After Dark

Haruki Murakami's After Dark is more novella than novel. Indeed, the US edition weighs in at only 191 pages. I was a bit put off by its length, to tell you the truth, yet I discovered that the book is as long as it needs to be. Murakami's tale draws you in and won't let go, and soon the number of pages becomes meaningless.

This magical realism story is an intimate narrative that follows the interwoven storylines between a number of disparate characters: Mari, a young student determined to spend the night away from home; Eri, her sister, a fashion model who's been slumbering inexplicably for the last two months; Takahashi, a jazz trombonist who stumbles upon Mari and recognizes her; Kaoru, the manager of a "love hotel" and her staff; a Chinese prostitute brutalized by a customer; Shirakawa, the businessman who beat up the hooker. After Dark explores how these men and women are all related, with everything occurring during the span of a single Tokyo night.

In this flawless translation, Haruki Murakami's impeccable, evocative prose expounds on the different states of loneliness.

The dialogues, even when they appear innocuous, show a lot of insight, while the deep and more thoughtful conversations are a delight.

Still, it's the atmosphere created by the author which makes After Dark a special read. The ambience is sublime, as if the night became a character in its own right. The darkness becomes a time of revelations, a period of transition in the lives of the cast.

As a short, sleek book, After Dark is perfect for the beach, the plane, or the train. Bring this one along with you on vacation and you won't be disappointed!

The final verdict: 7.5/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

4 commentaires:

Anonymous said...

Just curious, have you read Kafka on the Shore also by Murakami? If not I highly recommend that you get your hands on it A.S.A.P

Anonymous said...

My recommendation also! Kafka on the Shore.

Aidan Moher said...

Well, Pat.

You're going to cost me a lot of money! I was glancing through this today based on your recommendations and it really tested my willpower not to buy it!

You're introducing me to way too many authors!

Tomáš Dudáš said...

I can only recommend Haruki, in my opinion he is one of the finest active writers...