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... read more
Alienation, a recurring motif in the works of Murakami, is the central theme in this novel set in metropolitan Tokyo over the course of one night. Main characters include Mari, a 19-year-old student, who is spending the night reading in a Denny's. There she meets Takahashi, a trombone-playing... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Alienation, a recurring motif in the works of Murakami, is the central theme in this novel set in metropolitan Tokyo over the course of one night. Main characters include Mari, a 19-year-old student, who is spending the night reading in a Denny's. There she meets Takahashi, a trombone-playing student who loves Curtis Fuller's "Five Spot After Dark" song on Blues-ette; Takahashi knows Mari's sister Eri and insists that the group of them have hung out before. Meanwhile, Eri is in a deep sleep.
Mari crosses ways with a retired female wrestler, now working as a manager in a love hotel (whom Takahashi knows and referred to Mari), a Chinese prostitute who has been beaten and stripped of everything in this same love hotel, and a sadistic computer expert. The story takes place in a world between reality and dream.
“"You know what I think?" she says. "That people's memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive. Whether those memories have any actual importance or not, it doesn't matter as far as the maintenance of life is concerned. They're all just fuel. Advertising fillers in the newspaper, philosophy books, dirty pictures in a magazine, a bundle of ten-thousand-yen bills: when you feed 'em to the fire, they're all just paper. The fire isn't thinking, 'Oh, this is Kant,' or 'Oh, this is the Yomiuri evening edition,'...while it burns. To the fire, they're nothing but scraps of paper. It's the exact same thing. Important memories, not-so-important memories, totally useless memories: there's no distinction--they're all just fuel."”Korogi
“He shakes his head. "I don't mind if you forgot my name. It's about as ordinary as a name can be. Even I feel like forgetting it sometimes. It's not that easy,though, to forget your own name. Other people's names? even ones I have to remember? I'm always forgetting."”Takahashi
“"What I want to say is probably something like this: any single human being, no matter what kind of a person he or she maybe, is all caught up in the tentacles of this animal like a giant octopus, and is getting sucked into the...darkness. You can put any kind of spin on it you like,but you end up with the same unbearable spectacle."”Takahashi
“"The ordinary-looking ones are the most dangerous"”
“Three a.m. This is the darkest part of the night - and the hardest part.”Takahashi
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.”Highlighted by 37 Kindle customers
Is action merely the incidental product of thought, or is thought the consequential product of action?Highlighted by 24 Kindle customers
The ground we stand on looks solid enough, but if something happens it can drop right out from under you. And once that happens, you’ve had it: things’ll never be the same. All you can do is go on living alone down there in the darkness.”Highlighted by 22 Kindle customers
“You know what I think?” she says. “That people’s memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive. Whether those memories have any actual importance or not, it doesn’t matter as far as the maintenance of life is concerned. They’re all just fuel.Highlighted by 19 Kindle customers
“It’s not as if our lives are divided simply into light and dark. There’s a shadowy middle ground. Recognizing and understanding the shadows is what a healthy intelligence does. And to acquire a healthy intelligence takes a certain amount of time and effort. I don’t think you have a particularly dark character.”Highlighted by 17 Kindle customers
Advertising fillers in the newspaper, philosophy books, dirty pictures in a magazine, a bundle of ten-thousand-yen bills: when you feed ’em to the fire, they’re all just paper. The fire isn’t thinking, ‘Oh, this is Kant,’ or ‘Oh, this is the Yomiuri evening edition,’ or ‘Nice tits,’ while it burns. To the fire, they’re nothing but scraps of paper. It’s the exact same thing. Important memories, not-so-important memories, totally useless memories: there’s no distinction—they’re all just fuel.”Highlighted by 17 Kindle customers
Tell you the truth, I’ve had sex with lots of guys, but I think I did it mostly out of fear. I was scared not to have somebody putting his arms around me, so I could never say no. That’s all. Nothing good ever came of sex like that. All it does is grind down the meaning of life a piece at a time.Highlighted by 15 Kindle customers
Many people go on mumbling the old words, but in the light of the newly revealed sun, the meanings of words are shifting rapidly and are being renewed. Even supposing that most of the new meanings are temporary things that will persist only through sundown that day, we will be spending time and moving forward with them.Highlighted by 15 Kindle customers
All information gives way to nothingness, all sense of place is withdrawn, all meaning is dismantled, and the two worlds are divided, leaving behind a silence lacking all sensation.Highlighted by 15 Kindle customers
“It’s true, though: time moves in its own special way in the middle of the night,” the bartender says, loudly striking a book match and lighting a cigarette. “You can’t fight it.”Highlighted by 11 Kindle customers
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