Sunday, August 05, 2007

After Dark by Haruki Murakami

A novel I just finished reading.

Alienation, a returning motif in the works of Murakami, is the central theme in this novel set in a major Japanese city over the course of one night. Main characters include Mari, a 19-year-old woman, who is spending the night reading in a Denny's. There she meets Takahashi, a trombone-playing student, who also knows Mari's sister Eri and insists that the group of them have hung out before. Meanwhile, Eri is being watched in her sleep by someone sinister. Eri also suffers from social withdrawal, a condition often referred to as hikikomori.
Mari crosses ways with a fighting champion, now working as a manager in a love hotel, a Chinese prostitute who has been beaten and stripped of everything in this same love hotel, and a sadistic computer expert. The story takes place in a world between reality and dreams.


The story is broken down in small chapters of varying length. An added element of interest—and perhaps a post-modern reference—is the fact that the book has a 'real-time' timeline, beginning at the early hours of the night.

---taken from Wikipedia

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