Review: After Dark

After DarkAfter Dark by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“-Walk slowly and drink lots of water. That’s my motto in life.”
“-Wasn’t it the other way around?”
“-Hey, that could work too…”

This, paraphrased, is one of my favourite lines from the book and the one I remember the clearest. I finally read some Murakami and enjoy it I did (thank you Daphne :D). One reviewer for a big publication quoted somewhere within the book, giving praise for it, summed it up really well: “It’s like David Lynch combined with Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise!” Spot on. It’s like Before Sunrise because the whole story is set in a timeframe of maybe 7-8 hours, in which time we get to meet two interesting people who don’t really do much apart from talk and know eachother better at the same time as we do. The ordinariness of everything is what makes it so touching and interesting. There is no real drama, at least not the kind you’re used to. No real climax, no real action. It’s just a normal night in Tokyo where ordinary circumstances bring two ordinary people together.

At the same time, extraordinary events described in delicious detail concerning another character unfold. Murakami surprised me with the vividness of the pictures he managed to put in my head. Maybe it was the camera trope. Hey, would that count as cheating or using cheap writing tactics?

In any case, the use of the normal, almost mundane, and the supernatural going hand-in-hand has a lot going for it. Now for more of his stuff!

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