42. After Dark by Haruki Murakami

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42. After Dark by Haruki Murakami

Post  twunny on Thu Oct 15, 2009 6:51 pm

The third book by Murakami I've read this year. I cannot get enough of this guy.

Unlike his "masterworks," Kafka on the Shore and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, this book is under 200 pages, and nothing really scarring happens. However, it also had quite a lot in common with those other books. The characters, although we only meet them briefly, are fully realized. They have problems of their own, but some insight into others' problems. The people are eerily real at times. And although they take steps to work out whatever it is they need and where they need to go, there are no answers in this book. It's just a snapshot of interrelated lives on one night between midnight and seven a.m.

Of the ones I have read so far, this one would make the best movie. The narrator moves through each scene like a camera on wheels, explaining the rules of being present without being able to effect anything in any given room. Also, because of it's length, it would translate well without massive cuts. I don't know why I'm harping on it, but while I was reading, I just kept thinking "movie."

If you've never read Murakami, I recommend you give him a try. And After Dark would be a great place to start. As I said, nothing too traumatizing happens. The only really bad thing happens offstage, so to speak. But it still has a trademark style that I love and have yet to see anywhere else.

twunny
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