Killing Commendatore

Killing Commendatore

Haruki Murakami / Aug 19, 2019

Killing Commendatore The much anticipated new novel from the internationally acclaimed best selling author of Q and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage Killing Commendatore is an

  • Title: Killing Commendatore
  • Author: Haruki Murakami
  • ISBN: 騎士団長殺し #1-2
  • ASIN
    B079WM2HMV
    Edition Language
    English
    Series
  • Page: 225
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • The much anticipated new novel from the internationally acclaimed, best selling author of 1Q84 and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, Killing Commendatore is an epic tour de force of love and loneliness, war and art as well as a loving homage to The Great Gatsby and a stunning work of imagination from one of our greatest writers Get A Copy Kindle Store Online StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Kindle Edition, 763 pages Published November 13th 2018 by Knopf first published February 24th 2017 More Details Original Title 1 2 ASIN B079WM2HMV Edition Language English Series Kishidancho Goroshi 1 2 Literary Awards Choice Award Nominee for Fiction 2018 Other Editions 29 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about Killing Commendatore, please sign up Popular Answered Questions I dont know about everyone else, but I cant WAIT to read this Been following it since it was published in Japan And I loved 1Q84 Anyone with me 57 likeslike 4 months ago See all 14 answers Jennifer Yes I ve read every bit of his fiction I can t wait And 1Q84 is possibly one of the best things I ve ever read Always played Janacek s Yes I ve read every bit of his fiction I can t wait And 1Q84 is possibly one of the best things I ve ever read Always played Janacek s Sifonietta when reading it for the full effect less flag So Im on Chapter 4 and so far its not very interesting I was really hoping for something along the lines of Wind Up Bird or Hard boiled Wonderland Does it get better as it goes along or should I just stop reading now 3 likeslike 3 months ago See all 22 answers Jennifer Lewellen Are you serious I had to struggle to get into Hard Boiled Wonderland and I haven t put Killing Commendatore down since I first opened it flag See all 16 questions about Killing Commendatore Lists with This Book This book is not yet featured on Listopia Add this book to your favorite list Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Feb 04, 2018 Bookdragon Sean rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves contemporary lit, magical realism I am so unbelievably disappointed with this book What should I talk about first, the bland characters, the flat plot or the convoluted prose Either way it stank of mediocrity This doesn t feel like a Murakami novel It doesn t sound like a Murakami novel and it doesn t act like one I went back and read certain passages from After Dark and breathed in once again the beautifully rhythmic nature of the prose It just flows from one sentence to the next, from word to word, forming a story that I am so unbelievably disappointed with this book What should I talk about first, the bland characters, the flat plot or the convoluted prose Either way it stank of mediocrity This doesn t feel like a Murakami novel It doesn t sound like a Murakami novel and it doesn t act like one I went back and read certain passages from After Dark and breathed in once again the beautifully rhythmic nature of the prose It just flows from one sentence to the next, from word to word, forming a story that constantly progressed forward This did not move The prose was circular and constantly repeated mundane details about the plot that I already knew I found myself wanting to skip sections that sounded like paragraphs I d read before And that s bad, real bad storytelling It lacks the precision that makes Murakami s writing so compelling it lacks the usual edginess and the spark that keeps the words alive Murakami novels rely on the uncanny, on coincidence and strange encounters that seem normal but have an undercurrent of anxiety and oddness Some of that was here in a watered down and convoluted form The problem is the novel is simply too big for the small amount of story it contained It has the essence of his tropes, a shadow of them, but the prose is too weak to carry them forward The protagonist is an artist who has just separated from his wife He moves to a mountain retreat and fails to paint anything until he finds inspiration in the face of his rich neighbour He listens to some classical music, digs up a bell and fixates over his dead sister s breasts He sleeps with some women in his art class and displays the usual middle age egotistical personality that I ve already seen before in Murakami s fiction Give me something new Give me a character that stands out from your others and surprises me with his personality and decisions I fear the author s characters have become a little generic.Murakami has found a niche with his writing and he dominates it he is not like any other author I have read, and his novels are distinctively his But in recent years I feel he has started to play it safe His short story collection from last year Men Without Women was very much the same kind of thing, a brief echo of what he can do but nothing So this is a very poor book from a great writer and, as ever, it is demonstrative of how less is sometimes much And I m quite sad to write these words If I m critical of Murakami, it s because I know exactly how well he can write I ve seen it I ve felt it Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage moved me to tears whereas this moved me to boredom I hope his next book has a little energy.Blog Twitter Facebook Insta Academia flag 344 likesLike see review View all 69 comments Kelsey Completely agree with everything you said Jan 26, 2019 07 43PM Jo Do you think perhaps that was the point the repetitive days, the same characters that we don t truly know on the edge of trust distrust, the faceles Do you think perhaps that was the point the repetitive days, the same characters that we don t truly know on the edge of trust distrust, the faceless men and the nameless faces all during a short amount of time when the narrator literally falls into a black bottomless hole It has elicited a strong reaction from you, maybe as it was meant to Just a thought Jan 28, 2019 06 14AM Oct 25, 2018 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves the japanese Our lives really do seem strange and mysterious when you look back on them Filled with unbelievably bizarre coincidences and unpredictable, zigzagging developments While they are unfolding, it s hard to see anything weird about them, no matter how closely you pay attention to your surroundings In the midst of the everyday, these things may strike you as simply ordinary things, a matter of course They might not be logical, but time has to pass before you can see if something is logical Ou Our lives really do seem strange and mysterious when you look back on them Filled with unbelievably bizarre coincidences and unpredictable, zigzagging developments While they are unfolding, it s hard to see anything weird about them, no matter how closely you pay attention to your surroundings In the midst of the everyday, these things may strike you as simply ordinary things, a matter of course They might not be logical, but time has to pass before you can see if something is logical Our Narrator for this tale, unnamed, is a gifted portrait painter He can capture the true inner nature of a subject and is astute enough to understand that people want to see what is best about them revealed For most of us, who we are goes well beyond what we look like on the surface, and