Bowdoin Reads

Jessica Kundrata is reading...

After Dark
by Haruki Murakami

Though lesser-known than his masterpieces The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore, After Dark is another of Murakami’s brilliant novels with imaginative and thought-provoking prose and an unpredictable plot line. The story begins near midnight at a Denny’s in Tokyo with Mari, a quiet student who feels overshadowed by her attractive, popular sister. Throughout the night Mari meets several strangers—a jazz musician, a Chinese prostitute at a love hotel, and a sinister businessman—and becomes entangled in their lives. While Mari walks the city streets at night because she is unable to sleep, Eri, her lonely but beautiful older sister, has been sleeping for the past two months. Eri finds herself trapped inside a sort of netherworld from which she must try to escape. Murakami weaves these stories together as an omniscient narrator as themes of both alienation and interconnectedness emerge. Although the characters in the novel experience loneliness and isolation, they are all part of a larger web by which they are connected to each other. With a surreal story line and humorous dialogue, After Dark is one of Murakami's best.

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