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After Dark (Vintage International) Paperback – April 29, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Where Murakami will go next is a bit of a mystery. The final five stories in Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman were written after After Dark and bear more of a similarity to his earlier style than they do to this novel. Will he return to a brand of the mystic realism that has made him popular both in Japan and abroad, or will he continue the difficult process of reinventing himself? I hope Murakami has not run out of steam, but if After Dark is a sign of things to come then I'm afraid the period from the mid-80s through the mid-90s will be remembered as Murakami's halcyon days. His next work will be the key--as a fan of his work, I hope that my pessimism is unfounded and his next novel is a return to the greatness he is capable of. Personally, I look forward to reading other reviews of this book (as well as feedback on my own) to see what other readers think ... I have a feeling opinions will be divided.
I was captivated by it from the start. It kind of veers between experimental novel and hyper-realism. The experimental novel parts are where the point of view is described as an actual camera, hovering over the action, zooming in and out, observing the scene, and also observing the first law of time travel: do not intervene in the events unfolding. Televisions that aren't plugged in nevertheless flicker in and out, showing further unexplained scenes of a faceless man watching. There is a Sleeping Beauty, we gradually learn that she is named Eri Asai, and she has been asleep for a very long time, yet she is not in a coma. This concerns her sister, Mari Asai, who is studying in a Denny's restaurant in an effort to escape the oppressive atmosphere of waiting for when, if ever, her sister will awaken from her slumbers.
The parts of the novel involving younger sister Mari are the hyper-realistic ones. It seems you couldn't pick a more mundane subject, a night studying in a family restaurant chain, yet there is something about the way Murakami describes it that is fascinating.Read more ›
One character never awakes and her sister never sleeps. The plot, such as there is one, revolves around a brutal midnight attack on a girl by a john at a love motel.
One of the characters says, "It used to be after the sun set, people would just crawl in their caves and protect themselves. Our internal clocks are still set for us to sleep after the sun goes down." "After Dark" is about how we resist this biological imperative and how that resistance messes with our heads.
I'm a huge Murakami fan and I admire what he does here. Yes, it has some of the usual touches; alienated youth, the pop culture references and weird points of view. But there is very little of his trademark magical realism or narrative development in "After Dark." So while I liked "After Dark" and respect Murakami's willingness to venture into new territory, I can't recommend a newcomer to his work to start here.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I feel as if I just watched a film produced by David Lynch and directed by Darren Aronofsky (Google them). Read morePublished 18 days ago by Lori Lesko
I have read a dozen Murakami books and enjoyed nearly all of them. A few I count among my "best of" novels and I highly recommend them to friends. This is not one of them. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
[Note to readers unfamiliar with Tokyo: There are a couple facts about the city that one must understand for this book to make sense. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bernie Gourley
Very good story telling. I rarely read fiction. However I enjoyed the plot, the characters and the detail Murakami put in this book.Published 3 months ago by NiceGuy
Portrays in great detail the darkness the lies in each of us, the event of the novel all occurring in the span of a single night. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Illuminating Traveler
I truly enjoy being shuttled back and forth between all of Murakami's many worlds -- inner and outer. Read morePublished 5 months ago by G.M.