Born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1949, Haruki Murakami grew up in Kobe and now lives near Tokyo. The most recent of his many honors is the Yomiuri Literary Prize, whose previous recipients include Yukio Mishima, Kenzaburo Oe, and Kobo Abe. His work has been translated into more than fifty languages.
A Japanese yuppie plunges into chaos after he discovers a snapshot depicting a unique crossbreed of sheep. In ``a comic combination of disparate styles: a mock-hardboiled mystery, a metaphysical speculation and an ironic first-person account of an impossible quest . . . Murakami emerges as a wholly original talent,'' PW wrote. (Nov.)
This novel, the American debut of a popular contemporary Japanese writer, will have a familiar ring to Western ears. The narrative moves adroitly through mystery, fable, pensive realism, and modernist absurdity to tell the tale--at least on the surface--of a Japanese man caught up in a puzzling quest for a somewhat mystical sheep. The spare style echoes Raymond Carver, Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler, with matter-of-fact absurdities reminiscent of John Irving and, in less inspired moments, Tom Robbins. While the climax of the story is somewhat unrewarding, many readers will enjoy being pulled along by the playful and engaging style and fluid structure. Interesting as an example of current Japanese writing and as an unusually hip and irreverent look at contemporary Japanese society, this would be a nice addition to larger fiction collections.-- Mark Woodhouse, Elmira Coll., N.Y.
"Murakami is a mythmaker for the millennium, a wiseacre wiseman."
-New York Times Book Review "A delight . . . equal parts
screwball comedy, detective story, and heroic quest." -USA
"A witty adventure . . . a piece of verbal anarchy . . . a labyrinthine mystery from start to finish." -San Francisco Chronicle
"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