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A Wild Sheep Chase

A Novel
Written by: Haruki Murakami
Narrated by: Rupert Degas
Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Quirky and utterly captivating, A Wild Sheep Chase is Murakami at his astounding best.

An advertising executive receives a postcard from a friend and casually appropriates the image for an advertisement. What he doesn't realize is that included in the scene is a mutant sheep with a star on its back, and in using this photo he has unwittingly captured the attention of a man who offers a menacing ultimatum: Find the sheep or face dire consequences. 

Thus begins a surreal and elaborate quest that takes listeners from Tokyo to the remote and snowy mountains of Northern Japan, where the unnamed protagonist has a surprising confrontation with his demons. 

©1982 Haruki Murakami (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"Murakami is a mythmaker for the millennium, a wiseacre wiseman." ( New York Times Book Review)
"Marvelously engaging, at turns witty, dry, wicked, even loopy. Reading A Wild Sheep Chase is like spending a splendidly foul weekend with the Four Raymonds - Chandler, Carver, Massey, and Queneau." (Frederick Barthelme)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris Abraham
  • 2014-01-04

Magic realism just the way I like it from Murakami

What did you love best about A Wild Sheep Chase?

I downloaded this onto my iPhone from Audible.com for my motorcycle ride from DC to Charleston. First, the length was perfect. Secondly, it is an amazing exploration of magic realism. With Murakami, you never truly know the difference between what is real and what is paranormal. The story is seamless, it's timeless, and while not life-changing in the same way as Wind Up Bird Chronicle, it reminds me of it and made me happy in the same way. Very fulfilling and enjoyable and I am sure I will read it again.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Frank
  • 2014-05-25

...narration like Frank Muller and David Lynch...

Murakami is always perfect, I think. At least, I really, really like everything I've ever read by Haruki Murakami.

What make this book a little more special was the wonderful narration job by Rupert Degas. His narration is a lot Frank Muller and David Lynch combined, voice quality, like.

His different voices are perfect. He doesn't try to add in a Japanese flavor, but rather takes the Japanese settings and locales and interprets the accents to how they might seem if this novel were taking place in America.

Like when the narrator of the book goes back to his hometown, the different people in the town have a more country-esque flair to their voices.

Too, the way Rupert Degas says the word, "sheep," and the different variations of sheep in this novel is perfect. He buys into this 100 percent and allows us, the readers, to buy in 100 percent, too.

His French accents are incredible, also. When the narrator and his girlfriend are dining in the French restaurant in Tokyo, the dude really does a wonderful job with the menu items.

And the story is wonderful. If you've never read anything by Haruki Murakami, this is as good as any place to start, I guess.

If you have read Murakami before, this is definitely a Haruki Murakami novel.

It's 100 percent wonderful and definitely worth buying and reading and listening too.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Jase
  • 2017-11-13

A great Murakami starter book

If you've never read Murakami before, this is one of the best books to start with. It has all the elements he's known for and the story is fascinating. Don't let the fact that it's the third book in a series scare you off, because it can be read independently. You don't need to have read any other book to read and enjoy this one.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • sgonk
  • 2016-03-21

Early Murakami

This is definitely Murakami!

Although this was an early one for him, I listened to this after reading many of his later works. This one follows the pattern--or perhaps created the pattern--of his books. I really enjoyed the story and it made me think like his works typically do, but I didn't enjoy it as much as some of his others (my favorites are Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Kafka on the Shore, 1Q84).

The author's voice was appropriately flat, and most of the accents for different characters were very good. Even the voices that weren't great were identifiable different and unique to that character. A problem I have often with narration was also present here--men narrating tend to make women's voices all sound the same (and like a man speaking in a high voice). Not an easy thing to solve, I guess...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Rebecca H
  • 2015-03-24

My first Murakami

I had I real expectations for this book, but was delighted by the way it was written. I'll likely read it again in hard copy as I think there's more to thereof than what I can extract from one audio sitting.
The narrator was good, and I really loved his performance of the narrating protagonist voice. His dead pan manner left me laughing more than once. Some of the depictions of other characters was a bit cartoonish at times, but not enough to take away from the story too much.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • user
  • 2017-01-05

Best of trilogy for story disliked performances

Best of the rat trilogy by far and one of murakamis best.

The weirdness of this reading is the strange character voices in the performance incongruous with what we know about each of the characters from earlier in the trilogy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wilburn
  • 2016-12-27

Poor Narration

Murakami great as always, but the narrator was subpar. Some of the voices used for various characters were bizarre, ill-fitting and distracting...felt like he had an inventory of voices and was intent on using those particular voices regardless of appropriateness. This one may be one to read rather than listen to.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Shaun O'Boyle
  • 2016-10-31

Fav Murakami so far

Any additional comments?

This is my favorite Murakami novel so far, with a sense of humor that can be lacking in the later novels. Worth the credit for an interesting journey.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • E. Kodra
  • 2015-02-06

Magnificent tale of human loneliness and regret

A beautiful, and somewhat surreal book, in good Murakami tradition. In a way, it's a cautionary tale on the need to appreciate the life that you have, and the loneliness that comes from mindless pursuit of happiness in other places.
Degas reading is pure bliss...
Great for weekend afternoons when the weather is freezing cold.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Scott
  • 2019-05-23

Narrator

After listening to some other Murakami novels, I’ve decided this Degas person is not the worst narrator. At least he’s able to read full sentences without stopping midway. But why on earth would a Chinese bartender in Japan sound like a cowboy from Texas?

I’m taking another star off for the “performance” because the Rat’s ex-girlfriend has a goofy southern accent too. THESE PEOPLE ARE IN JAPAN! THEY’RE JAPANESE! THEY DON’T HAVE AMERICAN ACCENTS!

I’m taking it all down to one star because I finally got to the part where he’s eating and talking. It’s disgusting. Everyone involved in this production ought to be ashamed; people are paying to listening to this because they love Murakami, not to hear some person chewing in their ear.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful