Back to Top

haruki murakami - kafka on the shore

After Dark

(アフターダーク, Afutā Dāku)


First published in Japan by Kodansha (2004)

Translated by Jay Rubin

US edition published 2007 by Knopf:
Hardcover: 208 pages
ISBN-10: 0307265838

UK edition published 2007 by Harvill Secker :

Hardcover: 208 pages
ISBN-10: 1846550475


In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It's important to combine the two in just the right amount

A short, sleek novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn, and every bit as gripping as Haruki Murakami’s masterworks The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore.

At its center are two sisters—Eri, a fashion model slumbering her way into oblivion, and Mari, a young student soon led from solitary reading at an anonymous Denny’s toward people whose lives are radically alien to her own: a jazz trombonist who claims they’ve met before, a burly female “love hotel” manager and her maid staff, and a Chinese prostitute savagely brutalized by a businessman. These “night people” are haunted by secrets and needs that draw them together more powerfully than the differing circumstances that might keep them apart, and it soon becomes clear that Eri’s slumber—mysteriously tied to the businessman plagued by the mark of his crime—will either restore or annihilate her.

After Dark moves from mesmerizing drama to metaphysical speculation, interweaving time and space as well as memory and perspective into a seamless exploration of human agency—the interplay between self-expression and empathy, between the power of observation and the scope of compassion and love. Murakami’s trademark humor, psychological insight, and grasp of spirit and morality are here distilled with an extraordinary, harmonious mastery.

Excerpt available from the Random House site

Harvill Secker pre publicity sheet



The Complete Review Page - Murakami Fills Tokyo Night With Catatonic Model, Jazzman, Whore By Hephzibah Anderson

The Times - Reviewed by Lucy Atkins

Guardian - Evil in the wee, small hours, Atmosphere takes precedence over plot in Haruki Murakami's After Dark, says Killian Fox

Financial Times - Review by Margaret Hillenbrand

The Cumpulsive Reader - Review by Bob Williams

Just Another Murakami Day (or Night) by Andi Miller

The Last Word - The Wind-Up Writer Chronicle - Metropolis Magaine review by James Hadfield

Review from Malaysia's The Star by Ted Mahsun

A good review from Stainless Steel Droppings

Chicago Center for Literature and Photography review by Jason Pettus

The wikipedia page on the novel page for the novel

Waterstones Book Shop - Customer Reviews

Newstatesman - Culture industry by Daniel Trilling

Befast Telegraph - Reviewed by Shereen Low

bookmunch - Bitesize: Another mighty strange confection from your man Murakami by Peter Wild

Rootless Detachment:Interesting review from the Millionsblog

LA Times - Creatures of the night by Edward Champion - A sleepless night in Tokyo with Murakami Reviewed by Juvenal Acosta

Asian American Press - Undoing the Structure of the Novel, Two Worlds at a Time By Sanaphay Rattanavong

A Dark Beauty of Novelette Filled With Dualism - review by Wilfrid Wong

Christian Science Monitor - A search for connection and meaning 'After Dark' in Tokyo by Heller McAlpin

Blog Critics Magazine - Review: Murakami's After Dark by Ted Gioia

Chicago Maroon - Murakami startles with Dark themes By Seth Satterlee

Boldtype - review by Stephen Dougherty

The Boston Globe - review by Julie Wittes Schlack

The New York Times - In the wee small hours By WALTER KIRN

Washington Post - A surreal novel of suspense from one of Japan's most exciting writers by Michael Dirda

The Quarterly Conversation - review by John Fox

Newsvine - review by Mykola Bilokonsky

Houston Chronicle - A nocturnal, dreamlike jaunt through the streets of Tokyo - By CHARLES MATTHEWS

The Georgia Straight - review by John Burns

MetroActive - Haruki Murakami's new novel, 'After Dark,' tracks Tokyo's night crawlers - By John Freeman - Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman

entertainment weekly - review by By Jennifer Reese

Interesting review - by Jonathan Derbyshire

The Age (Melbourne)feature on by Chip Kidd who photographed the Harvill cover

ABC's The Book Show - Transcript of review by Anna Hedigan

Alarm magazine review - by Rihoko Ueno

The Hard Boiled Woderland - (concetebagger) review

National Public Radio - review by Alan Cheuse (audio clip)

Popmatters - review by Justin Sheppard

California Literary Review - review by M. Kellner

The Lumiere Reader - review by Jennifer Wittig

January Magazine - review by David Dalgleish

New Humanist Magazine - review by Jonathan Derbyshire

The Yorkshire Post - review by Jill Morris

A Downtown Repoter - review by Matt Elzweig

Curled Up - review by Brian Clark

The Book Design Review - Interesting piece on the differing colours used on the US edition's casing

Flak Magazine - review by J. Daniel Janzen

The Portland Mercury - review by Chas Bowie

The Daily Bruin - review by Natalie Edwards

The Buddha Smiled - blog review

The Australain - review by Stella Clarke

The Snapper review by Justin Tenley

Haruki Murakami’s After Dark: An Ode to Melatonin by Return of the Deji