The old man sits on the edge of the narrow bed, palms spread out on his knees, head down, staring at the floor. He has no idea that a camera is planted in the ceiling directly above him. The shutter clicks silently once every second, producing eighty-six thousand four hundred still photos with each revolution of the earth. Even if he knew he was being watched, it wouldn’t make any difference.
This first paragraph drew me in instantly. In the wake of “reality TV” (see Big Brother), I am now more aware of the voyeuristic nature of third-person omniscient fiction. In this book, I watch as the old man mills about the room, confused, and his internal processes. I try to empathize with his plight but a nagging feeling of intruding on his privacy remains. Concurrently I am eager to see the mystery unfold- who and where is he? What is in store for him?
Day/Night contains 2 novels, intended to be read together. The first, Travels in the Scriptorium (what a mysterious title) is about this old man waking up in a strange room. The second, Man in the Dark, talks about an elderly insomniac. I shall leave you to read for yourself what exactly happens in these tales, but I do feel Murakami fans will like this book.