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[Book] After Dark by Haruki Murakami


After dark

Author: Haruki Murakami

Translator: Jay Rubin

My rating: 3.5/5

If memories serve me right, exactly 1 month ago, I read a novel of haruki Murakami names Hear the wind sing, so it’s like my pace has been slow down recently.

Literally, it was translated into Vietnamese sound like “after midnight”, then I don’t think it could convey the meaning of this story. I don’t know many Vietnamese  like this novel much. Whereas Norwegian wood, wind up bird, kafka on the shore and 1q84 have successfully sold lots of copies and convinced many readers, this one has seemed nothing. I personally think just  people who have such interest in H.M’s work could read it only.

Despite finding out those same materials and deja vu,  the story is still brand new to me. There are ghost (I just guess), cats, weird people with weird stuffs, bizarre conversation and stories, loneliness, supernatural substances, surrealistic…, yet the story is mixed up in another place, another situation that make me feel really excited. For me,  it’s Haruki Murakami novels are all about. There is something in those novels that can make you think over and over again. (Sorry, it’s hard to explain and put into words).

Where do you go or what do you do after midnight? Falling into sleep, getting some dreams or the worst, some nightmares. But for those people in this novels, they stay awake at night, do their work. Some of them are sleepless, bother what currently happen to them. All of activities they do is really  strange, but that’s story told. From the darkness, the true self is revealed, for example, the dark soul, the dark desire, something that belongs to your self (I know the  they call it in psychology is “phức cảm”). Come to think about it, it might creep you out, yet it’s also the power of words and the way H.M conveys what he want to say, I suppose.

Mari lives in a family where she is a hard shepherd girl and her elder sister is delicate Snow White. Those seemed to live in different world. Eri, whose’s Mari sister live in a place where no one can touch, even Mari. She fall into a coma/ deep sleep/ unconscious state for 2 months. In my opinion, she fall into that darkness, perhaps to live a life that she wants to, find her true self (It sound familiar, doesn’t it?).

It’s also another story related to psychology, I have to say. How people behave when somethings outside and inside affect him/her, and in this one, it’s Eri. If you had already read many novels of H.M, you would have known that a lot of people committed suicide, and in this case, it’s likeable as well (but of course, no one died).

As Mari can never once  enter to her sister world, she is completely lonely. The first time, she met the prostitute girl, she had a feeling that wanted to be her friend.

Mari says, “The minute I saw her, I felt—really strongly—that I wanted to be her friend. And if we had met in a different place at a different time, I’m sure we could have been good friends. I’ve hardly ever felt that way about anybody. Hardly ever? Never would be more like it.”
“But it doesn’t matter how I feel: the worlds we live in are too different. And there’s nothing I can do about it. No matter how hard I try.”

Besides, I found that there are some scenes are repeated over and over again in his novels as there is someone stood in front of mirror, scrutinized all over her/his body/face and wondered whether there would be something happen, something could alter their from, but  nothing happened eventually. Those were still the same, same flesh, same form, same features.

I love the guy name  Takahashi

“No, I don’t think so… It’s just that people always seem to pick me to tell their secrets to. Guys, girls, people I hardly know, people I’ve never even met before: they open up to me about their wildest inner most secrets. I wonder why that is? It’s not as if I want to hear this stuff.”

Another favorite quote

“That people’s memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive. Whether those memories have any actual importance or not, it doesn’t matter as far as the maintenance of life is concerned. They’re all just fuel.

There is a connection for whole story is thought of bottom of the sea full of darkness, where are many creatures, like octopus (for those already read a short story of H.M names “Scheherazade”, you might know what I mean).

The only thing left without an answer is what happened with the man name Shirakawa, why did he beated up such girl as hell. What’s wrong with that man.

I don’t know whether I have been so cheesy or I haven’t read H.M lately, but I love this novel. Not to mention that’s nothing to do with love life, it’s short, not too much complicated and not that hard to grasp the meaning and whole story. I also love the ending and would like to re-read it the next time.

Personal Notes:

Personally I have never been sleepless at night, I would be frighten if I was in such state.

Yay I got back reading H.M novels as well as wrote down some thoughts in this blog again 🙂


One comment on “[Book] After Dark by Haruki Murakami

  1. Pingback: Book lists on 2015 [Update] | Kate's Blog

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This entry was posted on May 17, 2015 by in Book Reviews and tagged , , , .

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