I’ve never read a full film script before, but after reading After Dark I feel like I’ve read a short film script. Haruki Murakami’s short novel takes place in Tokyo, in the time of seven hours with only a handful of characters that are mysteriously connected.
Female protagonist Mari has her world turned upside down when she meets an old friend of her sister’s, Takahashi, which leads to her helping a Chinese prostitute who had been abused by a client. Mari’s older sister Eri, the Sleeping Beauty, literally cannot awake from her deep sleep – and this may be caused from the eerie television in her bedroom, one that is not even plugged in at all.
As with many Murakami texts the endings are never conclusive, there is no definitive, and we never know if the characters will ever get together or even wake to live another day. The difference with this novel is the film script style that works very well with Murakami’s highly descriptive scenes – we are literally reading a film.
Murakami’s style is so moreish and the book is so enticing that I read it in a day. Each sentence creates more questions than answers, making you want to read more and more, and by the time you know it – you’ve finished the book.
Highly recommended for a light read, the surrealism is quite low in comparison to the other works of Murakami, and the novel is a very good introduction to the renowned Japanese author.