Tuesday, 22 October 2019

A Wild Sheep Chase. (Mindscape Reviews)

Hello Readers! Sorry for not posting all month! A few things came up because of which I had no energy to think or write anything. So far, the month has been good only reading-wise. I completed my target of reading 30 books! And, because there are still more than 2 months left, I have extended the target to 40 or possibly 50! So, this month I read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (It was SO GOOD), Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (Didn’t like it very much), The Adventures of Sally by P. G. Wodehouse (Such BEAUTIFUL WAY OF WORDS) & finally A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami (WEIRDLY INTERESTING!) Of all these, I am only reviewing A Wild Sheep Chase, so here you go!


A Wild Sheep Chase is exactly what the title suggests. It is the story of a man who goes on an adventure in search of one particular sheep. The novel is a mix between a mystery and philosophical story. There are so many things in it which make it a lot weird, but the weird part is the beauty of it which makes you not stop reading it.

The best part about the story is that no one has names & it is written with such simplicity that there is no confusion without names either.
The protagonist has a girlfriend with out-of-the-world ears. There is so much mention about her ears, more than her own personality.
Then, of course, there’s the sheep. He gets an image from his friend ‘The Rat’ which has the photo of many sheep, but there is this one unusual sheep in it. He had received that picture many years ago, but only recently he decided to use it in an advertising piece. This lead to the ultimate wild sheep chase. The protagonist along with his girlfriend goes on this wild & weird adventure.

Is the sheep real or just an imagination?
Will he find The Rat leading to the sheep?
What other weird things will unfold?
What will he gain or lose from this incredible journey?
What will be the reader’s interpretation of the sheep?

It will never leave you bored. Not for a moment. It has so many levels of genres. You got your mystery. You have philosophy. There is also a touch of history & facts. And, lastly there’s the glory of classic fictional style.

This is the second Murakami book I read. The first one was Norwegian Wood, which unfortunately failed to make an impression on me. But, because I don’t quit on authors on their first reads, I gave it another try & got it right with ‘The Wild Sheep Chase’. The narrative is catchy, compelling & creative, at its best. In the entire story, all the descriptions of places & people are so amazingly drawn. There is easily a movie going on in your head parallely & you don’t need to think about imagining it because the author paints it himself, so perfectly! The flow of the story is amazing too. The parts before & after are clearly written & then connected toward the end. And, oh the end! The oh so MASTERFUL END! You will never see it coming, but either way, it will not leave you after the book ends. Such is the wonderful narrative style of Murakami in this novel.

After reading this book, I had quite a LONG THOUGHT PROCESS. Usually, all I want to do is jump on another book before sinking in a reading slump. But, books like these deserve a post-thinking time to absorb it all in. There are so many implications. One of the most striking thought I had was the symbolism of the sheep. What could it stand for & how could it be interpreted. I’m sure every reader has different interpretations. But, I thought about how it merely was a lesson. He went after something unachievable, because he was tired of his ordinary life, but in the end, his ordinary life was the essence of his existence. We all, no matter how many adventures we embark upon or how many places we travel to, have to come back to our ordinary lives which are basically the foundations of everything. We just need something extraordinary & weird like a sheep to realise it.

There is this one line in it, which captures the essence of the book:
“The whole thing is damn stupid yet everything has a painful clarity to it.”

Reading this book was a thorough joy! It had many unpredictable things & it was most certainly the weirdest yet most real book I have read. I have rated it at 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

Until next time,

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