A Wild Sheep Chase
is a novel by Japanese author Murakami Haruki
, who is also the author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
, and Norwegian Wood
, among other novels and short stories.
The novel focuses on the protagonist, whose name is never given, in his search for a strange mutant sheep featured in an advertisement for an insurance company, in which he used a photograph (including the sheep) given to him by his friend, The Rat.
The majority of the novel plays itself out with the protagonist and his girlfriend (also unnamed) searching Hokkaido and its agricultural records for clues in finding the whereabouts of the sheep, and the extent of The Rat's role in the mystery.
Definitely one of Murakami's more entertaining novels, A Wild Sheep Chase manages to charmingly exploit several common conventions of his writing. As with most of his writing, there are a few wildly outlandish characters (such as, in this case, The Sheep Man), and the protagonist tends to be reluctant to take initiative in solving his problems, oftentimes choosing to sit about and drink beer, pondering his fate.
Originally printed in Japan by Kodansha under the title Hitsuji wo meguru bouken, and first released in the United States by Kodansha International in 1989.