The book is written on behalf of the main protagonist (by the way, there are no names in “A Wild Sheep Chase”, only nicknames), who is approaching his 30s. His wife had an affair and left him, and he lives a rather simple life: goes to work, meets random women, thinks about different stuff. He works in a small advertising agency; at his work, he gets acquainted with a woman that has a mystic power to draw strange events to herself.
"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...
A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel
Limited preview - 2010
“A Wild Sheep Chase” is a melancholic contemplation that brings stillness to the mind, similar to meditating on a Zen koan. The scenes Murakami describes slowly interweave with the main protagonist’s thoughts and memories of the past; the letters from his friend (who will once play the decisive role in this novel), stories told by random people whom the two main characters meet during their search for the sheep, the author’s descriptions–all this helps to plunge deeper into the atmosphere of the constant inner search, in which all of the novel’s characters seem to be dwelling in.
Wild Sheep Chase will launch in Taman Desa this Saturday, Aug. 15 – it’s a cafe that represents its founders well, with a gracious quality of quiet, big-hearted dreaminess that may inspire many to return to this place repeatedly. Chris & Sujian, who live in this neighbourhood, have borrowed inspiration from their travels in Japan & Taiwan to create a sanctuary that seeks to welcome everyone, whether you’re here on your own in search of serenity or visiting with friends to strengthen your bonds.