this artist is an expert at capturing those hidden layers in our surface reality This life is soon to be a part of his past We meet the Narrator at the point that his wife Yuzu has just informed him that she wants a divorce She doesn t want to talk about it She doesn t want to explain herself She just wants him to accept what she wants After six years of marriage, I think anyone who wants to dissolve the union probably owes the other person an explanation It s not you it s me kind of thing at the very least Our Narrator is puzzled but accepts the situation, packs up his artist s materials, and goes on a walkabout, or to be precise a driveabout This is a theme in many Haruki Murakami books, the grand quest The people he meets and the situations he encounters in this brief journey do have a lasting impact on his life, on his art, and the future plot of this novel He ends up in a mountain retreat, staying in the house of the respected artist Tomohiko Amada He is alone up there but finds that he is perfectly suited to a life without people He can focus on his art and feels inspired to be working in the studio of such a celebrated artist He is done with portrait work and wants to finally explore art without restrictions He has created a perfect storm of creativity, and he feels reinvigorated about painting The question is, how long can the world be held at bay The house is like many houses of old people, filled with things from a certain era Records instead of CDs, for example Murakami mentions the pure pleasure there is in turning a record over, to listening to songs in order because records used to be carefully arranged to lead a listener in a direction to achieve greater understanding, as the songs built beautifully upon one another Now, people buy the single they hear on the radio and never listen to the rest of the album It is a real bastardization of the craft of music It is consuming without finding the soul behind the music Murakami also takes the opportunity to talk about books as well All the books on Mr Amada s bookshelf were old, among them a few unusual novels that would be hard to get hold of these days Works that in the past had been pretty popular but had been forgotten, read by no one I enjoyed reading this kind of out of date novel Doing so let me share with this old man I d never met the feeling of being left behind by time Readers who have followed my reviews for a long time I do appreciate your loyalty and your input into what I read will know, without me saying this, the almost pathological curiosity I have about reading what we can term lost books Books that may have even had a large audience at one time but now are not read at all, or even enticing, those books that never did find an audience but are actually minor masterpieces When I dive into these books, I feel like I m an archaeologist discovering buried treasure that deserves to see the light of day again How about those fat WW2 books from the 1950s Many of them have merit and should continue to find new audiences How about a book like Mortal Leap by MacDonald Harris This book has been out of print for decades, but it is a seriously entertaining and deep novel that has beenlost So for me having an opportunity to explore a personal library that is suspended in time, filled with books from the 1930s, 1950s, or even 1980s, would be as conducive to raising my pulse rate as having Salma Hayek nibble on my neck The other part of this quote that really resonates with me is being left behind by time Several of the characters in this novel, even the young girl Mariye Akikawa, who becomes so intricate to the plot, struggle with accepting the importance of gadgets, like cell phones The pressure for each and every person on the planet to own and pay those alarming, high fees for service is frankly too overwhelming To not own a cell phone these days is almost like not being a human being at all I will admit I ve always been fascinating by new breakthroughs in technology I owned a computer when they were really too expensive to own personally I watched with fascination as the internet came into being, chunkchunkchunk a few loaded pixels at a time I ve always loved science, even when I haven t fully understood it However, now technology seems to be intent on not freeing me, but confining me It owns me rather than being a tool for my own edification I hear and people say to me, why do they have to know anything if they can just google it There are so many things wrong with that statement that I could write a whole dissertation on what the true meaning of that statement means to the future, but I m going to keep to one part of it How will people know what to google if they don t have enough reference points already in their mind to start with I m starting to believe that I am a man on the verge of being left behind, and it doesn t scare me one bit I may move in with the artist in his time stamped house, and while he paints, I ll read and write We will have tea at three with crumpets The plot becomes and convoluted as the world does start to encroach upon the artist When I say world, I may not mean this world A ringing bell in the middle of the night from underground sets off a series of events that revolve around a painting called Killing Commendatore by Amada that is carefully wrapped up and stored in the attic The subject of the painting is a scene from the opera Don Giovanni The last time I was in Prague, they were showing Don Giovanni in the theater it debuted in for the first time since the original showing Needless to say, I scored tickets, and the experience was as magical as I could hope for When you read and travel, it is amazing the cool associations a person can develop that adds enjoyment to future reading and traveling experiences His wealthy neighbor, Wataru Menshiki, offers him an outrageous amount of money to paint his portrait He seems intent on becoming good friends, as well Unfortunately, through trial and error, I have discovered that people expressing that much interest in me usually means they want something from me I d like to think that I m infinitely fascinating, and that is enough reason for people to want to spend time with me, but I ve been disabused of that idea The artist is of the same mind as me and looks with suspicion upon this offer of friendship What is Menshiki s true motivation There are many philosophical concerns, psychological growth, supernatural occurrences, including astral projection sex, and some wonderful descriptions of the artistic process all within the confines of this novel Most readers should find parts, or maybe even all of these elements, as aspects that they can identify with This book reminds me somewhat of Murakami s masterpiece Kafka on the Shore, but it lacks that something something that would have had me genuflecting to the deftness and creativity of his genius Normally, I rate books against other books in their genre, but with Murakami, like say Charles Dickens, I can only rate him against his own body of work A contemplative book that tries to slow the world down and remind us that fast is not always better and new is not always an improvement If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visithttp jeffreykeetenI also have a Facebook blogger page at flag 246 likesLike see review View all 39 comments Sarah Hello Jeffrey, I have just finished reading Killing Commendatore and am just absorbing the many feelings I get from this title I am an appreciators Hello Jeffrey, I have just finished reading Killing Commendatore and am just absorbing the many feelings I get from this title I am an appreciators of Murakami and his worlds, having read many of his other titles I found, so far, Kafka on the Shore , The Wind up