“A Wild Sheep Chase” by Haruki Murakami
(First publication: 1982 / This edition: Vintage Books 2003)
Taken during a quick coffee stop after lunch with my best friend
“Uh-huh,” she said, handing her half-smoked cigarette to me. I took one drag, then crushed it out in an ashtray.
“And that’ll be the beginning of a wild adventure.”
I had to read this after I finished “Dance Dance Dance” and realized that I should’ve read this one before that one.
I finished it a few months ago actually. It was a wild, thrilling ride—and I enjoyed it… even though I barely had a clue about what was going on. My friend said it was one of his favorite reads a few years ago and he was captivated by it—which had made me that much more enthusiastic about reading it, and, well, hoping I’d get something from it.
Though it was fun, I enjoyed “Dance Dance Dance” better. I felt like I was able to grasp what was going on a bit better in that one. For this one, I just ended up having more questions about this “Sheep Man”. The more I read, the more confused I became, and the less I believed in the story. I didn’t get the “epiphany” or “eureka” moments many seem to rave about—I was just lost.
The protagonist is pretty much on a “wild sheep chase”, hunting for a particular sheep or else his life will fall to pieces. He has his “sidekicks” and helpers along the way, but… it was just disappointing in the end, because I just didn’t get it. Another friend of mine asked me afterwards, “Why sheep?”, and I was just like, “…..the hell would I know?”
Anyway, back to the guy friend that said that he loved this book. We met a few days after I finished the book, and he asked about my liking for Murakami. I replied saying that I actually don’t like Murakami that much, even though I seem to been reading a lot of his books lately. I don’t like that there’s a “Murakami-format” where every book of his is predictable (as I ranted about in the “Dance Dance Dance” post—but there’s something about him that makes me want to go back to every time I want an “escape”. I literally get so absorbed in his stories for hours on end, even if I haven’t got a clue about what was actually happening.
Anyway, so that’s what I have to say about this book. I would recommend it, not for the content or the story itself, but just if you want an “escape” from everything and to get your mind off of things. Go on a wild, confusing adventure… involving some kind of strange and eerie sheep,