The 150-word Review: In my early twenties, I worked the night shift at a local hospital, three days a week, seven at night until seven in the morning. On my days off, I became a nocturnal being: evenings studying organic chemistry or midnight walks with my dog or movie marathons stationed in front of the flickering blue light of the television. I lived in my own shadow world, antisocial in the most literal sense, entire days spent devoid of any human interaction. Perhaps my life would have been more interesting if I had lived in Haruki Murakami’s head.
“After Dark” is his most recent work of fiction, more of a novella than a full-blown Murakami epic. As with most of his work, Murakami’s interest in this book focuses on underground worlds, both in pre-dawn Tokyo and in the human subconscious. “After Dark” sparkles with Murakami’s signature dialogue, oddball characters, and strange Lynchian dreamscapes.
Having this book on your shelf will impress: Princess Aurora, David Lynch, the really quiet guy in the cubicle next to you, Denny’s, love hotel proprietors, Jazz musicians, and insomniacs.
Set the mood with: Round About Midnight by Thelonius Monk
Clavinism (stuff that will not make you look cool in a bar): Actually Norm in Japanese, love hotel, or tsurikomi yado, literally means “bring-along inn.”