Bird Chronicle , and IQ84 to have been my favourites of his because I enjoy the way he sees alternative worlds and dimensions I like the way that you have connected your experiences with those described in this book I feel the same way when reading Murakami there are so many levels to his work, as there are in life, and he helps me to make those connections I am, by trade, a book designer non fiction, international market, integrated titles and appreciate the way you talk about your feelings towards books in your review I was also, until recently, a library assistant for a local library closed in May last year I have too much to say about this and what we are losing through our obsession with technology, and at the same time see what we gain and enjoy my experience with my technological interface Apple Mac Jan 24, 2019 05 02PM Jeffrey Keeten Sarah wrote Hello Jeffrey, I have just finished reading Killing Commendatore and am just absorbing the many feelings I get from this title I am a Sarah wrote Hello Jeffrey, I have just finished reading Killing Commendatore and am just absorbing the many feelings I get from this title I am an appreciators of Murakami and his worlds, having read many o Just the other day Sarah I had a woman come up to me and ask me if I had a copy of Last of the Mohicans she could borrow I was a bit taken aback because I don t generally lend my books for the simple reason that I never seem to get them back I didn t have a copy in my personal library, but I knew the pulbic library has the complete works of Cooper and I mentioned that to her She made a grimace face She didn t have a library card and had no interest in getting one for what turned out to be whole host of reasons I realized that libraries are in worse trouble than I thought I do believe that a lot of libraries will be gone in the next ten years and when I think about what my local library meant to me growing up it makes me tremble with the thought of all that will be lost It makes me think of railroads, what we have lost by pulling up all of that rail There is no civilized way to travel than by rail and it is environmentally sound Technology is taking us to a different place, but is it really better Thank you Sarah for weighing in on my review I m certainly a man who will be left behind, but I have a feeling I won t be lonely Jan 28, 2019 10 24AM Oct 22, 2018 Shirley Revill rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves audiobook, fiction, thought provoking Thoughts while reading.Your wife she leftI did tooI came back to finish youPaintings on wallsMen two foot highMy brains been pulpedI give a cryI ve not been drinkingThat wouldn t doBut I might before I finish you.Shirley.Review to follow when I finish the story.Update.If I never achieve anything else in my life I achieved finishing this book In fact I got to the end of the audiobook some days ago and have since been wondering what to say I have looked at many five star reviews regarding this s Thoughts while reading.Your wife she leftI did tooI came back to finish youPaintings on wallsMen two foot highMy brains been pulpedI give a cryI ve not been drinkingThat wouldn t doBut I might before I finish you.Shirley.Review to follow when I finish the story.Update.If I never achieve anything else in my life I achieved finishing this book In fact I got to the end of the audiobook some days ago and have since been wondering what to say I have looked at many five star reviews regarding this story but unfortunately it was not for me It s far too long and needs to lose at least 200 pages, maybe The storyline was very,very slow and I still don t fully understand what I have been listening too.On a plus note many people have given this book five stars and I am definitely in the minority.It was extremely well written even though it was rather slow The narrator had a wonderful voice that kept me listening So apologies to all the fans of this book for not enjoying this book as much as everyone else It would be a very sad world if we where all the same Awarding three stars and I sincerely wish it could have been flag 167 likesLike see review View all 31 comments Greg Christina wrote You re a better woman than I am, Shirley I have decided to give up at 40% I am not even liking his writing much here there is s Christina wrote You re a better woman than I am, Shirley I have decided to give up at 40% I am not even liking his writing much here there is so much repetition and while each sentence is energetic and spare, Christina, the I think about this book, the better I like it There are so many images stuck in my head I ve literally become the narrator never named in the book, and like the quote Shirley liked Neither the narrator nor me has any idea where we are going No one does what s the saying, Man plans, God changes them we can plan and plan and plan to the very last detail, but it won t matter the theory of chaos is in control and everything in our lives just becomes chaotic This might be my favorite Murakami after all, it s been 6 months since I read it and it rocked my world Today, I woke up and thought I was in the narrator s neighbor s guest room 10 hours, 39 min ago Greg Christina wrote You re a better woman than I am, Shirley I have decided to give up at 40% I am not even liking his writing much here there is s Christina wrote You re a better woman than I am, Shirley I have decided to give up at 40% I am not even liking his writing much here there is so much repetition and while each sentence is energetic and spare, Repetitions, there is a lot of it, like in real life Like in bills due the first of the month Like in Every time I go to the grocery store I get in the longest line an exaggeration many of us repeat often Repetition of certain activities is the thing that helps us manage through the chaos 10 hours, 36 min ago Nov 06, 2018 Spencer Orey rated it really liked it review of another edition I feel pretty conflicted about this one On the one hand, I enjoyed reading it until the final 100 pages or so turned into a slog On the other, it s repetitive and minimalistic in a way that felt generationally out of touch The unnamed main character is in one of these classic Murakami in between periods in his life, where everything has fallen apart but he s somehow fairly financially comfortable and has time to re evaluate things He gets involved with a questionably shady guy, and they star I feel pretty conflicted about this one On the one hand, I enjoyed reading it until the final 100 pages or so turned into a slog On the other, it s repetitive and minimalistic in a way that felt generationally out of touch The unnamed main character is in one of these classic Murakami in between periods in his life, where everything has fallen apart but he s somehow fairly financially comfortable and has time to re evaluate things He gets involved with a questionably shady guy, and they start investigating some slowly unfolding mysteries.That should be great, but the edgy parts simply don t work In particular, the main character has a lot of deeply uncomfortable conversations with a teenage girl about her breasts, conversations which continue on and off for about 400 pages She s such a poorly imagined character that it seems like it s all she thinks about That s never been ok in these books and it s not ok now.I do appreciate the writing puzzle here Murakami took five or six moving pieces and recombined them over in over, drawing out subtle progress It was a mixed result Some of the pieces are fantastic images a mysterious hole in the ground, possibly connected to ancient monks who chose to be buried alive in search of enlightenment Similarly, sometimes the combinations and slow developments were compelling, and the muted writing