Killing Commendatore

Killing Commendatore

Book - 2018
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"A publishing event: a major new, epic novel from the internationally acclaimed, bestselling author of 1Q84 and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. An unnamed thirty-something portrait painter, abandoned by his wife, becomes caretaker of the home of an aging famous artist, Tomohiko Amada. When the younger man discovers an unknown painting in the attic, entitled "Killing Commendatore"--a painting that takes its cues from Mozart's opera Don Giovanni--he also discovers clues about Amada, his family and their involvement in a violent and failed plot to kill a Nazi leader in Vienna. As the painter slowly learns the truth, he is equally consumed by the story of a wealthy and mysterious neighbor, Menshiki, in what is, according to the author, a clear homage to The Great Gatsby. The painter becomes obsessed with Menshiki's doomed love affair, the young girl who might be his child and a stone-lined underground space in the nearby woods where Buddhist priests were once buried alive. This pit becomes a portal into another world, a surreal place where the figures from "Killing Commendatore" take form to guide our narrator on an epic journey. Ambitious and haunting, tactile and surreal, preoccupied with questions about trauma, art and the creative process, Killing Commendatore moves between the known world and a complex underworld."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: [Toronto] :, Bond Street Books,, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780385690690
Characteristics: 681 pages


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Jan 20, 2020

If you have not read Murakami (and you should), I would check out his back catalog long before I read Killing Commentadore. It is simply not nearly as good as his earlier work. There were glimpses that offered me hope throughout the book where I started to get genuinely interested, but unfortunately those moments were not sustained and the book remained largely unfocused and somewhat tedious. At the end it just felt unfinished and unresolved....a remarkable achievement given it's 700-pages. A good editor would have been invaluable here.

Murakami has passed this way before many dazzling fashion. I would recommend either The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, or Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World to get a true example of this writer's strange and wonderful talent.

This was pretty disappointing.

BPLpicks Oct 24, 2019

A portrait artist abandons his career to live a modest life in a mountain cabin and enjoys some peace, until a mysterious stranger arrives, and series of enchanting events lead the protagonist out in the woods to discover a shrine late one night. Could it be that the spirit world has called our unnamed protagonist toward a grand adventure? In true Murikami style, the author leads readers through clever metaphors and intriguing happenstance that places an enchanted world alongside the mundane events of everyday life. The story leads one down the rabbit hole far away and yet somehow right at home.

Jun 23, 2019

This was a fascinating book of beautiful language and imagery.

Jun 20, 2019

This is my 3rd Murakami book and I am loving it so much.. I am about to finish this one. Never understood yet what magic Murakami does to his readers. Couldn't put down this book..

Apr 17, 2019

This is a well-written well- translated book. Hurakami has used clever characters to expound on his philosophy of art and artists. As usual we have out of life characters to make the book lively. All in all I could not put the almost 700 pages book down till I had finished it.

Apr 10, 2019

Japan's Haruki Murakami is one of the world's most popular and prolific writers (and of my favorites), but there's been something of a growing backlash. Common complaints are that his prose style is dull (although it's hard to tell since it's translated), his characters are all the same, his stories are all the same, and that there's not much substance to his writing. None of these criticism are completely off the mark, and his latest novel, despite its length, is one of his weaker and more shallow ones. It's a return to the more surreal realms of "Wind-Up Bird" or "Wild Sheep" with a haunted painting and a small man who appears to the protagonist. I always like his stuff, but it did feel like his was treading water with this one and that it could've used a good editor.

IndyPL_TimothyV Mar 20, 2019

Most of Murakami's favored tropes are employed in this novel, such that seasoned readers will find themselves in familiar territory. References to World War Two are reminiscent of his previous The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, but are more awkwardly deployed, reading more like Wikipedia entries rather than lived experience. Killing Commendatore does excel as an exploration of the philosophy of art, and the nameless narrator expounds at length on this matter. Otherwise, apart from being an artist, the narrator feels much like nearly every other Murakami protagonist: intellectual, sensitive, independent, and lovelorn. In typical Murakami fashion, several plot lines (including the tantalizing opening scene) are never resolved. There is much to like in this novel, and careful reading will yield rewards, but this is not his best work.

the book's length is necessary to enjoy the pacing. enjoyably written throughout.

(...but what about that prologue...?)

Feb 12, 2019

Practitioners of advanced Vipassana buddhist meditation can approach listening to the audiobook version of "Killing Commendatore" as a very effective meditation exercise and may enjoy it for that purpose. For other potential readers, expect to experience bouts of a range of emotions related to lengthy and circular tedious writing flecked with elements of absurdist fiction, mundane supernatural occurrence, and perpetual low simmer suspense.

Feb 01, 2019

Creepy on so many levels it's impossible to begin to describe. If you haven't read Murakami; read A Wild Sheep Chase, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, or Kafka on the Shore instead. Otherwise, leave this one alone.

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