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Murakami's After Dark



In May, Haruki Murakami's new novel, After Dark, will be released.

As most people who read this know, I'm a pretty big fan of Murakami, and have been since I stumbled across The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle about eight years ago, where it preceded to have a bash round inside my skull and leave all kind of stains on me (I named the wife in Black Sheep after the wife in this book, for example). Because of that, Murakami entered the list of authors I won't meet, just in case he's having an off day, and he does something that irritates me, and the book in my memory suffers for it. Most of the authors on that list are dead, I might add, but there are a few there, like Michael Ondaatje, and Alan Moore, who are still alive. At any rate, I am not the kind of person who can't see the faults in authors he likes, and Murakami's Kafka on the Shore, was ultimately weighed down by Murakami's trademark conversations on 60s Western pop music, and a narrator that is, essentially, the same as every other narrator in his books. Yet, despite this, I thought it was an interesting book for him, because it showed a transitional stage--or what I hoped was a transitional stage, that would reveal a different Murakami in his next book, and show an author who was beginning to push his self imposed boundaries. After Dark, by all accounts, will feature the first female narrator of any of Murakami's books, so here's hoping, cause Murakami needs to start pushing some of those things he has relied upon for so long now.

Comments

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benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)
the one that i'm prescribed so i can get through the day ;)

to be honest, i'm not a real drug guy. some of my friends are, but *shrug* just doesn't rock my boat. too much time on prescribed drugs, i guess.
(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2007 03:25 am (UTC)
i found that it was a mix of goals/lifechoices/drugs, if it helps.
buymeaclue
Mar. 14th, 2007 02:41 am (UTC)
>After Dark, by all accounts, will feature the first female narrator of any of Murakami's books

I don't even know where to start in describing the amount of fear this strikes into my heart.

(Though to be fair, I have dug some of his female characters. That's just a knee-jerk.)

But if it's Wind-Up Bird- or Hard-Boiled Wonderland-comparable...that would be swell. That would be very, very swell.
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2007 02:50 am (UTC)
i've thought he has done some really fine female characters in short fiction--'thailand' and ' birthday girl', for example. so i'm hoping this will be like them.

i just hope the book doesn't hit the minor range that some of his smaller books have. they're traditionally written after big things, as if he's cleaning the mind...
buymeaclue
Mar. 14th, 2007 11:34 am (UTC)
I think the Wind-Up Bird girl struck me as a good one. Not sure if I've read those shorts--which book were they in?

Thanks for the tip on After Dark. I was overdosed on his stuff for a while, but maybe I'm ready to go back.

PS I am reading 26 Lies.
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2007 12:53 pm (UTC)
thailand is in AFTER THE QUAKE, which is a really fine little collection, actually, and quite under-rated by people. i would put it up there with WIND UP and HARD BOILED, myself (and i even think that particular story was reprinted in a datlow/windling year's best).

neat on 26lies. i hope you enjoy it.
buymeaclue
Mar. 16th, 2007 12:00 pm (UTC)
I think I have After the Quake around somewhere; will hunt it up.

re: 26 Lies, finished now. Read the second-last paragraph of the top part of this: http://buymeaclue.livejournal.com/354545.html and let me know if I shall write it up?
benpeek
Mar. 16th, 2007 01:30 pm (UTC)
sure, you want to write it up, feel free. i'd rather have people talk about books than not.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 14th, 2007 02:43 am (UTC)
I plan to pick this one up too, most likely as an eBook. (Yah! to Knopf for finally offering many of their new releases as eBooks.)

Shame on you for stealing Murikami's literary wife ;)

Agreed about meeting favorite authors and favorite folk in general. Some experiences are not worth having...

...pm
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2007 02:51 am (UTC)
steal only from those you admire, i say ;)
(Anonymous)
Mar. 14th, 2007 02:52 am (UTC)
"steal only from those you admire, i say ;)"

Seems like you stole that from a certain Shepard :)
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2007 02:58 am (UTC)
he lights my path ;P
(Anonymous)
Mar. 14th, 2007 03:01 am (UTC)
and knocks out the lights of others :)

...pm
benpeek
Mar. 14th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC)
i think we should stop right here before the musical
(Anonymous)
Mar. 14th, 2007 03:37 am (UTC)
Murakami's musical.

...pm
wendy_waring
Mar. 15th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC)
Don't be afraid...Ondaatje's not scary. Good convo, ego safe. Go ahead, rock up next time you've got an opportunity. (Although he is very handsome, and this can be off-putting, if you've just a garden variety mug.)

Looking forward to After Dark too...think we've had a long rant about his female narrators somewhere before, so I'll stop now. Future ranting will be good, I'm sure.
benpeek
Mar. 15th, 2007 06:44 am (UTC)
nah, i'll just avoid ondaatje. COMING THROUGH SLAUGHTER was a pretty big thing for me, development wise as a writer, and i'm just happy not knowing him :)

like i said to hannah up front, i have some hope for the murakami female narrator after some of the shorts... but i gotta wait and see, first.
wendy_waring
Mar. 15th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
chicken shit.

hey, i don't know if you do poetry, but I've got all his (MO's) books, including the Collected Works of Billy the Kid, which straddles generic lines (prose/poetry, that is)and the man with seven toes which is hard to get, and reminds me of The Iron Council in a kinda slant way, except very spare. you're welcome to borrow.
benpeek
Mar. 16th, 2007 01:26 am (UTC)
thanks, but it's cool. i have a couple of the ondaatje poetry books--they're okay, but nothing i feel i need to read. in fact, i still have a copy of ANIL'S GHOST to read...
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