“After Dark” by Haruki Murakami is one of those reads where you can’t really look away from the page, yet somehow by the end you’re not really certain what really happened.
I’ve always had an envy for the writing in slice-of-life pieces like this one. You don’t get backstory, or plot-arcs, or even a plot, really. Instead you feel you’ve been dropped in the middle of a single night, experiencing what these characters experience along with them.
Think back over your life. How many life-changing moments were you aware of at the time? Almost none of them. You only realise their importance in your own story much later.
I was left with the feeling that this was one of those nights. The events and meetings are going to change the characters lives. But not yet. Eventually. Overtime there will be more; relationships will develop, conversations will echo, ideas will grow. In a few years, if they are lucky, they’ll look back and recognise the seed that took root on this night.
One day I hope to write something like this. I’ve heard some people don’t like the ending, as it’s abrupt and doesn’t wrap things up nicely in a bow. But I love endings like that.