After Dark Paperback – 5 Jun 2008
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"Stylish and enigmatic" (Economist)
"The novel could be an allegory of sleep, a phenomenology of time, or a cinematic metafiction. Whatever it is, its memory lingers" (Guardian)
"The narrative carries considerable literary weight with a rare grace" (Spectator)
"A captivating mood piece, delicate and wistful" (Evening Standard)
`brilliant, moving, and partly surreal.'
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Top Customer Reviews
2007 has been a good year for short novels. Ian McEwen returned to form with `On Chesil Beach,' his best work for years and I was desperately excited to get my hands on the long awaited return of Haruki Murakami with his latest novel, `After Dark'. After all, Murakami, like McEwan is one of the leading short story writers in the world and `Sputnik Sweetheart' remains his finest work to date.
The first thing to say is that this is a very short novel. At just 201 pages it took me barely 4 hours and I am not a fast reader. Some may say this is not value for money but does quantity really equal quality? This, like everything Murakami writes, is worth every penny you spend on it.
The story is that of Tokyo after darkness, when the sun goes down and the lights go on. It is the perfect setting for a Murakami novel: jazz records play leisurely in the background of late night bars, the streets are deserted and his usual ensemble of well meaning loaners in search of themselves have deep, revelatory conversations which unwind slowly over a cup of coffee and a cigarette. `After Dark' is like the distilled essence of everything Murakami has ever written.
Mari, a nineteen year old girl, is sitting alone in a coffee bar reading a thick novel and waiting for the night to pass. Takahashi is savouring his bands last all-night rehearsal and has stopped in for some coffee. It is almost midnight. Back at home, Eri Asai (Mari's sister) has been asleep for two months, a sleeping beauty.Read more ›
After Dark is one of the best and most challenging books I’ve read in ages. I loved it. This is not my usual sort of book. At times it was like being trapped in some weird, disjoined and trippy dream; the kind of dreams where there are lots of shadows and things you can never quite see. I quite enjoyed being pulled along by Murakami’s amazing, vivid and descriptive writing. I’m not a fan of hard books and tend to get on better with books I can get through fairly quickly. This is the kind of book that reminds you of how good it feels to be completely absorbed in what an author has created between the pages (or between the back and front cover of my Kindle). I thought this was a wonderful, surprising book. I need to read more by this author.
Sadly, I can't proclaim that 'After Dark' continues this evolution. Murakami's premise is an uncharacteristically simple one, which certainly contributes to the brevity of the text - but this is not a novel you want to go on for any longer than it does. The notion of the night as a character is tired as is, and regardless of the length of 'After Dark', it is a premise stretched far beyond its means. We have much to be grateful to longtime translator Jay Rubin for, but his work this time around is particularly literal, and to the reader's detriment. Add to this Murakami's jarringly self-conscious use of certain narrative devices, an overwhelmingly uninteresting cast of characters, stilted dialogue, I could go on.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just finished this book a day agohaving been excited to read this writer given how highly regarded his work is, however I was sadly disappointed. No plot. No story. Read morePublished 3 days ago by J. O'Brien
This was my first Murakami novel and I think it's safe to say it gave me a very good idea about why he's so well-known, both in his native Japan and out of it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by SugarGlass
The copy was a bit dilapidated but I can't complain about the price.Published 6 months ago by kay Cartwright
One of the best Murakami books in my opinion and a great place to start for anyone new to this author.
I am a huge fan of Murakami and I particularly love his short stories. Read more
Murakami has been my favourite author for the last 3 years, ever since reading 1Q84. I finished After Dark this morning. Read morePublished 6 months ago by JaketheDax
In some ways this put me in mind of a John Hughes coming of age movie. This short novel primarily focuses on the meeting of two teenagers who vaguely know each other and some other... Read morePublished 7 months ago by keen reader