style came through strongly there All that made a good point that good writing isn t necessarily about adding and but can instead be about how the pieces fit But at other times, the moving pieces just kind of fizzle There are the usual consumerism turned weird elements of mystery that Murakami is known for, but unlike in The Wind up Bird Chronicle or Kafka on the Shore, this time they don t add up to anything at all That s a theme in general the ending is, in particular, a real dud, so much so that it erases most of the inner progress that the narrator made.But like I said, despite everything, I really I looked forward to reading this book every night So I dunno.One thing I did appreciate was the lighter tone than the past few Murakami novels The opening chapter makes it clear that everything will end up kind of ok in the end, and as a result everything suspenseful is instead kind of chill I could see that being awful actually for some readers, since it kills all of the tension But I liked being along for a ride that you know will turn out fine It s this odd period in the guy s life and he wants to tell you about it It s just too bad that the journey isn t a little interesting On the other hand, there was one especially clueless moment about coffee that stuck with me The main character, in typical Murakami fashion, is eating nonstop spaghetti and drinking nonstop coffee too real But at one point, he goes off about how pretentious it is that people drink fair trade coffee in paper cups from Starbucks There must be a cultural thing I m missing, but uh, hi I live in Denmark where people obsess over specialty coffee, which is the actual fancy pretentious stuff Fair trade is a mostly empty qualifier about how the coffee beans were bought, not anything to do with the coffee itself Maybe 15 years ago, you could argue that Starbucks was pretentious, but that s just not how things are these days.The painting elements were compelling, so that s something There s almost a deep point about the life of ideas and how they travel to people and places, moving outside of time I was into that And there s some mostly humanizing treatment of trauma from World War 2 that felt important.All in all, this book needed a serious edit It s at least 200 pages too long, mostly because it s repetitive But I guess I still recommend it There s still a lot there for a Murakami fan But if you haven t read Kafka on the Shore, go read that instead flag 158 likesLike see review View all 18 comments Aug 09, 2018 Adam Dalva rated it really liked it review of another edition More on this when it comes out I found it to be a return to form, mingling the realism of Norwegian Wood with the surrealistic approach of Wind Up Bird Fast read for such a long book, and the writing about painting is fascinating The biggest flaw is in the depiction of a 13 year old girl, whose constant fixation on her chest is a distracting running joke that doesn t do anything for the plot flag 115 likesLike see review View all 15 comments Nov 03, 2018 Seemita rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves fiction, japan, thriller, horror, mammoth, alpha meta dig a, asia, art, drama, psychology If I close my eyes tight, what shall I see If I shut out all the noises I can sense, what shall I hear If I shun the world completely, what shall I feel A dark nothingness Or a blinding muddle of overlapping images Heartbeats of silence, may be Or forewarnings of myriad nature Forgotten memories, perhaps Or Unforeseen happenstances The options are many but the answers, scarce And a protagonist embroiled in a similar dilemma propels this part real, part supernatural tale of phantasmagori If I close my eyes tight, what shall I see If I shut out all the noises I can sense, what shall I hear If I shun the world completely, what shall I feel A dark nothingness Or a blinding muddle of overlapping images Heartbeats of silence, may be Or forewarnings of myriad nature Forgotten memories, perhaps Or Unforeseen happenstances The options are many but the answers, scarce And a protagonist embroiled in a similar dilemma propels this part real, part supernatural tale of phantasmagorical dimensions Murakami s 36 years old hero bears all the usual hallmarks of his creator s heroes a loser in love, an average worker, a music aficionado, an explorer of the unconventional, a commoner, a misfit, an outcast Adding to this rather familiar image is the angle of art our hero is a portrait painter and is at a stage of life where he is striving to graduate to a experimental and freer form of it even though his current credentials are praiseworthy But left to his own devices in an isolated mountain house in remote Japan, when he accidentally uncovers a hidden painting in the attic, painted by his landlord the great artist Tomohiko Amada , he unknowingly sets in motion a chain of events which he must counter first hand and bring to a logical conclusion The painting, of course, is the eponymous Killing Commendatore In his signature style, Murakami s flight from the real to the surreal and back, and forth, and back left me enthralled From the bell whose eerie jingling punctured the night stillness for exactly 45 minutes to the crystallization of an idea into a walking talking person, from the precocious girl who would match the hero toe to toe in comprehending the hidden layers of a vocal painting to the cryptic idiosyncrasies of his impeccably dressed but asocial neighbour, from the disappearance of things from the real world to their timely apparitions in the surreal world, the story turned into an exhilarating ride where beliefs were as quickly suspended as their twins were embraced But even as he held me captive in this roller coaster wheel of happenstances, he consciously waved cards on family, friendship, art, success, loneliness, values and life, begging me to pay attention to their subtle but all encompassing impact Reading Murakami is never a straight forward process and as a fan, I roll in glee at the opportunity of getting enmeshed in his web However, since his books, at the core level, are mostly about human frailties and the attempts to comprehend them, they leave me in a fertile place where the guiding light reveals as much as it hides And these open ends make for a fascinating t te t te with self Killing Commendatore didn t disappoint at all in this regard And if the resemblance to a certain Scott Fitzgerald novel planted some seeds of anticipation in me early on, they were dismissed before long And while it came tantalizingly close to The Wind up Bird Chronicle in its approach and length, the master turned his latest trick into a clear winner by infusing the very best of his diverse characters The delicious bites on the process of creating art, the psychological undercurrents of a modern day teen, the pernicious scars of war and their refusal to fade, they all added to the hypnotic relevance of this tome, and which I am glad I read Because every creation is a repayment to the loan of time and when made the right way, strengthens our worthiness in the world we live in and shall eventually leave behind flag 78 likesLike see review View all 16 comments Sep 28, 2018 Meike rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves 2018 read, japan In Germany, Murakami s latest tome was published in two parts, the first one entitled Killing Commendatore 1 An Idea Appears and you know why Because one of the characters in this book is an idea Yes An idea Welcome to the world of Murakami Our main protagonist is a 36 year old painter He who remains unnamed has just been left by his wife and retreats into a solitary house in the Japanese mountains to rethink his life While trying to figure out what to do next, he is confronted