Published in 2007 by Vintage International, Haruki Murakami’s novel, translated by Jay Rubin, is mysterious, dark, and pleasing. When you read this story, centered on two sisters Eri and Mari Asai, it is easy to understand why it has been translated into forty languages.
The story takes place in a city humming with life over the course of a long night as Eri sits out the hours in a Denny’s and is pulled unexpectedly into events outside of her typical lifestyle. As Eri encounters a world of prostitution and “love-ho’s” (hotels for couples meeting to make love) her sister Mari slumbers deep and sound in her room at home, a beautiful Sleeping Beauty who is unaware of the strange things happening around her in her bedroom.
Eri helps the “love-ho” hotel manager by translating Chinese into Japanese for a prostitute who has been attacked and learns more about the world than she bargained for. Meanwhile, Mari is mysteriously transported in her sleep into a room we first see appear on her television screen. The night’s twists and turns sprawl out from there forming a cobweb of strange happenings that will have you gripped to each page. The novel does not tie up neatly at the end as so many stories do, yet the story satisfies in a way that you cannot explain. Haruki Murakami is a master at providing strange and magical experiences without giving neat and tidy endings and that is why I enjoy reading his books.
If you enjoyed this review you will enjoy the book even more. You can purchase a copy of After Dark by Haruki Murakami at your local book-stores, or visit your local library, or purchase on-line at:
Thanks always for reading, please drop in again next week…