Murakami novels always put me in a stagnant, weird mood. I’ve been reading AFTER DARK lately, and I started to highlight all the songs he references in these stories, perhaps hoping to learn more about the characters. The entire books focuses on the feeling of loneliness and isolation within Tokyo, a huge, metropolitan city. I think this happens a lot. The more populated the city, the more alienated we become. We’ve all heard the phrase “small town vibe” meaning everyone knows one another, is friendly, and wants to have conversations. In a big city, there’s an assumption that no one wants to be bothered.
The novel makes frequent references to songs, in a similar fashion as Perks of Being A Wallflower, which creates a nice setting and particular mood for the storylines. Since I’m still combing through the book, I’ll leave you with a playlist to set the mood. A lot of jazz and classical.
AFTER DARK Playlist
Percy Faith – Go Away Little Girl
Curtis Fuller – Five Spot After Dark
Burt Bacharach – The April Fools
Ben Webster – My Ideal
Duke Ellington – Sophisticated Lady
Pet Shop Boys – Jealousy
Hall & Oates – I Can’t Go For That
Francis Lai – Theme From Love Story
Sonny Rollins – Sonnymoon For Two