ever since high school i've heard haruki murakami mentioned and recommended by my more well-read friends. i tried reading sputnik sweetheart a long time ago. i'm not sure i even finished it; it was not overly impressed.
sometimes it's worth it to try an author again.
after dark is absolutely, hands down, my favorite novel read in the past few years. it's short -- i read it in one night, and totally blasted my way through the thing, i was so entranced. it deserves another read-through, and it surely will get one.
a couple of weeks ago i found a mass market paperback version of after dark accidentally thrown in with the mystery paperbacks, and i snapped it up. murakami is a hard find at the shop -- and i learned that when certain other employees come across his works, they hoard them also, so he rarely makes it out to the shelves! i have norwegian wood in paperback also, snapped up somewhere along the line, and it's been sitting in a pile of waiting-to-reads since i bought it. i was still a little skeptical after sputnik sweetheart so it took a little convincing.
after dark has convinced me. it's a surreal trip through the wee hours of the night, between midnight and dawn, in tokyo. what's to love is not only the story, but murakami's style is seemingly so simple, so straight-forward. you don't need to ponder over lengthy or complicated sentences because it's all laid out for you. what you get is beautiful lyricism and a poetic, dreamy sort of novel that pushes you through to the end. i just couldn't put it down.
after dark is murakami's most recent publication that has been translated into english, released here in 2007. his current book (or books -- three volumes total to be released in japan by 2010), released so far only in japan, is 1Q84, which references george orwell's 1984. can't wait.