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.

15 thoughts on “Review: A Wild Sheep Chase”

    1. Cleverly stated. His latest book is very different. I wonder if it’s due to the translation, the evolution of his writing style or the fact that he has become so popular in the US. It was very tame and dare I say it? A little more mainstream. 


    1. Ryu is on my list as well! I came across a list of the 10 scariest books and one of his was one there…the one where the main character obsesses over the desire to pierce the skin of a newborn. The title escapes me at the moment. 


  1. I really enjoyed (?) Wind Up Bird, but it was intimidating because it was bizarre. I also tried some of his short stories on audio and that totally DID NOT WORK. I was so confused. But I have Kafka on the Shore on my Kindle and it has been top of mind, so maybe after I read “Wool” I’ll give it a go. You’ll laugh at me, but when I saw the title of this post I thought you were being funny, using one of Murakami’s book titles to describe the week you have had!

    1. The title is great. It’s a hard story to sum up. I mean, it’s literally about a guy looking for a sheep but the interactions between him and the people he meets is rather interesting. 


  2. I have yet to read this one, but that’s only because I’m slowly making my way through his works. I’m definitely looking forward to it even more now 🙂 Love classic Murakami reads!

  3. He is one writer I know I need to read but never seem to get around to doing so. I have at least one of his books waiting for me on my bookshelves. One of these days…

  4. I love this book, and I can’t say that enough. The history book points dragged a little, but this is one book that shows how much of a master Murakami is. His skill in weaving the familiar with the surreal is unparalleled, but I’m insanely biased.

    1. I am biased too. There was only one book that had me scratching my head and that was 1Q84. I need to reread it again. It wasn’t that it was over my head but it was a little bit scattered to me. I think I need to read it again, slowly because I read it on release night, very quickly and think I missed a lot of key points. 

      As for Sheep Chase, it was an enjoyable read. I never felt so relaxed. Almost drugged. Murakami’s writing has that  effect on me. 


  5. Well, I’m definitely going to read more Murakami but I think maybe I’ll put this one off for a bit until I’m more comfortable with his particular brand of writing.

    1. You mean a guy dressed like a sheep is not appealing to you?? LOL.  Plushetalkslikethiswhenhetalkstothemaincharacter. No spaces. 


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