After Dark spans one night that is somewhat eventful for each of the characters. The character it settle most often on is Mari Asai, a young woman who does not want to go home. She plans on spending the night reading in a Denny’s, but has a few adventures instead. She is approached by Takahashi, who has met her before, and while she rejects him at first, the two eventually talk and bare their souls to each other.
She also is caught up in the scandal of a beaten up Chinese prostitute, left stranded at a love hotel. The befriends the employees there, who eventually make her feel safe enough to sleep.
Meanwhile at home, her extraordinarily beautiful sister Eri Asai is sleeping. In fact, she has been sleeping for quite some time now. But tonight she is touched and drawn into a whole other world… its hard to explain – and in fact Murakami never does – but nonetheless very interesting.
It’s Mari’s story really – of coming into her own, escaping the shadow of her sister and finding a way to reach her in her somnambulistic state. I loved it, even though it didn’t answer all my questions. Want to read more.