wi In Germany, Murakami s latest tome was published in two parts, the first one entitled Killing Commendatore 1 An Idea Appears and you know why Because one of the characters in this book is an idea Yes An idea Welcome to the world of Murakami Our main protagonist is a 36 year old painter He who remains unnamed has just been left by his wife and retreats into a solitary house in the Japanese mountains to rethink his life While trying to figure out what to do next, he is confronted with the destinies of two other men who, at the crossroads of their lives, have made decisions that went on to haunt them For once, there is the world famous painter Amada who used to live in the lonely house and who hid the mysterious painting Killing Commendatore in the attic Then, there s the protagonist s mysterious neighbour from the other side of the valley who seems to be impossible to paint What secrets do these men and their paintings hide and reveal While the story starts out in a realistic manner, it turns and surreal, and there are scenes that read like hallucinations in fact, the protagonists wonder whether all of this is actually happening I really enjoyed how Murakami connects all the threads and, by that, the lives of the three men While the famous painter is not there in person, only through his house and what it contains he suffers from dementia and lives in a retirement home , the narrator and the neighbour develop a peculiar friendship Through art and life, and layers of all three men are laid bare and they reflect each other, but these mirror images are created with funhouse mirrors, which keeps the reader guessing about the differences and similarities between their experiences When Marie, who might be Menshiki s daughter, suddenly vanishes, the narrator sets out to find her with the help of dying Amada and the idea On this mission, Amada s painting Killing Commendatore proves to be the key not only to the old painter s hidden past in Vienna 1938, but also to finding the young girl and to deepening the narrator s understanding of the nature of art And art itself plays a major role in the book Abstract vs concrete painting, Western vs Japanese styles, the question whether art can capture the essense of a person, the role of the artist in society etc I love that, it is like a benign version of The Map and the Territory feat The Picture of Dorian Gray Especially in the second half, it becomes clear that Murakami intended his book to be a meditation on art we shape our reality by how we connect the dots, and we can create reality by believing in our ideas Murakami makes this point with his typical brand of magical realism, and he always leaves room for interpretation regarding what is really going on the reader has the space to follow his own ideas inside the text Just like the painting Killing Commendatore holds a different meaning depending on who is looking at it, the idea as a character in the book also takes on different forms and in this volume gets help from a metaphor yes, also as a character in the book Killing Commendatore is clearly one of those books that deserve several readings, because there is so much open space that the reader can contemplate that s one of the qualities I love about Murakami, he just doesn t explain himself in his texts and trusts his readers to go along with him You need to find your own meaning and trust your own ideas, because t he Commendatore does really exist You should believe that flag 71 likesLike see review View all 13 comments Dec 16, 2018 J.L Sutton rated it really liked it review of another edition Finished Haruki Murakami s Killing Commendatore a few weeks ago and I m still not sure what to think about it On the one hand, I like the writing as well as the cultural references which Murakami weaves into the story especially the complex set of meanings contained in the painting found by the novel s protagonist One of the things I appreciate about Murakami s novels is how he creates a weird, nearly surreal alternate world which exists alongside our own It took a lot of time to get to the Finished Haruki Murakami s Killing Commendatore a few weeks ago and I m still not sure what to think about it On the one hand, I like the writing as well as the cultural references which Murakami weaves into the story especially the complex set of meanings contained in the painting found by the novel s protagonist One of the things I appreciate about Murakami s novels is how he creates a weird, nearly surreal alternate world which exists alongside our own It took a lot of time to get to the weird yes I was waiting for it in this novel and when it came it wasn t as satisfying as I had hoped So this is a good novel, but, for me, it doesn t match up to 1Q84, The Wind Up Bird Chronicle or Kafka on the Shore 3.5 stars flag 62 likesLike see review Oct 21, 2018 Kate rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves murakami, read in 2018, favorite standalones 4.75 5stars DISCLAIMER I was sent a free finished copy of this book by the wonderful people at knopf publishing but they did not ask for a review in any format, I m just obsessed with Murakami and this was my most anticipating book of the last like 3 years sooooooHERE IS MY VIDEO REVIEW Probably one of Murakami s best CRAFTED books the writing was absolutely wonderful and there were so many lines I want printed on a frame and hung in my home, a well 4.75 5stars DISCLAIMER I was sent a free finished copy of this book by the wonderful people at knopf publishing but they did not ask for a review in any format, I m just obsessed with Murakami and this was my most anticipating book of the last like 3 years sooooooHERE IS MY VIDEO REVIEW Probably one of Murakami s best CRAFTED books the writing was absolutely wonderful and there were so many lines I want printed on a frame and hung in my home, a well as the plot and how intricate and complex the interweaving narratives are was amazing.Examples of beautiful quotes Look deep enough into any person and you will find something shining within My job was to uncover this and, if the surface is fogged up, polish it with a cloth to make it shine again Otherwise the darker side would naturally reveal itself in the portrait page 15 It s like I d been born with a blind spot, and was always missing something And what I missed was always the most important thing of all page 31 When you re locked up alone in a cramped dark place, the most frightening thing isn t death The most terrifying thought is that I might have to live here forever in order to survive, a person has to overcome that fear Which means conquering yourself page 271 Saturday was another fine clear day No wind to speak of, and the fall colors in the valley sparkling in the sunlight Small white breasted birds hopped from one branch to the next, deftly pecking the red berries I sat on the terrace, soaking it all in Nature grants its beauty to us all, drawing no line between rich and poor page 341 Gradually I began to feel a stranger to myself as well I placed my hands on the table and studied them for a while These were my hands no doubt but this morning, for some reason, they didn t look like my hands at all page 455 This is your coffin You cannot move forward You cannot move backward You will lie buried here forever Forsaken by humanity in this dark and narrow tomb soon it would cover me, as I lay there in the impenetrable dark, unable to move I would no longer be the person I was page 579 It sounded as if someone had grabbed hold of a corner of the world and was trying to peel back its skin page 587 In this real world of ours, after all, nothing remains the same forever page 669 This is my life, sure, but in the end almost all that happens in it may be decided