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After Dark (2004)

by Haruki Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,9582171,335 (3.62)239
Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. HTML:A short, sleek novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn, and every bit as gripping as Haruki Murakami??s masterworks The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore.
At its center are 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.
AFTER DARK moves from mesmerizing drama to metaphysical speculation, interweaving time and space as well as memory and perspective into a seamless exploration of human agency. Murakami??s trademark humor, psychological insight, and grasp of spirit and morality are here distilled with an extraordinary
… (more)
  1. 30
    The Elephant Vanishes: Stories by Haruki Murakami (Miss-Owl)
  2. 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
  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
    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.
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» See also 239 mentions

English (189)  German (6)  French (4)  Dutch (4)  Swedish (3)  Spanish (3)  Norwegian (2)  Japanese (1)  Hebrew (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (215)
Showing 1-5 of 189 (next | show all)
After Dark by Haruki Murakami has us, the readers, looking down on the character's lives and observing them silently. We watch Mari as she waits out the night at a Denny's and meet two people who kickstart a night of activities. We also watch Mari's sister Eri's room as she sleeps through the night.

This was a decent book, and I can see why a lot of people recommend it as a beginner Murakami novel. It was relatively easy to understand; and while it did include magical realism, it was minimal and only involved one small part of the plot. It also included other classic aspects of Murakami's work, like western imagery and chance encounters, which lure you into his writing style.

That being said, I prefer some of his other works over this one. The use of first person plural in this book threw me off and took me out of the actual events. I am glad I read it, but it is not a stand-out of his works for me. ( )
  Griffin_Reads | Jan 13, 2024 |
This was a lovely story about a blossoming friendship between the young trombonist Takahashi and Mara, the younger sister of a girl to whom he was once attracted. The whole story takes place during one night, but multiple things happen overnight, including an unfortunate incident involving a Chinese prostitute plus the weird temporary disappearance of Mara’s sister.

I love the way Murakami writes. He includes small details as if they’re the most important things in the world. In addition, he plays with magical realism in such a way to make his stories intriguing and fun. It’s been a while since I’ve read his stories. This one sure makes me want to get back to them again. ( )
  SqueakyChu | Jan 6, 2024 |
Murakami's prose is entrancing, and this short novel showcases it beautifully. The book spans only a few hours, but moves between characters as if through a dream, and bridges a clear glimpse of reality with what seems almost spectral. As always, though, it is the moments that stand out here, and Murakami's distinct way of presenting what seems utterly casual in a fashion that suggests everything rests on it.

I couldn't put down this book almost from the second I picked it up, and loved sinking into Murakami's words again.

Recommended. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Nov 8, 2023 |
Tanti passaggi promettenti che però non sono sfocati in nulla.

C'è la giovane Mari che ogni tanto ha l'irrefrebibile impulso di passare tutta la notte fuori (il perché ci viene spiegato e sinceramente la capisco). In una di questi notti si imbatte in un ex compagno di scuola della sorella (modella bellissimissima e impegnatissima). I due iniziano una conversazione (nonostante le risposte fredde e laconiche di Mari).
Non c'è nessuna odissea come scritto nella trama ( )
  HelloB | Apr 11, 2023 |
After dark, the city is a different woman. She sheds off her daytime attire, emerging uninhibited, transformed. For the dark hours court extremes. The night’s shadows hide the blackest of crimes but also random acts of kindness, nascent friendships and loves. The night brings hedonist pleasure to some, hard work to others. And as the mystics teach us, the night, whether real or metaphorical, can bring cleansing and growth.

