Book Review : After Dark

Name: After Dark
Author: Haruki Murakami
Genre: Fiction
Language: English (Originally in Japanese)
Pages: 201 (Paperback)
Buy: FlipKartAmazon
My Rating: 

The novel delivers gloriously… Inventive and alluring – David Mitchell, Gaurdian

Hypnotic, Spell Binding – The Times

Alienation is the central theme in this novel set in metropolitan Tokyo over the course of one night. Main characters include Mari, a 19-year-old student, who is spending the night reading in a Denny’s. There she meets Takahashi, a trombone-playing student who loves Curtis Fuller’s “Five Spot After Dark” song on Blues-ette; Takahashi knows Mari’s sister Eri and insists that the group of them have hung out before. Meanwhile, Eri is in a deep sleep. Mari crosses ways with a retired female wrestler, now working as a manager in a love hotel (whom Takahashi knows and referred to Mari), a Chinese prostitute who has been beaten and stripped of everything in this same love hotel, and a sadistic computer expert. Parts of the story take place in a world between reality and dream.

“After Dark” , is 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. Individuals who were separate during the day begin to lose uniqueness, to leak distinctiveness, melting into a soft psychic collective. As the hands of the clock slice deeper into the shadows, physics weakens, yielding to metaphysics, and the rigid you and I of things breaks down. During the wee hours, we’re all in this together, our spirits spooned like lovers’ bodies. – WALTER KIRN (The New York Times)

Some good lines from book:

  • That people’s memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive. Whether those memories have any actual importance or not, it doesn’t matter as far as the maintenance of life is concerned. They’re all just fuel. Advertising fillers in the newspaper, philosophy books, dirty pictures in a magazine, a bundle of ten-thousand-yen bills: when you feed ’em to the fire, they’re all just paper. The fire isn’t thinking ‘Oh, this is Kant,’ or ‘Oh, this is the Yomiuri evening edition,’ or ‘Nice tits,’ while it burns. To the fire, they’re nothing but scraps of paper. It’s the exact same thing. Important memories, not-so-important memories, totally useless memories: there’s no distinction–they’re all just fuel
  • “It’s not as if our lives are divided simply into light and dark. There’s shadowy middle ground. Recognizing and understanding the shadows is what a healthy intelligence does. And to acquire a healthy intelligence takes a certain amount of time and effort.
  • ‎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.
  • If you really want to know something, you have to be willing to pay the price.
  • A reasonable distance to one person might feel too far to somebody else.
  • Waves of thought are stirring. In a twilight corner of her consciousness, one tiny fragment and another tiny fragment call out wordlessly to eachother, their spreading ripples intermingling.

Very small and amazing Novel. Get it and Read it.

About Author:
Haruki Murakami Source [Wiki]:
Haruki Murakami is a Japanese writer and translator. His works of fiction and non-fiction have garnered him critical acclaim and numerous awards, including the Franz Kafka Prize and Jerusalem Prize among others. He is considered an important figure in postmodern literature. The Guardian praised him as “among the world’s greatest living novelists” for his works and achievements.Murakami’s fiction, often criticized by Japan’s literary establishment, is humorous and surreal, and at the same time digresses on themes of alienation and loneliness.Through his work, he is able to capture the spiritual emptiness of his generation and explore the negative effects of Japan’s work-dominated mentality. His writing criticizes the decline in human values and a loss of connection among people in Japan’s society.

Enjoy Reading !!!

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2 Responses to Book Review : After Dark

  1. sayedkhadri says:

    nice review, reading Japanese novels now a days?
    How are you? Howz life?

    • shahujvaln says:


      But reading only Haruki Murakami’s work… Read “Kafka On Shore”..It’s in 1000 book list which everyone must have to read before die… 🙂

      You will love it…

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