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After dark by Haruki Murakami
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After dark (edition 2006)

by Haruki Murakami, Jacques Westerhoven

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4,5421631,055 (3.6)203
Member:deepfocus
Title:After dark
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Other authors:Jacques Westerhoven
Info:Amsterdam [etc.] : Atlas; 217 p, 21 cm; http://opc4.kb.nl/DB=1/PPN?PPN=292315228
Collections:Your library
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After Dark by Haruki Murakami

Recently added byprivate library, kganey, tfcred, bobparr, kitwilde, Iynrew, toissavuonna, manicake, ofreptiles
  1. 20
    The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami (Miss-Owl)
  2. 00
    Number9Dream by David Mitchell (isigfethera)
    isigfethera: Both are slightly surreal coming-of-age-ish stories set in Tokyo. I think there is some similarity in style too.
  3. 00
    Tongue by Kyung-Ran Jo (freddlerabbit)
    freddlerabbit: Jo's style has been compared with Murakami's - I disagree, but the work Tongue bears the most resemblance to is After Dark.
  4. 00
    The Lost Episodes of Beatie Scareli by Ginnetta Correli (Jacey25)
    Jacey25: another novel where things are vaguely unsettling and the concept of being watched on television takes an interesting twist- a fantastic quick read
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» See also 203 mentions

English (143)  German (4)  Spanish (3)  Norwegian (2)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Swedish (2)  Hebrew (1)  Japanese (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (162)
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
Do you enjoy surrealism and the paintings of Salvador Dali? Neither do I...and, if you're anything like me, Murakami's admittedly interesting short novel will likely leave you feeling plenty puzzled and unsatisfied. Overall, I thought that "After Dark" fell well short of fine literature.

All was not lost, however. On the positive side, I did enjoy the author's excursions on how such an orderly city as Tokyo can (at least conceivably) transform into a chaotic Wild West at night...and, then, turn back again into its civilized daytime guise. (Whether that's what really happens, however, I have no way of knowing and no desire to find out. The proof is left to the reader, as the saying goes.)

On the negative side, however, the lumbering and unevocative descriptions of sleeping beauty Eri, and the author's promptings that we regard her slumbering visage from a variety of different angles as if we were a camera crew filming the event, delivered the same level of literary sizzle as a user's manual for a toaster oven.

The author went on to pose a series of riddles which, I suppose, he reckoned would mightily challenge his readers. For example: Who was that diaphanously masked man in the picture? What should we make of Eri's puzzlement over finding a lead pencil stamped with the company name associated with a slimeball software engineer whom Eri never knew? Will sister Mari's warming thoughts translate into action and save the TV screen image of Eri's corporeal form from dissolving into radiowave static?

To all of this blather, my response was: whatever, Murakami! How tedious! You've given us no reason to care about the answers to your riddles, one way or the other. Was the author's intent simply lost in the English language translation? Perhaps a little, but I doubt that the root cause of the author's weak story-telling is as simple as just that. The narrative's many weak moments probably suck every bit as much in Japanese.

Nonetheless, and from the perspective of the story's overall arc, I was pleased that stalwart Mari's deep introspection ultimately transformed her aloofness into love, enabling her to offer a seemingly healing gift of intimate comfort and care to long-slumbering sister Eri. Hooray for humanity! Surely a good life depends on the existence of such strong and rich personal connections. I was gratified that the book ended on such a high note...enough, I guess, for me to rank "After Dark" ahead of trying to make sense of a typical Dali painting. ( )
  EpicTale | Oct 15, 2014 |
What an utterly fascinating book! I'm not sure what made it so for me, except that all the characters, sleeping or awake, were interesting and this tiny slice of their lives kept me guessing and wanting more. I enjoyed the construction of the book by time and that it skipped around to the characters as each was part of the story. It left me wondering and wanting more, but also allowing me to fill in the blanks. Since I'm not a fan of the tidy ending, that suits my reading preferences. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Aug 2, 2014 |
Takahashi and Mari meet in a Japanese Denny's. Why? Because it's late. Mari is a 19 year old student who really doesn't want to go home, Takahashi is a musician with connections to her catatonic sister.

While the two struggle with young-people issues of angst and the future, drama arrives in the form of a Chinese hooker beaten by her John. The hotel manager finds Mari (at the suggestion of Takahashi) -- she happens to speak fluent Chinese and helps with a situation where no parties want police involvement. Sadly, this is the most exciting part of the book, and while we do meet the perp who beat the prostitute, his comeuppance is not part of the story.

While I'm sure the translation was accurate, the prose is stilted, perhaps too exact of a translation. Sentences tend to be short and abrupt, with little flowing narrative. It's like the dialog in a Japanese movie. This style unfortunately keeps the characters distinctly foreign and hard to find sympathetic with their fears and plights. A less literal translation that embraces the intent might make for a more accessible book in the English language. ( )
  JeffV | Jun 13, 2014 |
Murakami's lucid and clear style, aided by Jay Rubin's translation, draws the reader through a night in Tokyo spent in languid bars playing smooth jazz populated by affable men and enigmatic women. The prose highlights both the author's penchant for the surreal and the wistful passage of time at night, spent with strangers. Another fine work by one of the greats of modern Japanese literature. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
Another wonderfully deep book by Haruki Murakami. I love to read his stuff, can't wait to read more. ( )
  lloyd1175 | Mar 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
"A bittersweet novel that will satisfy the most demanding literary taste... It reminds us [that] while we sleep, the world out there is moving in mysterious and unpredictable ways."
added by GYKM | editSan Francisco Chronicle
 
"Potent and disturbing... He reminds us that the essence of horror in the post-modern narrative is not some gothic extravagance, but the realities that await us outside our doorstep."
added by GYKM | editBoston Globe
 
"A streamlined, hushed ensemble piece built on the notion that very late at night, after the lamps of logic have been snuffed and rationality has shut its eyes, life on earth becomes boundariless and blurred ... Standing sentry above the common gloom, Murakami detects phosphorescence everywhere, but chiefly in the auras around people, which glow brightest at night when combined."
added by GYKM | editNew York Times Book Review
 
"One of the author's most fully realized short fictions... He's drilling down to the essential mysteries of existence."
added by GYKM | editSalon
 

» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rubin, JayTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Eyes mark the shape of the city.
Quotations
“Let me tell you something Mari, The ground we stand on looks solid enough, but if something happens it can drop right out from under you. And once that happens you’ve had it: things’ll never be the same. All you can do is go on living alone down there in the darkness.”
In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It’s important to combine the two in just the right amount.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Har stadig denne til gode - glæder mig meget:-)
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307278735, Paperback)

A sleek, gripping novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the spooky hours between midnight and dawn, by an internationally renowned literary phenomenon.

Murakami's trademark humor, psychological insight, and grasp of spirit and morality are here distilled with an extraordinary, harmonious mastery. Combining the pyrotechnical genius that made Kafka on the Shore and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle international bestsellers, with a surprising infusion of heart, Murakami has produced one of his most enchanting fictions yet.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:45 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn, the novel features two sisters--Eri, a fashion model slumbering her way into oblivion, and Mari, a young student soon led from solitary reading at an anonymous Denny's toward people whose lives are radically alien to her own: a jazz trombonist who claims they've met before, a burly female "love hotel" manager and her maid staff, and a Chinese prostitute savagely brutalized by a businessman.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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