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cook*create*read: Review: After Dark by Haruki Murakami

Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: After Dark by Haruki Murakami


After Dark by Haruki Murakami
Published by Vintage, 2008
Source:  gift

Author's Website:  Haruki Murakami

The back blurb:

Eyes mark the shape of the city.

The midnight hour approaches in an almost-empty diner.  Mari sips her coffee and reads a book, but soon her solitude is disturbed: a girl has been beaten up at the Alphaville hotel, and needs Mari's help.

Meanwhile Mari's beautiful sister Eri lies in a deep, heavy sleep that is 'too perfect, too pure' to be normal, it has lasted for two months.  But tonight, as the digital clock displays 00:00,  a hint of life flickers across the television screen, even though its plug has been pulled out.

Strange nocturnal happenings, or a trick of the night?

For me, this was a book of two halves.  I really enjoyed the story of Mari and Takahashi.  I loved the gradual growth in their relationship, the slight awkwardness and shyness, their uncertainty.  And I also really enjoyed the perspective the book was written from, how the reader watches the story unfold as if we are watching a movie.  However, Eri's side of the story was odd, no doubt about that, and this is more what I expected from Murakami.  Whether I like it or not, I'm not entirely sure.  I think this story was maybe a bit too short for me to get my head around, some things were never explained, and maybe this is the essence of Murakami, and maybe he and I are just not meant to be.

This story of two sisters was my first foray into the strange world of Haruki Murakami, and I suspect that I didn't quite grasp his full meaning with this.  But this has not put me off ... yet.  I own Norwegian Wood which I understand contains no magical realism, so that will be my next Murakami read.  I have long suspected that magical realism is not my thing, but for some reason I do so want it to BE my thing, so I will persevere!


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