Haruki Murakami is a famed author both in Japan and around the world. Among his many popular novels, “After Dark” is one of our favourites.
The story starts off at midnight with an unknown person looking down on the busy downtown streets of Japan. The scene then goes into the family restaurant “Denny’s” where a girl named Mari who regards herself as an ordinary college student is reading a book. She finds herself being approached and spoken to by another college student Takahashi. From their a quite mysterious and magical conversation ignites.
There are no real geographical names in the story. Some imagine it would be in Shinjyuku others think it’s in Shibuya – it all depends on the readers imagination. Haruki Murakami himself said in an interview that it is his intention not to specify the names of places. Just as he intended, the story shows how humans can cross paths over the course of a night in a busy downtown area of Japan. It is a unique concept that he has created where it the novels story feels real but is till very much fiction.
The story is portrayed in a mysterious way with Japanese college students, company employees, the apprehension of busy downtown, the introduction of another world, boys meet girls situation, reality and fantasy. You can feel all aspects of the Japanese culture and how the course of a day can turn out.
The book often leaves people with many questions and it makes even more enjoyable to exchange impressions with friends or partners. Talking over the mobile, or doing SNS/chat with your mobile in one hand while reading is sure to enrich your understanding.