Title: After Dark
Author: Haruki Murakami
First published: 2004
Edition: Vintage Books
Paperback, 201 pages
Genre: Fiction | Contemporary | Magical Realism
Summary: A short, sleek novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn.
The midnight hour approaches in an almost empty all-night diner. Mari sips her coffee and glances up from a book as a young man, a musician, intrudes on her solitude. Both have missed the last train home.
Meanwhile Mari’s beautiful sister Eri sleeps a deep, heavy sleep that is ‘too perfect, too pure’ to be normal; she has lain asleep for two months.
◄ 4 out of 5 stars ►
This is the third book that I have read by Murakami, the other two being “Norwegian Wood” and “South of the Border, West of the Sun”. So far I have very much enjoyed everything that I read by him.
This is not a plot driven book, there really is no specific plot that I can mention. This is rather an atmospheric and character driven novel. It is also quiet a short book – it only follows 7 hours of one day, from midnight to 7 a.m. It portrays us the lives of 5 different people and how they intertwine with each other.
The writing style in this novel is quiet simple. Most of the sentences are short and to the point. It makes it a rather easy read and probably a good starting point for reading the works of Murakami. It was still beautiful and captivating. I couldn’t put the book down.
One of the aspects I enjoyed the most while reading this book is the atmosphere. It simply enchanted me. The atmosphere was rather dark and eerie, making me enjoy it even more.
What I love most about any Murakami book are his characters. He always creates interesting and complex characters that I love reading about. As I already said, this is not a plot driven book, it rather focuses on the characters and their interactions. Murakami is a master at writing both, making this book an amazing experience. I especially loved the interactions between Mari and Takahashi.
The only thing that I didn’t like was the ending. Or rather I felt as if the book wasn’t completed. There just were some questions left that I would have loved to get answered.
I would recommend this book to everyone, especially if you want to start reading Murakami’s books.