September 21, 2009
Laura Diaz and Mari are two characters that could not be more further apart.
Carlos Fuentes (Mexico) and Haruki Murakami (Japan) are also two favourite writers of mine. Both readings were fascinating and yet, how different their main characters.
Laura Diaz is the passionate woman who fascinated me in Carlos Fuentes’ book : “The Years with Laura Diaz”.
Mari is a shy and rather reserved young person around whom Haruki Murakami wrote an eerie novel, “After Dark”, a book you cannot put down easily. In fact I read it in a few hours, almost in the story real time.
Laura Diaz lives mostly in Mexico whereas Mari’s story is set in Tokyo.
“After Dark” is a story of encounters in the hours between midnight and 7 am on a particular night. “The Years with Laura Diaz” lead you all along the 20th century and the main events that marked that period.
Tetsuya Takahashi is Mari’s encounter during that night. The men in Laura Diaz’ life bring her to various places in Mexico, North America and Europe.
The writing style of these two books is very different too. In Carlos Fuentes’ novel it is flamboyant and very descriptive, South American writers excel in it. In “After Dark”, Haruki Murakami writes about reality or dreams with a more concise style and shorter sentences, always making you want to read further and see beyond the story itself.
Laura and Mari are women you get attached to until the last page. I almost regretted closing these two books, wishing that the story would go on and on. Imagining another end. Laura, Mari will stay with you for a good while should you decide to read those novels.