While the rest sleep, those who stay awake form an ill-assorted family of sinners and saints, heroes and villains, hunters and prey. The diverse cast which peoples Murakami’s brief novel “After Dark” seems to be a cross-section of this community of outcasts, whom we accompany on the streets of Tokyo over one eventful night. There’s Mari Asai, a timid student who kills the early hours reading in a Denny’s. There’s Takahashi, a jazz trombonist who’s doing his last gig. There’s retired female wrestler Kaoru and her fellow employees at the Alphaville “love hotel”. There’s also a Chinese female prostitute battered by an improbable assailant, the suave office worker Shirakawa. And, in a typically Murakamesque (Murakamian?) touch there’s also Mari’s sister Eri, an attractive young woman who has decided to “go to sleep”, and who lies in bed in a sort of suspended animation, a cross between a latter-day Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.

What struck me about this book (which I read in an Italian translation by Antonietta Pastore) is how “cinematic” it is, in the sense that it often reads like a film script. There are swathes of dialogue, reported in direct speech. Much of the rest of the text consists of minute descriptions of sights and sounds. Often Murakami consciously evokes the perspective of a video camera, zooming in and out of scene. We can also hear the soundtrack to this imaginary movie – the title itself refers one of Takahashi’s favourite songs, Curtis Fuller’s “Five Spot After Dark”, but there several other musical references, from the Japanese hip-hop playing in the 24/7 supermarket to the Scarlatti and Bach which Shirakawa works and exercises to in a deserted office block. (Incidentally, one reader has helpfully built an After Dark playlist on Spotify).

I can’t say I’ve read many of Murakami’s works - this is only my third after Norwegian Wood and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. However, as I’ve said elsewhere, Murakami always leaves me somewhat perplexed. His books go down so easily and enjoyably, like a glass of sparkling wine. At times, even as they describe a city I’ve never been to, and a life I’ve never lived, they seem to speak directly to me, as if they knew my secrets. On the other hand, other passages seem trite, the dialogue artificial (why do Murakami’s conversations end up sounding like a counselling session?) I honestly can’t fathom him, just as most of his characters can’t seem to fathom themselves. ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Feb 21, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 189 (next | show all)
Många kommer nog att störa sig på den för att den är osammanhängande och saknar ett riktigt slut. Själv gillar jag den just därför, även om det finns en del annat att klaga på.

 
Murakamis romaner brukar alltid bli mer än summan av sina olika, ofta rätt banala beståndsdelar. Innan natten faller är dock ett undantag som inte blir mer än en, låt vara tidvis rätt så underhållande, smått förvirrad färd från mörker till ljus. Den är helt enkelt inte så bra.
 
Det är en stil flytande mellan genrer och upplevelser som Murakami driver sina underliga och vackra världar med, som smälter ihop myter och andeväsen med socialrealistiska plågor som kvinnohat, maffiahot, barnsexhandel och korruption.
added by Jannes | editDagens nyheter, Ulrika Milles (Mar 26, 2012)
 
"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
 

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Murakami, Harukiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gross, AlexCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porta, LourdesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rubin, JayTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Eyes mark the shape of the city.
Quotations
People's memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive...if I didn't have that fuel, if I didn't have these memory drawers inside of me, I would've snapped a long time ago...It's because I can pull the memories out of the drawers when I have to - the important ones and the useless ones - that I can go on living this nightmare of a life. I might think I can't take it anymore, that I can't go on anymore but one way or another I get past that.
Puffed no more than two or three times, her cigarette turns into a perfectly formed column of ash in the ashtray.
The same crescent moon is floating there. Strange that, viewed from one spot in the predawn city, such a big solid object could be hanging there free of charge.
Commuter trains of many colors move in all directions, transporting people from place to place. Each of those under transport is a human being with a different face and mind, and at the same time each is a nameless part of a collective entity.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. HTML:A short, sleek novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn, and every bit as gripping as Haruki Murakami??s masterworks The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore.
At its center are 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.
AFTER DARK moves from mesmerizing drama to metaphysical speculation, interweaving time and space as well as memory and perspective into a seamless exploration of human agency. Murakami??s trademark humor, psychological insight, and grasp of spirit and morality are here distilled with an extraordinary

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Har stadig denne til gode - glæder mig meget:-)
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