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michaelcrane

Michael's Book Babble

I'm an indie author and a scribbler of inane babble. I talk about books I've read/liked. Or at least, that's the plan.

 

Most of the reviews will be considered "mini-reviews." Usually, it's mostly my reaction to what I've been reading. There are people who are far better at doing full and helpful reviews. But I still have fun doing them, and hope you enjoy them!

Currently reading

Hitch-22: A Memoir
Christopher Hitchens
Progress: 90/1054 minutes
Wait for Signs: Twelve Longmire Stories
Craig Johnson
Progress: 105/184 pages

What happens when the sun goes down and darkness comes out to play

After Dark - Jay Rubin, Haruki Murakami

After Dark is the second Haruki Murakami novel I've read, and it's a quick and brilliant read. It only took me the first chapter to completely grip me, and it never lost its hypnotizing hold on me. Even when I was unsure of how I felt after I was finished, I knew that I'd just finished a really strong and important work.

 

The novel all takes place in one night. The main character is Mari, who we find reading a book at Denny's when we first meet her. She meets a man by the name of Takahashi, and a series of strange yet subtle events begin to unfold. A "love hotel," a beaten up prostitute, a man with insomnia living a double-life, and Mari's sister who is in "a deep sleep" are some of the things we encounter in this strange little trip.

 

We never know who's really narrating the story, only that it is told by some sort of an mythical observant group that cannot interfere with what's taking place. While this does take away a bit of a human feel to the story, I still think it was an interesting and still intriguing way to tell the story.

 

I'll be honest, I'm a bit unsure about how I feel when it comes to how the book wraps up. It's a short read, and I still felt like it could've continued. Nothing is truly resolved, IMO, but what I've learned from other readers is that when it comes to books by Murakami, it's always more about the journey and less about the final destination. While I do wish a few things could've been resolved somewhat, I still really loved the strange and bizarre trip. And witnessing Mari's transformation throughout is what really brings it all together for me.

 

While this may not be a perfect story, it was still a wildly strong one for me. In some ways, it reminded me of Bret Easton Ellis' ingenious and sometimes brutal The Rules of Attraction. I don't think this will be the last time I ever read After Dark. And even though I finished it yesterday, I'm still thinking about it today. That's why I'm confident about my rating. It won't please everybody, but if you're ready for a quick and strange journey, I'd recommend giving it a go.

 

4 stars