A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami, Tokyo 1982

Like most of Murakami's books, A Wild Sheep Chase is a roller coaster of images, words, ideas and events. It is somewhat similar to wandering through an exhibition of surrealist art, wondering all the time as to whether there is an actual meaning attached to each artwork or whether everything is centred entirely on individual emotional responses and/or ideas.

The unnamed protagonist is given the almost impossible challenge to find a sheep - not just any sheep but a very special sheep with a star on its back. If he fails to find the sheep within a set time then someone will die. Accompanying him on his search is a strange young woman with very peculiar ears. As the search progresses (and becomes more and more complicated) other characters are introduced, all of whom, in some way or another, are important to the dénouement of the novel.  

The book is amazing, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who does not mind roller coasters. There is suspense, comedy and, in the end, a quiet kind of self-realization.

Where does the line go between real and unreal, the mundane and fantasy, life and death? Is it perhaps so that the thing for which we are constantly searching is actually with us all the time?

The photo of Murakami is from en.wikipedia.org. The photo of sheep is from www.haruki-murakami.com