After DarkTitle : After Dark

Author : Haruki Murakami

ISBN-10 :  0307278735

ISBN-13 : 978-0307278739

Paperback : 256 pages

The Plot :

The midnight hour approaches in an almost empty all-night diner. Mari sips her coffee and glances up from a book as a young man, a musician, intrudes on her solitude. Both have missed the last train home. The musician has plans to rehearse with his jazz band all night, Mari is equally unconcerned and content to read, smoke and drink coffee until dawn. They realise they’ve been acquainted through Eri, Mari’s beautiful sister. The musician soon leaves with a promise to return before dawn. Shortly afterwards Mari will be interrupted a second time by a girl from the Aplhaville Hotel; a Chinese prostitute has been hurt by a client, the girl has heard Mari speaks fluent Chinese and requests her help.

Meanwhile Eri is at home and sleeps a deep, heavy sleep that is ‘too perfect, too pure’ to be normal; pulse and respiration at the lowest required level. She has been in this soporific state for two months; Eri has become the classic myth – a sleeping beauty. But tonight, as the digital clock displays 00:00, a faint electrical crackle is perceptible, a hit on life flickers across the TV screen, though the television’s plug has been pulled.

Murakami, acclaimed master of the surreal, returns with a stunning new novel, where the familiar can become unfamiliar after midnight, even to those who thrive in the small hours.

Review :

This book is a look at the lives of two sisters in the span of a single night. The story is open to interpretation.

What I loved about the book is the juxtaposition of the chapters where there is action and others where we are just silent observers of a scene where our presence is not supposed to be palpable. Don’t expect the book to be action packed, for it is more of an observation of the goings on in a single night.

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