After Dark: Book Review

4/5 Stars
“Time moves in it special way in the middle of the night.”
That statement perfectly sums up this book for me. This is my first Murakami book I have read and it left me really wanting more of his writing.

I’ve been trying to expand my reading horizons and read books from authors from different countries. This was the book I chose as my Japanese read and I’m so glad I did. This was a spur of the moment buy since the other Murakami book I wanted was out of stock.
Murakami writes in such a surrealistic way that I felt as though we really have entered the dream world. His writing makes you acknowledge that the world moves on in strange ways at a time when most are asleep.
Murakami begins the book where most late night endeavors should begin at a Denny’s. This an aspect I truly love because I have had my experiences of two in the morning breakfast/dinner at Denny’s with my siblings. This truly puts the reader in a state of being somewhere After Dark. One of the main characters and could be consider the main protagonist of this story, is Mari, a studious girl reading a textbook at Denny’s. A musician boy, Takahashi walks in and decides to sit with her because he believes he knows her and her older sister, Eri. It turns out they had went on a double date a few years back and was truly interested in Eri, who’s a beauty and a model.

The story takes place from different perspectives and could be seen as the perspective in the dream world. This is where Mari’s sister resides and we come back to this viewpoint a few times in the novel. The writing in these sections are rather confusing, but I believe that is purposeful due to Murakami wanting a surrealistic and dream-like aura for these sections. I was rather confused by these sections the first two times we visit Eri. This is later explained in a different section of the novel, that Eri one day she was going to go sleep for a while and we learn she has not awaken in two months. Of course this left me confused? What type of person can live and fall asleep for two months straight? It is then explained that Eri wakes up sometimes to eat, bathe, and use the toilet, but has not been truly awake in two months. She is healthy and is not sick, but in my opinion I felt as though there was no closure for Eri. I did not understand why she couldn’t wake up, and Murakami did not truly explain what made her fall asleep for this long.

The story is showing how lives are entwined by certain events or actions. Even certain small things by being in the same restaurant as the person, meeting  a person someone else has met, etc. It truly delves into the idea about how small the world really is.

Overall, I would recommend this book. Yes, I understand the parts with Eri could be confusing, but I do believe that was Murakami’s purpose. Perhaps it was to show the reader that we don’t understand the dream-world and maybe try to symbolize that we don’t always understands what happens after dark and may never have the answer.

Check out this book if you don’t mind being tripped up a little bit and not understanding all that happens, for that truly is a realistic thing about life. We don’t understand all, but that’s fine.


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