arbitrarily, quite apart from me In other words, although I may presume I have free will, in fact I may not be making any of the major decisions that affect me page 671 That being said, I do think this book lost the classic Murakami dream like feel many of his similar novels have, which isn t necessarily a BAD thing but probably why it wasn t a full 5 stars for me because I enjoy that not really know whats going on feeling I got from 1Q84 and Wind Up Bird Chronicle I found this was probably the best wrapped up of his stories too, though i had SOME questions they aren t ripping me apart like 1Q84 was at the end loll THAT being said,t his book was no less WEIRD than Murakami s previous novels This had a LOT of strange things happening right from the first page and had me questioning Murakami s sanity at parts and wanting to crack open his skull and check around inside his brain to figure out where the hell he gets his ideas from This was QUINTESSENTIAL Murakami there is a joke in the Murakami circle about the murakami bingo board and I think this book would satisfy nearly the entire board Murakami is becoming self aware I swear, cause this had every Murakami trope I could imagine lol, some examples but definitely not an extensive list made from said Bingo Board mysterious woman unexpected phone call Running through the woods Precocious Teenager Cats owls Secret passageway Cooking fuckin duh gotta get that spaghetti yo Dried up well Old Jazz Records REPLACED BY Old Opera Records Unusual Name Something vanishing Faceless villain Feeling f being followed Historical Flashback Weird sex Moons The biggest thing that set this apart from other Murakami was the narrator while he remained nameless in typical murakami fashion, he was different from many of his other narrators It was a breath of fresh air, kind of how I felt when I first read about Hajime in South of the Boarder While this narrator remained mid thirties and divorced with a feeling of uselessness and nowhere to go like normal, this time he was a PAINTER with nowhere to go WOAHH MURAKAMI CHANGING IT UP YO but no, for real, it actually made a difference This narrator felt like he had much passionate and therefore felt a bit real He also just simply seemed smarter than say Toru Okada, and also a little self aware He actually questioned the strange things that were happening to him and acknowledged how weird they truly were Speaking of being a painter, the painting parts of this book truly made this a unique experience of reading it reminded me a bit of The Girl with the Pearl Earring which I read earlier this year which was also about painting While I m not the biggest fan of reading about music and other arts like that, weirdly, I enjoy reading about painting and painters I also think it made Murakami s writing really shine with his descriptions of the paintings, and its where the dream like feelings were able to come out a bit in this book I really enjoyed the character of Menshiki I found him to be absolutely fascinating I DIDN T particularly enjoy the character of Mariye, I found her to be a carbon copy of May from WUBC or the female in Dance Dance Dance, which I guess I m just getting a bit bored of 13 year old girls talking about their boobs to 30 year old men they don t know, idk yo Nameless Narrator s girlfriend was the true MVP character though lets get real, she had the most brains and was weirdly SO helpful Some of the only questions I had left were about her and her daughters One part I suppose I didn t understand in this book was a scene toward the end of the book view spoiler I didn t understand why Mariye recounting her time she was in Menshiki s house hiding had to be SO LONG it was literally 40 pages of this book and yes I understand we found out some very important stuff about Menshiki s character and life but also DID IT REALLY NEED TO BE THAT LONG DID I MISS SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT hide spoiler I weirdly think this would be a good place to start with Murakami even though its his newest, its weird enough to be like wow this is the weird shit that people talk about with Murakami but also doesn t leave a TON of questions and can be easily understoodOverall I REALLY enjoyed this, but it was just missing SOMETHING possibly the dream like feeling possibly maybe I missed the feeling of having dozens of questions at the end possibly something else that made me not give it a full 5 stars But 4.75 is basically the same, yo, and this will be on my favorite books of the end of the year BELIEVE IT flag 61 likesLike see review View all 10 comments Oct 31, 2018 Andrew Smith rated it really liked it review of another edition The unnamed narrator of this story is a portrait painter He s good at what he does, always capable of capturing something of essence of the person he is painting and technically capable of producing near photographic results, should he so desire He is reflecting back on a period in his life which followed the surprising news, to him, that his wife had taken a lover and that their marriage was now over In typical Murakami style this news was received with stoicism and pragmatism the painter The unnamed narrator of this story is a portrait painter He s good at what he does, always capable of capturing something of essence of the person he is painting and technically capable of producing near photographic results, should he so desire He is reflecting back on a period in his life which followed the surprising news, to him, that his wife had taken a lover and that their marriage was now over In typical Murakami style this news was received with stoicism and pragmatism the painter packed a few things and moved out the same day From here we track his journey around his native Japan in a beat up car Very few secondary players are introduced at this point but one man who seems, at first, to be playing a cameo role is to have an ongoing presence in this tale Eventually the car packs up and our lead man manages to rent a house for a period from an old friend The house is situated in a remote spot in the hills and was previously the residence of a famous painter, Tomohiko Amada.Having decided to forgo further portrait painting to focus on discovering a style of his own the painter is happy to discover the studio previously used by Amada and not only that there is also, wrapped up and tucked away, what seems to be a hitherto unknown masterpiece entitled Killing Commendatore It depicts a violent scene in which the Commendatore knight of an Italian order of chivalry, in case you re wondering is being slain by a sword wielding killer, the scene being viewed by a small cast of onlookers.To this point the story had maintained a fairly straightforward narrative, but this is Murakami so you learn to expect the unexpected And the unexpected duly arrives I ll not go into too much detail from this point as I think It d spoil the fun for future readers but I will provide a flavour of what follows There is a ringing bell that sounds hauntingly in the night, an other worldly descent into a dry stone pit very much in the mould of the well featured in The Wind up Bird Chronicle , a character that might just be an idea and another posing as a metaphor Yes, it s somewhat tricky to rationalise these elements but I reckon it ll make sense though maybe not perfect sense should you choose to take this book on yourself Many of the author s normal ingredients are here whiskey, cats, music, food preparation and, as is often his way, the absurd co exists reasonably comfortably with the mundane in these pages If you ve read Murakami before, you ll know what I mean And you might take some comfort in the knowledge that there is a determinable story of discovery for the painter that