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  • Hodder & Stoughton

After Dark

Haruki Murakami

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Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

Murakami, acclaimed master of the surreal, returns with a stunning new novel on audio, where the familiar can become unfamiliar after midnight, even to those that thrive in small hours

Here is a novel, set in Tokyo, of mysterious and intriguing chance encounters.

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. The musician has plans to rehearse with his jazz band all night; Mari is equally unconcerned and content to read, smoke, and drink coffee until dawn. Then they realise they've met before through Eri, Mari's beautiful sister.

The musician soon leaves with a promise to return before dawn. Shortly afterwards, Mari will be 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. Her pulse and respiration are at the lowest required level. She has been in this soporific state for two months. And so 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 in Eri's room, though the television's plug has been pulled.

(P)2007 Hodder & Stoughton Audiobooks

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