Dan Sandman

26: A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami

In Books, Fiction on 26/06/2015 at 12:00 pm

A Wild Sheep Chase by Huruki MurakamiThe imaginative stories of Huruki Murakami play with reader expectations, taking the novel form into strange worlds. Murakami’s world is a place were historical truth co-exists alongside magical realism; where references from pop culture are scattered next to animals behaving extremely oddly. In short, Murakami is a master-mind novelist with a philosopher’s heart.

In his first novel A Wild Sheep Chase, Murakami sends the narrator on a journey to find a sheep. On the way, he meets a girl with magic ears, finds out a wealth of information regarding Japanese sheep farming, and gets involved in some sort of ring-wing conspiracy. Although much of the novel has an unworldly feel to it, the characterization and dialogue of the narrator are rooted in reality – it’s just the people he meets who are strange.

This juxtaposition of magic and realism gives the reader a sense of the uncanny, as subconscious elements are driven up from below the surface. The overall effect of Murakami’s technique is to question the very meaning of reality, and in particular how writers guide our minds to explore unworldly and uncanny versions of the real world. It is a strange universe, and most of the important questions – why are we here? what are we doing here? where do we go when we die? – remain unanswered.

Read this book to discover that we still don’t have the answers.


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