After Dark, by Haruki Murakami

Four stars, read in October 2010.

This book was unbelievably refreshing after reading On the Road, which I finished just before starting. On the Road took me two or three weeks to read and felt like a slog through the mud; After Dark took me less than three hours. (Granted, After Dark is 100 pages shorter—but still.) Both books were in the Authors I’ve Never Read category of my 10/10/10 reading challenge.

I was in love with this book by the second chapter. I’m not entirely sure how to describe what it was I loved about it, except that it feels so… insightful—not just the words specifically, but the style of writing, if that makes sense. It’s translated from Japanese, first of all, and sometimes translations are awkward but not in this case; even when you can tell that things are phrased a certain way because of the translation, it just makes it that much more elegant and beautiful. The characters are so real and so easy to love and identify with, and the story is so intriguing, and even though I was left with questions because I am sometimes too literal to understand abstract concepts, my first thought when I finished was that I wanted to find other things by this author. Luckily for me, he’s written a lot—so I will be looking those up as soon as possible.

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