murakami.

The Rest of It:

I’m not sure why it took me so long to finish this one. I purposely held this one back so that I’d have a novel to read before his new book came out, but when I finally allowed myself to read it, I think it took me almost three months to finish it! Unheard of. Seriously.

Why? Well, it’s one of his more quirky ones. It’s very dreamy and surreal in a lot of ways, but at the same time, it’s very “normal” and domestic, if you know what I mean. There is a lot of eating, and thinking and yes…drinking. The main character is sent on a wild sheep chase. No, seriously. He’s sent to find a sheep with a peculiar mark upon its rump. He meets all sorts of strange people, including a woman with magical, seductive ears and a man who likes to dress-up in a sheep costume. It’s all very bizarre but also fascinating. I marveled at each paragraph. Maybe that’s why it took me so long to read.

The story itself did not pull me in like some of his other stories have, but that’s not to say that it wasn’t good because it was. It’s definitely a book to ponder and coming here to share the review, well, is a bit of a challenge. What do you say about a book that is just so odd in so many ways? As I have said before, Murakami has a way of working all the parts of your brain that you haven’t used in awhile. He’s great for putting an end to a reading rut and his writing is somehow comforting in all its strange, little ways. I find myself seeking him out, after reading a lot of mainstream fiction.

After all my Murakami gushing over the years, some of you have taken the plunge and read him. Many of you have come back to tell me that you enjoy his writing. The rest? Some are too intimidated by him to give him a try, but I have hope.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

The Sunday Salon: The Murakami Unboxing

Sunday Salon

Hello friends! OMG! Last week was THE most difficult week. Lots of stuff to deal with. Lots of deadlines. I was running all over heck with my head partially cut-off. I tend to hold it all in, so looking at me, most probably thought I was okay but inside I was losing my $hit. No kidding.

The highlight of the week was receiving my Murakami prize pack for the Fan Ambassador thing. I received it, fawned over the package and then fell into bed in an almost comatose state because I was so tired. The next day, I was going to tear it open but I thought it might be fun to record it even though I cannot stand myself on video. See how much I love you all?

Here is the “unboxing” in all its glory. This is a straight out of the camera recording and unfortunately, The Teen was out of focus with his camera skills in some places but that is what I get when I ask him to do it right after he wakes up.

As mentioned in the video, the giveaway details I am still pondering so look for it soon.

What am I reading?

With Murakami behind me (wiping a tear) I am diving into The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. I typically read more than one book at a time but I haven’t figured out which two to add to the one I noted above.

I keep mentioning an October read-along. It’s coming. It will be fun. It promises to fit the season perfectly. We will announce it soon.

What am I cooking?

I bought the most delicious Italian sausage to make some pasta. Sausage, sautéed with onions, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms and a tiny bit of cream.

What am I watching?

We watched The Lego Movie which was actually very good. The Hub was not a fan at first, but he changed his mind about a quarter of the way through. It’s very different and very clever but still “kiddish” unless you are a huge fan of Legos. I know a lot of adults are.

I hope to hit church this morning and then the rest of the day is open. What do you have planned for today?

Fan Ambassador – Oh Yes!!!

Fan Ambassador

Do I look happy in this photo?? That is because I am!! I am so freakin’ happy because I was chosen to be a fan ambassador for Murakami’s new book, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. You may remember that the quote card contest did not go well for me. Ahem. Right after that, I entered this other contest to be a fan ambassador and I got word yesterday that I’d been chosen! They didn’t really define what an ambassador was but I am interpreting it as “super fan” and I am most definitely that (and then some).

Colorless Tsukuru and his Years of Pilgrimage

I won a signed copy of the new book and I get four copies of Norwegian Wood to hand out. As so many of you know, I love this author and I was so sad when I wasn’t chosen to receive a review copy but this makes up for it! I am about 20% into the Kindle version and I am completely absorbed by the story.

Anyway, thanks so much for all of your quote card contest votes and putting up with my daily blathering on Facebook, Twitter and everywhere else. Once I get the books, I will host a giveaway.

Happy Friday!

It’s Finally Here!

Colorless Tsukuru and his Years of Pilgrimage

It’s here! It’s here! Well, not really. I have yet to buy the hard copy but the library surprised me by sending me the eBook last night at 9pm! I bet you know what I was doing before bed. Yes!! I read a chapter or two for sure and then this morning I read a bit more.

Early thoughts:

Tame
Slightly different writing style (could be the translation)
Characters are starting off strong

I actually prefer paperback versions but the first edition hard covers have a sticker sheet so you can design your own cover. Think I can snag one? We’ll see. There is even a sticker competition! Click that link if you want to see the cover up close and personal. By the way, if you are using Chrome, that video may not play. I can’t get it to play on my end but it works in the other browsers. Just thought I’d mention it in case you are unable to open it.

The quote card contest didn’t pan out for me but I did apply to be a book ambassador. I have high hopes that I will be chosen. Crossing fingers.

Are you reading it today too?

Haruki Murakami Quotecard Contest – Please Vote for Me!

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Murakami Postcard

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Oh my goodness. Yesterday on Facebook, Knopf posted a contest for a chance to win a signed copy of Murakami’s new book!! Oh my goodness! I would totally come unglued if I won a signed copy. Anyway, I designed the postcard you see above. If you’d vote for it, I’d be ever so grateful.

Here is the direct link to the card. Voting can take place once per day too!

Also, if you would like to submit your own design, the link above also includes the link for you to submit your own. If you do, let me know so I can return the vote. Thanks!

Cover Lust

New Murakami Covers

I am shaking my head because this is so unfair.

I finally, FINALLY own all of Murakami’s novels in paperback and what happens?? They come out with these awesome new covers.

If you look closely, the images on the cover contain clues:

The Elephant Vanishes

See how that center image resembles an elephant’s trunk? Clever, huh?

I. Need. These.

The Anticipation is Killing Me, Part 1

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki
I don’t think I can wait until August 12th for this one to make its appearance. There is something so magical about a huge book launch and this one is huge. Murakami’s fan following is huge. I am trying to be patient but August can’t get here soon enough.

Haruki Murakami

He’s cool, without trying to be cool. Look at him standing there, all innocent. He probably has no idea how crazy I am waiting for this book to hit the shelves. Heck, you can’t even read much about it yet. The only synopsis I’ve seen, mentioned old high school friends and how friendships became severed in college. Tsukuru, now in his 30’s, goes back to find those friends to figure out where they went wrong.

Simple enough plot, but I’m sure there are cats, ear talk, buckets of ennui, lots of eating, drinking of beer and exercise, not to mention strange sexual encounters and prostitutes.

I’m thinking about hosting a read-along for it. The totally unstructured, fun kind. Where you read at your own pace but we chat about it like crazy people. Still thinking about it. I tend to think new books are not good read-along material because most of the time, especially for a highly anticipated read, people just want to dive in and READ and not worry about deadlines, etc. I get that. Plus, I am still learning how to say the title. That is one long title.

This is just one of three books that I am seriously having a heart attack over. Those who know me probably know what the other two are.

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