Two books, two women

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.

Diaz-After Dark

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.

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6 Responses to “Two books, two women”

  1. Carsten said

    Once I had a very interesting experience. I read Murakamis “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” synchronously with a very good friend. We could discuss the novel day for day as we read it. I like this book very much.
    Thanks for drawing my attention to ‘After Dark’. I’ll read it.
    BTW, one of my favourites is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shadow_of_the_Wind
    Try it. I can’t imagine you will be dissapointed.

    • It is very strange that you mention “The Shadow of the Wind”… I have started reading it a few days ago and look forward to going on. One of my favourite books of Murakami was “Kafka on the Shore”, quite an amazing story. As for reading a book together with a friend, I did this with “Possession” by A.S. Byatt. For me also, a great experience of shared feelings and understanding. Thank you for your comments, always appreciated.

      • Carsten said

        I would like to know what you think od “The Shadow of the Wind” when you finish. I am going to order “The Angels Game” one of these days.
        I got a short sample in a bookstore. After reading this, I MUST read the rest.
        Have a nice time in Barcelona….

  2. Thanks Carsten, I will tell you about “L’Ombre du Vent” when I am finished, Am reading it in French.

  3. Gerry said

    I’m wandering all over your blog today, Isa, and have been having a lovely time. (Hello Carsten!) My son introduced me to Murakami, and I’m glad he did. I introduced him to Carlos Fuentes and the jury, as we say, is still out . . . What interesting conversations go on here.

  4. This is nice to find you here, Gerry, thank you for visiting. Isn’t it great that our children share their reading with us ? Have you read “The Frontier of crystal” by Fuentes ? Nine short stories about this mythical border between the United States and Mexico. I liked it a lot.

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