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After Dark

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After Dark Cover

ISBN13: 9780307265838
ISBN10: 0307265838
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Staff Pick

More menace than melancholy, readers will find After Dark a deliciously dark entry in Murakami's oeuvre.
Recommended by Gerry, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"After Dark is not Murakami's best work — there's an intrusive narrator spoon-feeding meaning you'd prefer to find on your own. But Murakami's humor and pop culture references remain, as do the underlying questions about the human condition....If only Nietzsche and Sartre had made questioning the meaninglessness of existence so fun." Anya Yurchyshyn, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A short, sleek novel of encounters set in the witching hours of Tokyo between midnight and dawn, and every bit as gripping as Haruki Murakami's masterworks The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore.

At its center are two sisters: Yuri, a fashion model sleeping her way into oblivion; and Mari, a young student soon led from solitary reading at an anonymous Denny's into lives radically alien to her own: those of a jazz trombonist who claims they've met before; a burly female love hotel manager and her maidstaff; and a Chinese prostitute savagely brutalized by a businessman. These night people are haunted by secrets and needs that draw them together more powerfully than the differing circumstances that might keep them apart, and it soon becomes clear that Yuri's slumber — mysteriously tied to the businessman plagued by the mark of his crime — will either restore or annihilate her.

After Dark moves from mesmerizing drama to metaphysical speculation, interweaving time and space as well as memory and perspective into a seamless exploration of human agency — the interplay between self-expression and understanding, between the power of observation and the scope of compassion and love. Murakami's trademark humor, psychological insight, and grasp of spirit and morality are here distilled with an extraordinary, harmonious mastery.

Review:

"Murakami's 12th work of fiction is darkly entertaining and more novella than novel. Taking place over seven hours of a Tokyo night, it intercuts three loosely related stories, linked by Murakami's signature magical-realist absurd coincidences. When amateur trombonist and soon-to-be law student Tetsuya Takahashi walks into a late-night Denny's, he espies Mari Asai, 19, sitting by herself, and proceeds to talk himself back into her acquaintance. Tetsuya was once interested in plain Mari's gorgeous older sister, Eri, whom he courted, sort of, two summers previously. Murakami then cuts to Eri, asleep in what turns out to be some sort of menacing netherworld. Tetsuya leaves for overnight band practice, but soon a large, 30ish woman, Kaoru, comes into Denny's asking for Mari: Mari speaks Chinese, and Kaoru needs to speak to the Chinese prostitute who has just been badly beaten up in the nearby 'love hotel' Kaoru manages. Murakami's omniscient looks at the lives of the sleeping Eri and the prostitute's assailant, a salaryman named Shirakawa, are sheer padding, but the probing, wonderfully improvisational dialogues Mari has with Tetsuya, Kaoru and a hotel worker named Korogi sustain the book until the ambiguous, mostly upbeat dnouement." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Last year, Haruki Murakami's 'Kafka on the Shore' won the World Fantasy Award for best novel. This shouldn't come as a surprise. Ever since the Japanese writer began publishing in America — 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle,' 'A Wild Sheep Chase' — Murakami has been out front, riding the zeitgeist, investing his work with an aura of the surreal, uncanny and fantastic. Over the past 25 years, literary... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[A] pellucid dramatization of disconnection, alienation, the hunger for human contact and the strategies by which we all manage to 'make it through the night.' A seductive and gratifying intellectual and romantic adventure." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"Each character is unique in his or her form of loneliness, yet each possesses a capacity for momentary empathy that is both sweet and heartbreaking. Murakami's genius, on both large and small canvases, is to create worlds both utterly alien and disconcertingly familiar." Booklist

Review:

"[A] bittersweet novel that will satisfy the most demanding literary taste....Murakami's fiction reminds us the world is broad, that myths are universal — and that while we sleep, the world out there is moving in mysterious and unpredictable ways." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"After Dark doesn't always hit the high notes, but it is, like Takahashi's music, straight-ahead jazz — with a quiet grace as likely to be overlooked as a snare shuffle." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"This strange, mesmerizing, spell-binding, voyeuristic novel is impossible to put down." Providence Journal

Review:

"After Dark is Murakami condensed. It's a very good place to become familiar with some of his interests (music) and themes (loneliness) in a truncated version. Nevertheless, do not neglect his rich, dense metaphysical novels." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Review:

"To readers unfamiliar with Murakami, After Dark may be the perfect place to start. All of the touchstones are there, the mix of physical and metaphysical, the blending of cultures, the imaginative story lines that are impossible to predict." Denver Post

Review:

"In Murakami's talented hands, After Dark emerges a tightly controlled narrative, carefully constructed in both time and place....We stay alert to exact detail on each page, within every frame. The result is palpable and enthralling." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"Like a latter-day Walker Percy or Albert Camus, Murakami raises questions about perception and existence, though he feels no compunction to propose answers." Christian Science Monitor

Synopsis:

With his trademark humor and psychological insight, Murakami's power of observation plays out in this sleek novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn.

