A Wild Sheep Chase (Hitsuji o meguru bōken) 1989 (trans)
I loved A Wild Sheep Chase – when I first read it years ago I remember being hooked so quickly and surprised by the seemingly ‘low-key’ ending (which in a way, really suits the oft-times taciturn narrators Murakami features).
For me, this is a great place to start if you’re new to Haruki Murakami. The story has all the classic Murakami elements; an almost detective-like search, a mysterious, bewitching girl and wonderful surrealist aspects – most strikingly perhaps, in one hell of a strange sheep that no-one can seem to find.
Unlike say, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’s wider scope, this shorter novel has a much swifter storyline and also features more surrealism than what’s widely considered another excellent entry point to his work, Norwegian Wood.
When I look back on it my strongest impression is actually (at first) feeling that the ending wasn’t as strong as I was expecting… yet I found myself thinking about the end of the story often in the days after. So, as it turns out, it was actually exactly what it needed to be 🙂