Saturday, December 20, 2008

BOOK: After Dark by Haruki Murakami

After Dark by Haruki Murakami, 191 pages
Japanese Literature Challenge, unread author, Dewey's books
Perspective. Memory. Sleep. Things that occur during the night in Tokyo connected with two sisters, Mari and Eri. I'm still not sure if I liked this book.
The story of Mari is more concrete and easy to follow. She meets up with a friend of her sister's, Takahashi, and they talk. She helps a stranger, and meets up with Takahashi again. We get to know more of Mari and her plans and thoughts. Eri is sleeping through the night and there is some funky third person point of view, but like a camera, observing her. The narration is observing itself observing Eri. It gets very abstract with Eri and I still don't quite understand her connection to another character, the business man who perpetrated a crime.
I liked the story as I read it, but the ending didn't answer anything for me. I didn't understand the purpose of some of the perspective. I didn't mind during the reading, but I needed a bit more payoff in the end for suspending my understanding. I liked Murakami's prose and it had beautiful imagery and ideas about sleep and memory, and the feeling of menace that subtley developed, but ultimately I just didn't get it.
There was a section where a character refers to the movie Love Story, which I found funny because he completely missed the ending and what the story was about, but liked it enough to retell the plot. Ironic, isn't it?

5 comments:

Kailana said...

Howdy! You have a Christmas Spirit Award waiting for you at my blog...

Bellezza said...

I am crazy about Murakami, but I completely agree with these lines of yours:

"I liked the story as I read it, but the ending didn't answer anything for me. I didn't understand the purpose of some of the perspective. I didn't mind during the reading, but I needed a bit more payoff in the end for suspending my understanding. I liked Murakami's prose and it had beautiful imagery and ideas about sleep and memory, and the feeling of menace that subtley developed, but ultimately I just didn't get it."

I, too, am frustrated by not completely understanding him.

joanna said...

Hmm, I'm curious about this one, since so many people are reading it now... I've read a couple of his and liked them, especially Kafka on the Shore. This one sounds just as strange! :-)

Robin said...

I've been a little shy about reading this book, so I appreciate your feelings about it, and I think they explain why I've been hesitant. Thanks for your review!

Tracey said...

I can really relate to your thoughts on this book. I think the Eri side of the story seemed totally random and unexplained. I was frustrated with questions left unanswered in South of the Border, West of the Sun as well which is the only other of his that I have read.

But.. I loved both books and can't wait to read more. Does that make sense!

And I was also puzzled by the Love Story bit - one of my favourite movies so noticed this straight away!

Great review 0:)