“To be honest, I wasn’t really going to the bookstore looking to buy Haruki’s After Dark. I was already going to leave the place after grabbing my (he deleted ‘Doraemon comic’ here hehe thank me later Vic LOL =P) books when I spotted an interesting book cover on the shelves. I grabbed it, flipped the pages, and to the cashier I go, the book firmly in my hand.
After Dark is Mr Haruki’s latest work after Kafka On the Shore and it’s definitely a job well done. The story is neither too long nor too short; just enough for a satisfying read. The characters are well developed, reading it felt like one is having a really good conversation with a newly met stranger. Refined is the word I would use to describe it.
The story tells of strange happenings, but it doesn’t make its characters shudder in fear, or does it overwhelm them with extreme emotions. In fact, it’s as if the strange happenings are just secondary – surreal elements happen without its characters knowing it. [Perhaps, it’s Mr Haruki’s portrayal of the reader who is reading the book instead (a personal opinion).]
The story instead makes the characters talk to each other – conversing, exchanging opinions and thoughts. Mr Haruki’s love in playing with time and destiny are well polished here, acting like a marker to bring the reader to see things differently.
To me this is the charm of the book; Haruki shows us how our lives can be interconnected and intertwined in one single moment without us realising it.
Lastly, to those who love music (Jazz especially), get hold of the book. Music has some significance in this story. You’d appreciate it even more if you knew the music (if not, just google it).”