The midnight hour approaches in an almost empty all-night diner.
Mari sips her coffee and glances up from a book as a young man, a musician, intrudes on her solitude.
Both have missed the last train home. Later, Mari is interrupted a second time by a girl from the Alphaville Hotel; a Chinese prostitute has been hurt by a client, the girl has heard Mari speaks fluent Chinese and requests her help.
Meanwhile Eri is at home and sleeps a deep, heavy sleep that is 'too perfect, too pure' to be normal; pulse and respiration at the lowest required level.
She has been in this soporific state for two months; Eri has become the classic myth - a sleeping beauty.
But tonight as the digital clock displays 00:00 a faint electrical crackle is perceptible, a hint of life flickers across the TV screen, though the television's plug has been pulled.
Strange nocturnal happenings, or a trick of the night?
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 208 pages, Illustrations
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 05/06/2008
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099506249
- EPUB from £4.99
- CD-Audio from £16.95
Showing 1 - 5 of 12 reviews.
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Review by shawjonathan
This is much shorter and substantially less bewildering than The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, but just as engrossing. It can dwell on a single image for pages of beautiful prose. It has likeable and interesting characters. I don't know what else to say, except that the book feels perfect: whatever Muraki was trying to do he did, and took me along as a willing passenger.
Review by ivan.frade
Not the best book of Murakami. It contains the usual elements of the author's style: characteristic descriptions and some "strange" situations in realistic circunstances... but something is missing, the special touch of his other novels, like the "Wind-up bird chronicle" or "Kafka on the shore".Good for Murakami's fans, but i wouldn't recommend it as introductory reading for new comers. Luckily, it is short, so the reader doesn't get tired even when the story is not moving forward too much.
Review by thioviolight
It is always such a pleasure to read Murakami! This isn't one of my favorites, but I enjoyed the book a lot anyway. Of the things I liked most about this one are the conversations and how the characters' personalities come through in the dialogue.
Review by CarltonC
A tone poem about several teenage characters whose lifes intersect over the course of one night. Nothing much happens, as the main characters Mari and Takahashi meet, part, meet and part again with the possibility of 'a date' after Mari returns from six months in China, but it is beautifully evoked. For me, the surrealistic passages about Mari's sister, Eri, add little to the story, but help make the unreal mood that is successfully created.I have read several novels by Murakami so the themes and types of characters are familiar, and whilst this novel has the least narrative drive, it creates a beautifully realised world.
Review by mich_yms
The story telling technique used in this book is rather unusual, but unusual is what I’ve come to expect of Murakami and his writing. We are told right from the beginning that we are only a viewpoint, a camera floating in space, not having the capacity to participate in all that happens. Like camera viewports, we can only see what is within the rectangular frame, and we make up the rest of what we can’t view with our own imaginations.This book reads much like watching a movie, but gives us the insight of a book. It is very intriguing, to say the least, as it’s not every day that I come across such a story. It’s almost like a study of contrasts, pulling into pieces the workings of a movie while keeping to the formalities of a book, jumping from place to place while still keeping within the same time frame.This here is a story, I feel, about balance. There is this world, and then there is that other world. They both exist together, feed off each other, and both will cease to exist if any one disappears. There is an endless connection from me to you and back to me again. No matter how insignificant we feel about ourselves, or how far apart we may be, there is this web of connectivity that keeps all things in balance.
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