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.