Friday, April 13, 2012

Featured Friday: A Wild Sheep Chase

Hello my lovelies!

It's Friday again! That means the weekend is here! Are you excited?

It also means that it's time for another Featured Friday! If you don't remember, this month's Featured Author is Haruki Murakami. Last week I introduced the author and presented the review schedule. This week I'm reviewing the first book on the schedule. This is a work of his that is, thus far, my favorite! (Have yet to read 1Q84.)

Please enjoy the following Featured Friday review of "A Wild Sheep Chase" by Haruki Murakami.


 
REVIEW


Title: A Wild Sheep Chase
Author: Haruki Murakami
Genre: Mythology/Philosophy Mystery
Published: April 9th, 2002
Pages: 368

A marvelous hybrid of mythology and mystery, A Wild Sheep Chase is the extraordinary literary thriller that launched Haruki Murakami’s international reputation.

It begins simply enough: A twenty-something advertising executive receives a postcard from a friend, and casually appropriates the image for an insurance company’s advertisement. What he doesn’t realize is that included in the pastoral 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 in black who offers a menacing ultimatum: find the sheep or face dire consequences. Thus begins a surreal and elaborate quest that takes our hero from the urban haunts of Tokyo to the remote and snowy mountains of northern Japan, where he confronts not only the mythological sheep, but the confines of tradition and the demons deep within himself. Quirky and utterly captivating, A Wild Sheep Chase is Murakami at his astounding best.


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Auggie-Talk Quill Rating
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5/5
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Creepy.....as....hades.

But that's why I loved it!!!



I'm serious. This book was so creepy it had me wiggling around in my seat in discomfort. Yet, I was absolutely captivated! I couldn't put the book down!



If you're a reader looking for a book that will take you more than one read to truly grasp, then this is the book for you.  It had my brain churning and my fingers tapping with nervous energy.


I'm not going to give a bit of a run-down of the book as I've done in previous reviews, just because it would sound too convoluted out of context. All you really need to know is our main character is forced to go chase a non-existent sheep out in the cold country.  He gets trapped on a mountain, in a creepy cabin, all alone and is occasionally visited by a sheep-man.

There you go.

Murakami's imagery is rich and the meaning of his works heavy and grey, like a cloud hanging right over your head while the sun shines everywhere else.
He is not an "IN YOUR FACE" horror master. He's the type that likes to really get under your skin in a very subtle way so that he has unguarded  access to your subconscious. When he gets there he gets busy digging and thrashing around and without suspecting it... you're suddenly disturbed.

I honestly have no complaints about this book. To be truthful, I really need to read it a few more times to better gather an understanding for the work. As a piece of pure entertainment it's thrilling, as a work of intellect it's probing and there are quite a few exchanges in the book that make you say "Wait... What?" You wish you had the option to raise your hand and ask for an explanation.

A Wild Sheep Chase is a love child of myth and philosophy and there's plenty to decipher along the literary journey from cover to cover. That's what's so nice about it, and it's what makes this book a fantastic one for a book club that's really looking for some grit to grind.

The sheep-man is probably my favorite character, though he's undoubtedly the most bizarre and unsettling.  He shows up randomly and you're never quite sure if he's real or not. You're never completely positive that the main character hasn't lost his mind. Near the end of the book you're not even completely positive that you haven't lost your mind. Doesn't that make a darn good book?!

Highly recommend this work. ABSOLUTELY.

Go! READ READ READ! 



Amazon: $10.85
Kindle: $11.99
Nook: $11.99

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THE AUTHOR
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Haruki Murakami. 

Haruki Murakami (村上春樹) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. His work has been described by the Virginia Quarterly Review as "easily accessible, yet profoundly complex." Critics suggest his work draws from film noir and contains elements of magical realism.

Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. He grew up reading a range of works by American writers, such as Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Brautigan, and he is often distinguished from other Japanese writers by his Western influences.

Murakami studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo, where he met his wife, Yoko. His first job was at a record store, which is where one of his main characters, Toru Watanabe in Norwegian Wood, works. Shortly before finishing his studies, Murakami opened the coffeehouse (jazz bar, in the evening) "Peter Cat" in Kokubunji, Tokyo with his wife[10] (1974-1981).

Many of his novels have themes and titles that invoke classical music, such as the three books making up The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: The Thieving Magpie (after Rossini's opera), Bird as Prophet (after a piano piece by Robert Schumann usually known in English as The Prophet Bird), and The Bird-Catcher (a character in Mozart's opera The Magic Flute). Some of his novels take their titles from songs: Dance, Dance, Dance (after The Dells' song, although it is widely thought it was titled after the Beach Boys tune), Norwegian Wood (after The Beatles' song) and South of the Border, West of the Sun (the first part being the title of a song by Nat King Cole).

Murakami is a keen marathon runner and triathlete, although he did not start running until he was 33 years old. On June 23, 1996, he completed his first ultramarathon, a 100-kilometer race around Lake Saroma in Hokkaido, Japan. He discusses his relationship with running in his 2008 work What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.
 
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Giveaways

NOTICE: The Sookie Stackhouse Giveaway ends in 2 days! 
 
Just to remind everyone, I have two great giveaways going on right now. If you'll just click the little linkies, they'll send you to the appropriate page. Good Luck!

 Ends May 1st
and 
Ends April 15th
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 Thanks for stopping by for this week's FEATURED FRIDAY. 


See you tomorrow for Stardust Saturday and an announcement of some exciting things to come!

Until Next Blog, 



Read on! 


~A.

1 comment:

  1. Just over from book blogs. You have such a beautiful blog – how could I not follow?
    I’d not heard of a wild sheep chase prior to my visit here, but it sounds like a must read.
    My blog is http://marchhousebookscom.blogspot.co.uk/
    please call in if you have the time.
    Barbara

    ReplyDelete

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