After Dark

This 244 pages novel looks thin compared with other Haruki Murakami's books. The story sets in Tokyo during the spooky hours between midnight and dawn (about 7 hours). The theme is still about loneliness and alienation.

It tells about Mari Asai, a 19-year-old-girl who just kill her time reading a book at Denny's (a restaurant) and accidentally meets a guy, Takahashi. It turns out that Takahashi is a friend of Mari's sister, Eri Asai.

Then the story moves to Eri Asai's bed room. She lies in bed, asleep. She's been sleeping for almost 2 months. Weird? yeah, Murakami's trademark. Just enjoy, don't ask. There's no conclusions. It just flows.

There's still a 30ish woman, Kaoru, comes to Denny's asking for Mari's help since Mari speaks Chinese and Kaoru needs to speak to Chinese prostitute who has just been beaten up in the nearby 'love hotel' Kaoru manages.

Like in many of Murakami's other novels, the conscious and unconscious states of mind play large parts within this book. Also it's quite interesting to read Murakami's take on urban life in Japan and making the city itself a living, breathing creature. We also get the pictures of night life in Japan, not detail but interesting.