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Review: After Dark by Haruki Murakami

after dark cover Review: After Dark by Haruki Murakami

The sleeping woman appears to be totally unaware of the events occurring in her room. . .

after dark Review: After Dark by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami likely needs no introduction, but Ill give you a quick one, anyway. Murakami is a Japanese writer of magical realism who is known for his strong Western sensitivities in his writing and for the quirky tropes that repeat throughout his books. Murakami, an erstwhile jazz bar owner, one day simply decided to become a writer, and did, to stupendous success. (He also decided to start running double marathons one day, but we need not focus on such torture here). Hes probably best known for his novel Norwegian Wood, which oddly enough isnt really representative of his style, which I think is much better shown through chunkier, more interesting tomes such as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and the recent Kafka on the Shore.

Murakamis latest book, After Dark, continues in the vein of Wind-Up Bird and Kafka, in that it marks a bit of a departure from his other works, which had begun to blur together into a series of Lucky 7 -smoking school girls, black cats, cucumber sandwiches, and jazz records. Murakami, while an interesting writer, tends to fall back on particular styles and formats, so its good to see him making an effort to branch out. After Dark is proof of his growth as a writer.

The book is a slim one, just hitting 200 pages, and takes place over roughly a seven hour period in Tokyo. In a dreamlike manner, it revolves around schoolgirl Mari, who comes across a variety of strange and curious characters throughout the night, while her sister slumbers through the same seven hours: it is perhaps a sort of odd yin and yang relationship. 'To call Mari the main character of this novel would perhaps be incorrect. Maris major role is to be the central pivot on which the other characters turn. Their interactions are ordered and centred through her. After Dark is an intoxicating experience, and while the novel is by no means perfect, it will engage you utterly while youre reading it. Youll find its a perfect read for those post-midnight hours, when youre sitting alone with your drip coffee and your cucumber sandwiches.

 Review: After Dark by Haruki Murakami

Purchase After Dark.

See our other'Haruki Murakami reviews

Other books by Haruki Murakami you might like: Norwegian Wood; The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle; Kafka on the Shore; Blind Woman, Sleeping Willow

Acknowledgements: coffee image by Tom Curtis, courtesy of

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