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The Crack Magazine

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After Dark by Haruki Murakami

A young woman waiting out the night in a diner, her sister asleep at home, undisturbed after two months, a young man playing the music he loves for a final time, a brothel manager trying to solve the mystery of who left a prostitute stripped down and bruised. ‘After Dark’ takes place in Tokyo, following a set of characters whose paths cross over the course of one night. While Haruki Murakami is often criticised for writing flat female characters, the relationships between women are central to this novel. The cliché of two rival sisters, one smart and one beautiful, is a little played out, but the theme of finding mutual care and understanding is present in the interactions of all the women in the book, despite their varying backgrounds and personalities. Murakami’s writing style makes this feel like a cosy read, even during its darkest scenes. MG

Published by Vintage Classics