About the Author

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. His work has been translated into thirty-eight languages. The most recent of his many honors is the Franz Kafka Prize.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Tori, July 12, 2010 (view all comments by Tori)
Definitely not my favorite Murakami, but he manages to create such a mood and such a light-headed fuzziness through his words that I couldn't help but get sucked in.

Truly masterful in its sparseness.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
dharmabooks, June 17, 2007 (view all comments by dharmabooks)
Murakami's penchant for ignoring the occasional boundary between the real and surreal is evidenced in this short novel. One achieves an intimate understanding of each of the characters despite their taciturn natures and the brevity of the book. After Dark is an atmospheric, mildly disturbing foray into the late-night hours of Tokyo, Japan.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(10 of 20 readers found this comment helpful)
Hammer Chick, June 8, 2007 (view all comments by Hammer Chick)
I've loved Murakami ever since I read A Wild Sheep Chase back in 1997. After Dark carries the surrealism and the clarity that all Murakami's novels display to a new level. He takes the notion of an omniscient narrator and makes it into "pure point of view". We're right there witnessing everything, hearing every conversation, seeing what the camera sees...
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(12 of 22 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307265838
Author:
Murakami, Haruki
Publisher:
Knopf
Translator:
Rubin, Jay
Author:
Rubin, Jay
Subject:
General
Subject:
Sisters
Subject:
Students
Subject:
Models (persons)
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st U.S. ed.
Publication Date:
May 8, 2007
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
9.24x6.58x.90 in. .94 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Locked Case
Rare Books » Fiction and Poetry » Literature

After Dark Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.95 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Knopf Books for Young Readers - English 9780307265838 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

More menace than melancholy, readers will find After Dark a deliciously dark entry in Murakami's oeuvre.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Murakami's 12th work of fiction is darkly entertaining and more novella than novel. Taking place over seven hours of a Tokyo night, it intercuts three loosely related stories, linked by Murakami's signature magical-realist absurd coincidences. When amateur trombonist and soon-to-be law student Tetsuya Takahashi walks into a late-night Denny's, he espies Mari Asai, 19, sitting by herself, and proceeds to talk himself back into her acquaintance. Tetsuya was once interested in plain Mari's gorgeous older sister, Eri, whom he courted, sort of, two summers previously. Murakami then cuts to Eri, asleep in what turns out to be some sort of menacing netherworld. Tetsuya leaves for overnight band practice, but soon a large, 30ish woman, Kaoru, comes into Denny's asking for Mari: Mari speaks Chinese, and Kaoru needs to speak to the Chinese prostitute who has just been badly beaten up in the nearby 'love hotel' Kaoru manages. Murakami's omniscient looks at the lives of the sleeping Eri and the prostitute's assailant, a salaryman named Shirakawa, are sheer padding, but the probing, wonderfully improvisational dialogues Mari has with Tetsuya, Kaoru and a hotel worker named Korogi sustain the book until the ambiguous, mostly upbeat dnouement." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "After Dark is not Murakami's best work — there's an intrusive narrator spoon-feeding meaning you'd prefer to find on your own. But Murakami's humor and pop culture references remain, as do the underlying questions about the human condition....If only Nietzsche and Sartre had made questioning the meaninglessness of existence so fun." (read the entire Esquire review)
"Review" by , "[A] pellucid dramatization of disconnection, alienation, the hunger for human contact and the strategies by which we all manage to 'make it through the night.' A seductive and gratifying intellectual and romantic adventure."
"Review" by , "Each character is unique in his or her form of loneliness, yet each possesses a capacity for momentary empathy that is both sweet and heartbreaking. Murakami's genius, on both large and small canvases, is to create worlds both utterly alien and disconcertingly familiar."
"Review" by , "[A] bittersweet novel that will satisfy the most demanding literary taste....Murakami's fiction reminds us the world is broad, that myths are universal — and that while we sleep, the world out there is moving in mysterious and unpredictable ways."
"Review" by , "After Dark doesn't always hit the high notes, but it is, like Takahashi's music, straight-ahead jazz — with a quiet grace as likely to be overlooked as a snare shuffle."
"Review" by , "This strange, mesmerizing, spell-binding, voyeuristic novel is impossible to put down."
"Review" by , "After Dark is Murakami condensed. It's a very good place to become familiar with some of his interests (music) and themes (loneliness) in a truncated version. Nevertheless, do not neglect his rich, dense metaphysical novels."
"Review" by , "To readers unfamiliar with Murakami, After Dark may be the perfect place to start. All of the touchstones are there, the mix of physical and metaphysical, the blending of cultures, the imaginative story lines that are impossible to predict."
"Review" by , "In Murakami's talented hands, After Dark emerges a tightly controlled narrative, carefully constructed in both time and place....We stay alert to exact detail on each page, within every frame. The result is palpable and enthralling."
"Review" by , "Like a latter-day Walker Percy or Albert Camus, Murakami raises questions about perception and existence, though he feels no compunction to propose answers."
"Synopsis" by , With his trademark humor and psychological insight, Murakami's power of observation plays out in this sleek novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn.
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