A long time ago I would read books and say what I thought about them here. With the Bar behind me, I’ve decided to read books again. As you may or may not know, I’m up in the mountains of Utah with my family and this is an excellent setting for book reading. I’m progressing at a nice book a day clip (this is easy when you pick books around 200 pages in length). Let me tell you a little about my first book…
My first book is “After Dark” by Haruki Murakami. Someone had left it in the dresser in my Mom’s room. I’ve read a decent number of Murakami novels and short stories over the last 9 years and got a little tired of how the stories always seemed to be about a quiet loner who goes home to make noodles by himself while listening to jazz before eventually meeting and sort-of falling in love with a woman suffering from some form of mental illness. And also, sort of weird things would happen, too. But even though Mr. Murakami’s stories were so often the same to me, they were well written and familiar, so I thought I’d give him another go and I’m glad I did.
“After Dark” tells the tale of one night in Tokyo, it’s one of those “handful of characters with intersecting storylines” stories. [Our handful of characters: 19 year old girl with a prettier sister, the prettier sister, a young trombonist with a love of the law, an ex-professional wrestler turned Love Hotel manager, the Chinese Mob, a workaholic, and a television] The tale is told in very cinematic language with an emphasis on what the reader is “seeing” and from what vantage point along with Murakami’s typical stressing of what music, exactly, is playing in each scene. The end result: as I read this book I thought “Please, please someone make this a movie!” Murakami’s descriptions created such perfect images in my mind that I couldn’t help but demand to see them for real.
There’s a handful of references to French New Wave cinema in the story (first they are strictly of the sort that require the reader to be in the know but later these references are unveiled and explained for those who wouldn’t have caught them in the first place [not that I’m asking for a medal for having noticed them earlier]) and the story itself follows the manner of a Goddard film (as far as I’m familiar with them). It ends with only a few of the night’s curiosities explained well, plenty of threads remain loose, but the reader should still feel satisfied…after all, it was only the story of one night, and only so much can happen in one night.