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A Wild Sheep Chase
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'Murakami must already rank among the world's greatest living novelists' Guardian

About the Author

In 1978, Haruki Murakami was 29 and running a jazz bar in downtown Tokyo. One April day, the impulse to write a novel came to him suddenly while watching a baseball game. That first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, won a new writers' award and was published the following year. More followed, including A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, but it was Norwegian Wood, published in 1987, which turned Murakami from a writer into a phenomenon. His books became bestsellers, were translated into many languages, including English, and the door was thrown wide open to Murakami's unique and addictive fictional universe. Murakami writes with admirable discipline, producing ten pages a day, after which he runs ten kilometres (he began long-distance running in 1982 and has participated in numerous marathons and races), works on translations, and then reads, listens to records and cooks. His passions colour his non-fiction output, from What I Talk About When I Talk About Running to Absolutely On Music, and they also seep into his novels and short stories, providing quotidian moments in his otherwise freewheeling flights of imaginative inquiry. In works such as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84 and Men Without Women, his distinctive blend of the mysterious and the everyday, of melancholy and humour, continues to enchant readers, ensuring Murakami's place as one of the world's most acclaimed and well-loved writers.

Reviews

This novel, the American debut of a popular contemporary Japanese writer, will have a familiar ring to Western ears. The narrative moves adroitly through mystery, fable, pensive realism, and modernist absurdity to tell the tale--at least on the surface--of a Japanese man caught up in a puzzling quest for a somewhat mystical sheep. The spare style echoes Raymond Carver, Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler, with matter-of-fact absurdities reminiscent of John Irving and, in less inspired moments, Tom Robbins. While the climax of the story is somewhat unrewarding, many readers will enjoy being pulled along by the playful and engaging style and fluid structure. Interesting as an example of current Japanese writing and as an unusually hip and irreverent look at contemporary Japanese society, this would be a nice addition to larger fiction collections.-- Mark Woodhouse, Elmira Coll., N.Y.

A Japanese yuppie plunges into chaos after he discovers a snapshot depicting a unique crossbreed of sheep. In ``a comic combination of disparate styles: a mock-hardboiled mystery, a metaphysical speculation and an ironic first-person account of an impossible quest . . . Murakami emerges as a wholly original talent,'' PW wrote. (Nov.)

Wonderfully easy to read and just as wonderfully difficult to make sense of...like the narrator, who slowly accepts the presence in his life of mystery, we slowly recognize the possibility of a new kind of world. Like him, we lean forward and topple headlong into magic * Washington Post *
It begins as a detective novel, dips into a screwball comedy, and at its close becomes a tale of possession...A highly accomplished piece of craftsmanship * New Yorker *
Mr. Murakami's style and imagination are closer to that of Kurt Vonnegut, Raymond Carver and John Irving * New York Times *
A Wild Sheep Chase has the conventional hull of a thriller - a quest, a mystery, an extraordinary woman, and plenty of elegant duress - but its fantastic superstructure transforms it into something quite different...a science fiction fantasy, a romance, a metaphysical tease, or a dramatisation of philosophical ideas * Independent *
If you consider yourself an intelligent, sensitive common reader but wish to accommodate something a little removed from your experience, and probably your imagination, I dare you to turn your eyes towards Murakami and head off on a wild sheep chase. * Glasgow Herald *

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