So far Haruki Murakami’s book After Dark is one of the best ones and probably one of the shortest ones, beside the first two parts of The Rat trilogy. It’s an easy and quick read, with a simple but interesting plot. It has the Murakami’s usual type of fantasy in it. Seems all his books have some sort of movement between different worlds and dimensions.
The story is mostly of a girl called Mari who has a sister called Eri. Mari is in town late at night and the last train already left. She sits at some 24/7 place, reading and drinking coffee, just trying to get the night pass. But so many things can happen from midnight to morning! Like, an illegal immigrant from China, a girl same age as Mari, could get beaten in one of the Love Hotels by a customer. She might not know Japanese and thus the managers of the place might need to call the police. But then the girl might get deported and all sorts of trouble would start. So instead they might just find someone who speaks Chinese. Yes, Mari speaks Chinese.
There’s a band playing in a basement somewhere nearby, one of the musicians know both Eri and Mari. They play through the night.
There are cats in the park, they come around near dusk, terrorizing people with their cuteness to give them some food.
And then there’s Eri, Mari’s older sister, miss perfect Snow White, who sleeps like a Sleeping Beauty, with no one there to notice the danger she is in.
It’s a really great book of six hours of darkness in the night and all the little and big things that can happen. I think the book had more potential than just this, but who am I to tell someone like Murakami of how to write? So I’ll give the book firm 5 out of 5 and move on. This was a really neat book…