Dooley again with the Murakami. I’ve had his review of After Dark saved in my Google Reader for a few days and just got around to it. I’d been thinking I’d hold off on reading this review, and Ed’s, until I got around to writing my own review, but kids, I read the book months ago, and have read a lot since, and I’m not going to reread it to write a cogent review.
That’s my review: I’m not going to reread it.
I think most of what Dooley says mirrors my feelings, at least with regard to this particular book. There is a whole lot of inscrutability going on here, some especially bad dialogue, and no Murakami-doppelganger first-person main character to speak of. I can tolerate a certain level of inscrutable (in part, because it’s such a fantastic word – inscrutable) – at times, it’s the best thing going. I like it when some of the cards are being played so close to the vest, when you’re done reading, you wonder if the cards were ever even there. I don’t have any need to solve the puzzle, figure out what he’s saying metaphysically/existentially, if I get a sense of where he’s going, and if he’s making it enjoyable to ride along. No sense this time; some enjoyment, but in the end, not enough. Unlike Dooley, I’m not at a point of writing Murakami off; maybe I’ve just read less Murakami than he has, and will get there after Kafka, or what-have-you. Maybe not.
I’ve got mixed feelings about After Dark. Bad/tired & busted Murakami is better than tired & busted Auster, or pretty much anybody else, but as I said, I won’t feel a need to re-read it.