After Dark by Haruki Marakami

I found this in the new book stack at the library, back when it came out. I recognized the author’s name and picked up the book.

Translator: Jay Rubin

Published: 2004 for the original, 2007 for the translation

Genre: fiction

Length: 191 pages

Setting: Tokyo in the 2000s

Summary: We follow Mari as she spends the night in the city. She runs into an acquaintance, Takahashi, at Denny’s. He gets her involved translating for a Chinese prostitute who was beaten at a love hotel. The hotel’s manager, Kaoru, takes her to a bar and then a family diner before Mari ends up back at the love hotel. Takahashi reconnects with Mari and escorts her to the train station in the morning to go home. We also get glimpses of Eri, Mari’s sister, sleeping and being teleported into her TV and Shirakawa, the guy who beat up the prostitute, in his office.

Final thoughts: I found this very similar in tone to Kafka on the Shore. It is an odd, fascinating book that explained none of its mysteries before it ended. It’s a bit frustrating because there are these wild things going on, particularly with Mari, that aren’t resolved or ever even addresses. Even so, the way Marakami writes about people is so real and interesting that you can forgive the lack of closure.

Title comes from: The whole book takes place in one night

Reading challenges fulfilled: none since this was a review from a book read in a previous year

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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