After Dark (Haruki Murakami)

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Ordinarily, I wouldn’t use such a cheesy effect on the photo of the book…but this is probably the only time I’ll ever have a legitimate reason to use this particular frame. I had to go for it. See, After Dark has these moments where our reality passes through the TV screen (literally) into some other reality — and vice versa (I think). There are also mirrors and characters who sleep for months on end and powerful memories and people passing each other like proverbial ships in the night…but it’s Haruki Murakami, so what else did you expect?

Like most of Murakami’s work, After Dark is full of bizarre occurrences, alternate realities, wonderment, darkness, and curiosity. However, unlike most of his work, it’s surprisingly un-dense. This is not intended as a slight; this particular novel is written in a movie script sort of way, meaning he uses the literary/dramatic equivalent of establishing shots, stage directions, and descriptions of characters and settings. He even lists specific songs that are playing at specific moments, which has the effect of a soundtrack kicking in throughout the novel. Something about this cinematic style makes the novel easier to read than many of his other works, so if you haven’t read any Murakami and want a good jumping-in text, this might just be the book for you!

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