A Wild Sheep Chase

A Wild Sheep Chase

infobox Book |
name = A Wild Sheep Chase
title_orig = 羊をめぐる冒険
Hitsuji o meguru bōken
translator = Alfred Birnbaum

image_caption = US paperback cover
author = Haruki Murakami
cover_artist =
country = Japan
language = Japanese
genre = Surreal novel
publisher = Kodansha International
pub_date = October 1982
english_pub_date = December 31, 1989
media_type = Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
pages = 299 pp (US 1st edition)
400 (UK Paperback)
405 pp (JP 1st edition)
isbn = ISBN 0-87011-905-2 (US 1st edition)
ISBN 0-09-944882-3 (UK edition)
ISBN 4-062-00241-8 (JP 1st edition)
preceded_by = Pinball, 1973
followed_by = Dance Dance Dance

Nihongo|"A Wild Sheep Chase"|羊をめぐる冒険|Hitsuji o meguru bōken is a novel published in 1982 by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. It is the sequel to "Pinball, 1973", and is the third book in Murakami's "Trilogy of the Rat".

In "A Wild Sheep Chase", Murakami blends elements of American literature with Japanese contexts, exploring post-WWII Japanese cultural identity. The book is part mystery and part fantasy with a postmodern twist.

Plot summary

This mock-detective tale follows an unnamed Japanese man through Tokyo and Hokkaidō in 1978. The passive, neurotic, chain-smoking main character gets swept away on an adventure that leads him on a hunt for a sheep that hasn’t been seen for years. The apathetic protagonist meets a woman with magically seductive ears and a strange man who dresses as a sheep and talks in slurs; in this way there are elements of Japanese animism or Shinto.


Murakami wrote a sequel to this book, entitled "Dance Dance Dance", which also follows the adventures of the unnamed protagonist and the Sheep Man. However, its plot, tone and the majority of the characters are sufficiently different that "Dance Dance Dance" can be seen as separate from the "Trilogy of the Rat."


* Noma Literary Newcomer's Prize

Book information

"A Wild Sheep Chase" (English edition) by Haruki Murakami; translated by Alfred Birnbaum.
* Hardcover – ISBN 0-87011-905-2, published in October, 1989 by Kodansha International
* Paperback – ISBN 0452265169, published on November 1, 1990 by Plume Fiction

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