NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Sunday, May 18, 2008

AFTER DARK

by Haruki Murakami



In Haruki Murakami's After Dark, the lives of a number of seemingly unconnected people cross in strange ways over the course of one night.

This was my first book by this author, and I enjoyed reading it. It was quick and engrossing, but I have to admit that the aspects of magical-realism bounced off me with little more than, "Huh. That's kind of cool," and any deep messages went right by without so much as a tip of the hat. Maybe I was distracted by the nice weather we were having. A review in Bookmarks Magazine said After Dark was a good introduction to the author's style, and if that is true, I think I will like his other work also. I will definitely be reading more of it. And maybe I will actually have something intelligent to report next time. :-)

Lezlie

PS Here is an essay by Haruki Murakami written around the time of publication of After Dark in which he talks about his writing style. Terri at Tip of the Iceberg pointed me to it. Thanks, Terri!


Other reviews of After Dark:
Everyday Reads
Tip Of The Iceberg

24 comments:

Andi said...

I just started this one this afternoon, and so far I LOVE IT. Haven't gotten to the magical realism yet (save the first chapter in which he talks about the sleeping girl and an unplugged television coming on). This is my second Murakami. The first was Norwegian Wood, and I LOOOVED it. If you weren't bowled over by his magical realism, try NW. It's very straightforward. His most "normal" from what I hear.

Lezlie said...

Andi ~ I really did like this book, I just think some of it maybe went over my head. I will try Norwegian Wood next. I'll be waiting for your thoughts on this one when you're finished. I thought the magical realism parts were written great, but I didn't feel like they ended up going anywhere. They were just cool parts. A pro such as yourself will probably find all kinds of neat connections! :-) This seems like an author I'll like more and more as I become familiar with him.

L.

joanna said...

Hi Lezlie!

I also read Norwegian Wood and loved it. I have Kafka on the Shore on my list for this year. I've never heard of After Dark but it sounds cool - i love anything that has something magical involved!

bkclubcare said...

Hi Lezlie! I think the review is good - it's short enough and positive enough and I'm quite intrigued! The nice weather IS distracting, isn't it?

Literary Feline said...

I picked up a copy of this book not too long ago and am looking forward to reading it. Magical realism is hit and miss for me.

Linda/CT said...

Hey Lezlie...I thought After Dark was so so, especially since Kafka on the Shore blew me away. I couldn't get into the short stories either. After savoring WInd UP Bird Chronicle for sooo long, I never finished and so wanted to love it. I will definitely read Norwegian Wood and soon. Linda/CT

Lezlie said...

Joanna ~ I've officially put Norwegian Wood on the TBR list. If you and Andi both loved it, I can't go wrong! :-)

Care ~ Thanks! I was afraid it sounded a bit silly, but until I read more by Murakami I didn't want to make any real judgment call.

Literary Feline ~ I haven't read much magical-realism, so it's kind of new territory for me. I'm guessing I will be hit and miss also, but I want to give it a try.

Linda ~ Kafka On The Shore is another one I've been looking at. Since you liked it so much, maybe I'll line that one up after Norwegian Wood.

L.

Terri B. said...

I wonder if his writing will have the same effect on you as it does on me. I read something by Murakami, I enjoy it, I often think "hmm" and am not sure what to say about it except that I liked it, and then I find myself randomly thinking about it even years later! If you are interested, I wrote a bit titled Understanding Murakami.

Lezlie said...

Terri ~ You know, that's *exactly* how it struck me. Exactly! I will definitely be reading your "Understanding Murakami". Thanks!

Lezlie

Terri B. said...

Lezlie - I added a link to your review with my Murakami post. If I ever get around to actually reviewing his titles I'll add them there as well.

Lezlie said...

Thanks, Terri! Let me know if you do the reviews, and I'll link them here, too.

L.

Charley said...

I haven't read After Dark, but I have read Norwegian Wood, which is a pretty straightforward love story. And I've read most of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and what I read was great. Except for this one really disgusting description. It's the only time I've ever had to literally set a book down because I felt physically ill. And Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth, although that was for different reasons.

Lezlie said...

Charley ~ I have to ask: What is the "disgusting description" about? The summaries I've seen of Portnoy's Complaint do not make it look interesting to me at all. Was it as bad as it sounds?

Lightheaded said...

Hi Lezlie! I'll link your review of After Dark with mine. I think we posted just a few hours apart from each other; given the time difference wherever you are, hahaha, it feels like another one of those strange coincidences that occur in a Murakami story :)

You'll probably enjoy his other books but Andi is right, Norwegian Wood is the most straightforward novel from the lot. I should know, I've read most of his work. And he's a favorite of mine.

Lezlie said...

Lightheaded ~ Hi! And thanks! I'll do the same. I'm looking forward to more of Murakami's work.

L.

Charley said...

Lezlie - It's a torture scene. Maybe I was just feeling extra sensitive at the time, but I've never had that kind of reaction to a written description before. And Portnoy's Complaint is just filthy. I laughed a lot while I was reading it, but it's not a book I would recommend to an innocent bystander.

Lezlie said...

Charley ~ Thanks! At least I'll be prepared for both of them, since they're both on the 1001 Books list. :-)

Lezlie

justareadingfool said...

I started with A Wild Sheep Chase, which I loved, and have read a few others of his work. Like everyone else who has commented here, I really like him, although sometimes I can't put a finger on it. I look forward to checking out the links you provided.

Lezlie said...

Reading Fool ~ Thanks for visiting! I'll have to look for the one you mentioned here.

L.

Terri B. said...

Lezlie, I just posted my review for After Dark. I included a link to your review.

Lezlie said...

Terri ~ Thanks!
L.

Wendy said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my review of this book. I'm going to give Marukami another try next month with Wind-Up Bird Chronicle which I am going to read for a book club. I hope I like it better than After Dark *laughs*

Lezlie said...

Wendy ~ I'll eventually pick up another one, too. Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, if I'm thinking of the right one, seemed to big and intimidating to try next. I'll be looking for a smaller one. Short stories maybe.

Lezlie

Wendy said...

*nods* I have a bit of trepidation about Wind-Up Bird Chronicle too...we'll see!