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After Dark (英語) ペーパーバック – 2008/6/5
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真夜中から夜明けについての時間帯、東京を舞台に出会いを描いた短くてしゃれた小説。どこをとっても村上春樹の傑作『The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle』（邦題『ねじまき鳥クロニクル』）や『Kafka on the Shore』（邦題『海辺のカフカ』）にひけをとらない吸引力がある。
『After Dark』は思わず引きこまれる人間ドラマからメタファーの多い思考へと移行し、時間と空間そして記憶と予想を取り込み、シームレスな人間の摂理への探索、そして自己表現と感情移入、さらには観察力の力と思いやりや愛の限界との相互作用を織りなしていく。村上らしいユーモア、心理学的な洞察、精神と倫理の描写が本書では見事な調和を見せて洗練されたものとなっている。 --このテキストは、ペーパーバック版に関連付けられています。
Eyes mark the shape of the city
The midnight hour approaches in an almost-empty diner. Mari sips her coffee and reads a book, but soon her solitude is disturbed: a girl has been beaten up at the Alphaville hotel, and needs Mari's help.
Meanwhile Mari's beautiful sister Eri lies in a deep, heavy sleep that is 'too perfect, too pure' to be normal; it has lasted for two months. But tonight as the digital clock displays 00:00, a hint of life flickers across the television screen in her room, even though it's plug has been pulled out.
Strange nocturnal happenings, or a trick of the night?
After Dark also shows the importance of family, as well as how complicated different family situations can be. Murakami does a great job, in this novella, of examining different moral situations along with different choices we face in life without judgement. This is a book showing the beauty and pain of every day, or gray, situations.
I think this novel goes a long way in showing how different, and yet similar, life can be for different people. One of the main examples of this is the nineteen year old prostitute that Mari speaks with. Both characters were the same age, but living very different lives. I found it really moving how Mari looked at the Chinese girl.
There are a lot of metaphysical quips in this book. To me, these literary devices are used, in most situations, to show different character's psychological complexes played out in concrete language and images. One example is when a character is looking the mirror, thinking that he is just fading away, and doesn't have a clear sense of identity. Then he walks away, and his reflection is still in the mirror after he's gone.
To me, this shows that, even though we don't usually think of ourselves as offering any important or lasting prints on the world around us, we, as individuals, leave a mark, somewhere between the spectrum of good and bad.
Eri didn't think she was close with her sister, but Mari had very powerful memories of her in the elevator. To me, this book is trying to show that our actions have real consequences, and we influence the people around us more than we may think.
It's normal for an individual to see their faults, regardless of their validity. The way different characters comment on each other's lives shows that each person has more to offer than they themselves think.
Another thing After Dark does is raise compassion for the people around us. I think it's normal, in our daily routines, to look past people doing this or that. Murakami, with this novel, tries to show that every last person we meet, or don't meet, for that matter, has a story that would surprise us.
After Dark isn't a masterpiece, but it's a great novel looking at coming into your own as a person, and seeing how complex the world around you is.
I enjoyed this book in ways that are hard to describe. It was a glimpse into parallel realities, and quantum possibilities.
Worlds seemed to drift together and then apart. We see consequences but not much action...or is it action and not much consequence? There is an atmosphere of suspense and continuos curiosity of what will happen next. A sense of "anything is possible" kept me in a state of anticipation yet I was not dissatisfied with the lack of action. I can't think of another book I've read that gives me such a sense of the transience of reality. We drift in and out of the story with the author.
The chapters are set by a drawing of a clock to denote passage of time. Within this demarcation memories and hopes span the past and future. At times the night seems eternal, it's world is one of possibilities that will come to fruition (or not) in the new day. As other reviewers noted the book itself seems short.
I enjoyed the description of the band's rehearsal. Yet another world glimpsed through words and description, described but not really penetrated.
I finished with the feeling that yes, I wanted more clarification of what was going on.......each character was developed just enough to have a sense of them but all of them were shrouded in mysteries. To reveal these pasts and futures would be a different book and this book concerned itself with a short period of time.