“After Dark” — Haruki Murakami”
I have enjoyed Murakami’s Sputnik Sweetheart and its mysterious ending. I have, however, started reading his novel, After Dark. So I’m writing my first impression of the novel. As usual, Haruki Murakami is a mastermind when it comes to creating palpable and enthralling stories of encounters. In fact, the story is set during the mid-night hours. It involves haunting dreams, world of savagery, bookish girls and music. Each has his own secret. Haruki Murakami has created a world in which we would either want to live in or otherwise. Sometimes we might thank God for being just observers and that we have no part to play in all of this except feeling sympathy.
What interested me more is the way the story is told and the perspective in which we, the readers, perceive it. Haruki uses present simple technique so we can actually live the moment, and observe. The narrator refers to itself as “we”, which basically makes it like an actual ghost, observing like a camera, but not intervening in the events of the story. It zooms in and out into the lives of characters. It’s “omnipotent”. It’s really a powerful technique. It’s mesmerizing filled with metaphysical speculation of the themes of love and exploration as well as the interplay between compassion and self-expressing. Most of the time, the characters would discuss various topics such as death, love, hate and all other existentialist questions. The book is divided into short chapters and each chapter is an experiment of a different story-telling device.
I still have a long way to go, but I think I will finish this novel in no time. It’s sleek and gripping. It’s easy to read. So I strongly recommend it if you’re a fan of Murakami’s works.
- Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 – Meta doesn’t mean better (joeganderson.com)
- Sputnik Sweetheart (amyliano.wordpress.com)
- New Haruki Murakami Story at ‘The New Yorker’ (mediabistro.com)
- Moments from Other Lives: Thoughts on Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore (firstnightdesign.wordpress.com)