flows through this book.If you ve enjoyed Murakami s chunkier novels, such as 1Q84, the aforementioned Wind up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore then I believe you ll like this one too I certainly did, though maybe not quite as much as the three I ve just listed The issue for me being that there are sections in his very best works that just grab me and really scream what a brilliant writer he can be and I just didn t get that feeling here That said, its an atmospheric and unusual tale and I did enjoy spending time with it flag 54 likesLike see review View all 8 comments Angela M Enjoyed your thoughts on this , Andrew I need to read of this author Jan 31, 2019 08 17PM Andrew Smith Angela thanks, I never know what to expect from Murakami, other than the unexpected He s an exciting writer for that reason, I think I m always th Angela thanks, I never know what to expect from Murakami, other than the unexpected He s an exciting writer for that reason, I think I m always thrilled to pick up another of his works Jan 31, 2019 08 41PM Oct 13, 2018 Paul Fulcher rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves 2018 Cannot you just let the painting speak for itself the Commendatore said softly if the painting wants to say something, then best to let it speak Let metaphors by metaphors, a code a code, a sieve a sieve Killing Commendatore has beem translated by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen from perennial Nobel favourite and self withdrawn shortlistee from the Alternative Nobel Murakami Haruki s Japanese original, and marks a return to the first person narrators that he moved away from during Kafka Cannot you just let the painting speak for itself the Commendatore said softly if the painting wants to say something, then best to let it speak Let metaphors by metaphors, a code a code, a sieve a sieve Killing Commendatore has beem translated by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen from perennial Nobel favourite and self withdrawn shortlistee from the Alternative Nobel Murakami Haruki s Japanese original, and marks a return to the first person narrators that he moved away from during Kafka and the Shore and dropped completely in the 1Q84 trilogy and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, although interestingly the original uses the formal first person pronoun watashi which is also typically feminine when used informally in place of his traditional, and very male, boku narrator.But in many other respects we are on familiar ground with Murakami s signature images reappearing in abundance In my review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage I mentioned only the disappointing absence of sheep spoiling the full house on my Murakami bingo card And I subsequently discovered that Steve Snider in the New York Times had actually produced a bingo card.Snider s card isn t perfect one box is bizarrely US centric Chip Kidd s covers are impressive but only used in the small minority of editions published in the US, not even the UK versions, let alone the UK ones, the many other international translations, and most importantly not the Japanese original editions The cats are a little overdone three squares And there are several missing candidates for the free square whisky Johnny Walker even appeared as a character in one novel , signature classical music, wearing chinos, dream sequences and sheep men for example.But Murakami is well aware of these recurring images, explaining them as recurrent themes from his subconscious, and one suspects he knew what he was doing when, after opening the cover of the English edition Chip Kidd in the US but a rather striking one by Suzanne Dean in the UK the very first line of Killing Commendatore reads Today when I woke from a nap the faceless man was there before me. before two pages later the same figure mysteriously vanishes.Our unnamed male narrator is or rather was in the later part of the first decade of the 21st Century, when the events he was narrating took place a mid 30s professional portrait painter Stricken with urban ennui after his wife of six years abruptly announces the end of their marriage, he leaves Tokyo and travels aimlessly through Japan, before his old friend, one with a fondness for whisky, offers him the temporary use of his father s mountainside house is Odawara, a house once known for its cats who one day vanished.The friend s father is Tomohiko Amada a famous painter, now in a hospice suffering from dementia and nearing his life s end From historical flashbacks we learn that the pivotal event in the painter s life came in the late 1930s in post Anschluss Austria where he was studying painting There he learned of the suicide of his brother, racked with guilt about his part in the Rape of Nanking, and also gets caught up in an unsuccessful anti Nazi assassination plant, one that leads to the execution of his girlfriend and his own expulsion back to Japan, his life saved only by the friendly relations between the Japanese and German regimes Back in Japan he switched completely from European style to traditional Japanese painting.Our narrator settles down to a solo life in the house, listening to records although mostly the classical LPs left by Tomohiko Amada rather than his own preferred old jazz records , preparing himself simple but delicious meals , teaching painting to local housewifes two of whom he sleeps with and to schoolchildren, while he abandons his conventional portraits and seeks new artistic inspiration.While exploring the house our narrator uncovers a previously unknown painting by Tomohiko Amada, entitled Killing Commendatore, one that ostensibly depicts this scene from Mozart s opera Don Giovanni The picture shows Commendatore being stabbed in the heart by Don Giovanni, as Donna Anna and Leporello look on in horror But there is a mysterious and incongruous fifth figure observing the scene and the characters are in period dress not from the time of Don Giovanni but rather from the Asuka Era AD 538 710 in Japan And our narrator also increasingly suspects makes some hidden reference to what befell the artist in late 1930s Vienna The discovery and unveiling of the painting is what then tips the narrator s life, and the novel, into the realm of the weird.In the mountain valley he makes the acquaintance of the unusually named Wataru Menshiki, a character Murakami has written in homage to the eponymous Gatsby from Scott Fitzgerald s novel, and when in the middle of the night they hear the sound of a bell it leads them to uncover a mysterious pit, albeit one that they initially suspect to be a dried up well The pit itself is empty but the story has deliberate echoes acknowledged both by Murakami and by the characters in the novel of one of the stories in the late Edo period collection Tales of Spring Rain, by Akinari Ueda There is also a precocious teen , with delicately shaped ears who makes clandestine visits to the narrator through a secret passageway.The plot, which is a real page turner, often advanced by unexpected phone calls , and unusually well controlled for a Murakami novel, concerns the connections between these different characters But of course there is room for plenty of weird sex , some in dreams or sequences which feel like dreams to those involved, including one with a mysterious woman And as the story progresses, the various characters in the Killing Commendatore start to appear to the narrator, albeit not as people but rather visual manifestations of ideas and metaphors with supernatural powers And the level of weird a word often used by the narrator himself as well as the tension are cranked up as the novel nears its end with a visit to a parallel world where, amongst other