Monday, June 25, 2007

After Dark

So, I've finished Murakami's After Dark and I must say it was a rollicking read. It's interesting to consider that Japanese writers are renowned for their dense prose and Murakami has been criticised for being "pop literature", but seriously, the wonder of him is that the writing feels so light, and free. Whilst this was my first read and I'm not yet sure I like the surreal elements involved or the lack of direct resolution (this is more a night in the life of a macrocosm of nightlife elements) where no one is held to blame by the author for their actions, it flows like no other book I've read.

Stylistically there are moments (as previously posted of the opening) where we get a wonderful sense of imagery and yet for the most part the story engages on a fundamental level of He said, she said, he did, she did, and yet we don't feel as if he's narrating to the lowest common denominator of reader. Murakami deftly picks out the pertinent descriptions from this third-person limited point of view, so that we only know what we see and what the narrator can glean from experience of facial emotions.

This gives a very weird feeling at a times, especially when he's directing our viewpoint with an awareness that kind of draws us out of ourselves and forces us to remain separate from the action. I'll have to read a few more to truly get a feel for him though.

One last thing, an interesting pace tool he used was to rather than write He said, 'Blah,' Murakami chooses to move into - He: 'Blah,' She: 'Blah.' I was reading it so quickly that I didn't pick up on it until a few pages in.

No comments: