I am not the kind of person who can dig into themes and subtext and give everyone an insight into the deeper aspects of a story, so I’m just going to review the story in the only way I know how.
The protagonist is an almost too average guy. He doesn’t have a name. His wife just left him. He spends his days working at a PR business he half owns with an alcoholic friend.
And then a mysterious man shows up and wants him to track down a sheep in a photo that was used in one of their PR campaigns.
With the help of a girlfriend who has magical ears, they set off to the wilds of Hokkaido to find this sheep, which apparently inhabits people and then essentially tries to take over the world.
It all sounds really weird, and it is. But the interesting thing about Murakami’s books is how mundane the stories are, until suddenly they’re not. Apart from the sheep aspect (and the magic ears), the rest of the action is almost boring. There’s a lot of musing, and a lot of waking up, eating, walking etc. But I liked this because it reminded me of day-to-day life when I lived in Japan. I also love the descriptions of the scenery. Murakami has a deceptively simple way of writing things, which make abstract concepts easier to understand.
The last part of this book is quite dark and disturbing, although you don’t even really find out why until right at the very end.
I do recommend it, but I would possibly try something else by Murakami first to get a feel for how he operates.
I think this book will stick with me for a while.