After Dark by Haruki Murakami is such a dreamy and delicate book. This novel is quite short. It is only an advantage since the author doesn’t get caught up in endless rants. I hate passages in books that are purely there to transport us slowly through the plot. It is almost as I can hear the author sigh, and so do I.
The novel is a story about two sisters of which one of them suffers from sleep deprivation.Due to Mari’s restlessness she meets a weird trombone player and together they walk around the area of Shinjuku, in Tokyo. On their journey, they meet several characters, for instance a Chinese prostitute and a former female wrestler. She now works as a manager at the love hotel named Alphaville. A beating has occured and they try to find the man responsible, namely Shirakawa, an office worker who has connections with the Chinese mafia.
While they are awake her sister Eri is sleeping in front of a flickering TV-screen.
What I like about this book is the special ambiance. Murakami captivates the feeling during nighttime when a parallell universe is created. Bascically there are two worlds, one for those who sleep and one for those who are up. Anyone who has a stayed up until the break of dawn will recognize the feeling of empowerment, being one of the few people awake.
After Dark depicts a certain urban feel with neon lights,the alarming traffic and filthy brothels.After all, the city never sleeps. It is an interesting mix of realism and certain supernatural elements.Since the book is written in present tense, the read is pretty intense.The relationship between Mari and her new friend Takahasi is also interesting, because at first they were complete strangers to each other.