Sunday, August 30, 2009

Haruki Murakami: After Dark

I picked this up on a whim, reasoning that I should probably read Murakami because after all he is well-known etc. But to be honest I wasn't terribly interested, so the book was the last one left in the big pile I'd brought home… And now that I read it I'm not sure I'll read more by him (unless I get a terrific tip in the comments). Frankly I found it more pretentious than anything else.

A young man called Takahashi meets a girl, Mari, in a restaurant late at night. They are previously accquainted through her sister. This sister has, which Takahashi doesn't know, been asleep these past two months. Mari has decided that tonight she doesn't want to be at home, she is going to spend the night awake, in the city. So half the book is following what Mari does on her night awake. This half is fine. I can't say I loved it or that it moveed me deeply, but it's a good little snippet of modern Japan in a way. The other half is the strange things that are happening to Eri. Her telly turns itself on despite being unplugged, and shows a strange large room, and suddenly she is in the room inside the telly, and bla bla bla. What this has to do with Mari's half of the story I don't really know. Was it necessary with all the mysterious stuff in order to weave a tale around these two sisters and their relationship? Mostly meh. I am also a bit distracted by the translation, which despite being good I suppose is much too American for me. The translator has opted for writing what I suppose to be Japanese everyday language as American ditto, so it's full of "what do ya think?" and "gonna". Hm.

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