adventures, he feels himself being followed.From my bingo card I was left only with a disappointing lack of talking with the cats X they vanished before the narrator had a chance to speak to them and the mostly rural setting took away the scenes of Tokyo at night X and leads to the characters mostly driving rather than using train stations X although see later And despite the sense of menace at different points, I don t recall any of the characters being forced to run, or indeed running for a hobby X.But all of this shouldn t detract from the fact that this is an excellent novel I would say a return to form except he s never really lost it.The most striking part to me was the duality between the different characters To say too much would be going into the plot in too much detail, but one moving part is how the narrator seeks in others, particularly the precocious teenage girl, what he lost when his sister died in her early teens of a congenital heart defect her fatal collapse as Gumble s Yard pointed out in the comments to my review occuring at a train station so a for that one after all In one memorable scene he remembers when they explore a wind cave near Mount Fuji, and his sister disappeared into a tiny side passage When she eventually emerges after what seems to him like an eternity She grabbed my hand tightly And, in an excited voice, she said, I managed to squeeze through the narrow part, and then, deeper in, it suddenly got lower, and down from there it was like a small room A round room, like a ball The ceiling was round, the walls were round, and the floor, too And it was so, so silent there, like you could search the whole world and never find any place that silent Like I was at the bottom of an ocean, in a crater that went even deeper I turned off the flashlight and it was pitch dark, but I didn t feel scared or lonely That room was a special place that only I m allowed into A room just for me No one else can get there You can t go in, either Cause I m too big My little sister bobbed her head Right You ve gotten too big to get in And what s really amazing about that place is that it s darker than anything could ever be So dark that when you turn off the flashlight it feels like you can grab the darkness with your hands Like your body is gradually coming apart and disappearing But since it s dark you can t see it happen You don t know if you still have a body or not But even if, say, my body completely disappeared, I d still be there Like the Cheshire Cat s grin staying on after he vanished Pretty weird, huh But when I was there I didn t think it was weird at all I wanted to stay there forever, but I thought you d be worried, so I came out Let s get out of here, I said She was so worked up it seemed as if she were going to go on talking forever, and I had to put a stop to that I can t breathe well in here Are you O.K my sister asked, concerned I m O.K I just want to go outside Holding hands, we headed for the exit Do you know my sister said in a small voice as we walked, so no one else would hear though there wasn t anyone else around Alice really existed It wasn t made up It was real The March Hare, the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the Playing Card soldiers they all really exist Recommended.A quick comment on the translation The use of two translators could have led to discrepancies in the language, but if there are joins I didn t spot them albeit I wasn t actively seeking them Of slightly concern, the English language edition seems notably shorter than that in other languages, which makes one wonder if cuts have been made as was infamously the case with The Wind Up Bird Chronicle see and One hopes not the much longer 1Q84 was unabridged but the page count discrepancy is concerning flag 53 likesLike see review View all 12 comments Oct 18, 2018 Gorkem rated it it was ok review of another edition Hi MurakamiTo be honest, my first running into with Murakami was after my army duty He had magically inspired me through his masterpiece Kafka On The Shore Even the finale quote of book is written on my cello case in order to remember the feeling of the book After this book, I slowly started to collect his all books written in both English and Turkish With Dance Dance Dance, I can really never describe my feelings how much i satisfied with about the plot and rhythm of it as well as the same Hi MurakamiTo be honest, my first running into with Murakami was after my army duty He had magically inspired me through his masterpiece Kafka On The Shore Even the finale quote of book is written on my cello case in order to remember the feeling of the book After this book, I slowly started to collect his all books written in both English and Turkish With Dance Dance Dance, I can really never describe my feelings how much i satisfied with about the plot and rhythm of it as well as the same for Wind Up Chronicle However, his last books including 1Q84, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage I have never felt the same excitement and pleasure about him Yet , my all sympathy about Murakami started to disappear and i felt too wiped out to read and respect on him Finally, I lost my all patience on Killing Commendatore Why Murakami Killing Commendatore really opens up with breath taking prologue between a painter and a man without face The description of the environment and faceless man were fun to start of Murakami s surrealism However, along 681 pages, Murakami sadly couldn t stabilize the same excitement for me Painting and artist as a metaphor were too cliche and sadly the basement of the story was not efficient Almost about 300 400 pages, he never mentioned about prologue and pushed the reader an aimless reading experience Also, it had no any great characters and the reader was expecting to meet up with a character who was despairingly hoping to love Moreover, I felt that Murakami had an apprehension about filling out this book about boring descriptions For instance,the protagonist of the book is an artist and he describes abstract art as if it is quoted from art 101 book Bye Bye Murakami Briefly, this is probably my last Murakami book Killing Commendatore is a bad draft of his any books Murakami has badly repeated his himself on this book I can even dare to say that this books is the same of Wind up Chronicle except changing the character and deep mystic backgroundIf you are a murakami fan, you will probably hate me.However, I am sorry that Killing Commendatore contents over populist concern and this is a summary of that there will be no creative Murakami Murakami5 2 flag 49 likesLike see review View all 14 comments Mar 18, 2018 Tony rated it liked it review of another edition Read the original 2 volume version in Japanese As a Murakami fan and admittedly budding skeptic I found much of the uninspiring same in this 1,050 page story of a frustrated painter who is ironically trying to get inspired Our intrepid narrator as always, unnamed is a disillusioned portrait artist for hire who finds himself living in the mountain home of his old art college friend s father, the famous painter Tomohiko Amada, who is now incapacitated with severe dementia in a care facilit Read the original 2 volume version in Japanese As a Murakami fan and admittedly budding skeptic I found much of the uninspiring same in this 1,050 page story of a frustrated painter who is ironically trying to get inspired Our intrepid narrator as always, unnamed is a disillusioned portrait artist for hire who finds himself living in the mountain home of his old art college friend s father, the famous painter Tomohiko Amada, who is now incapacitated with severe dementia in a care facility Narrator, under the cloud of his impending divorce and painful memories of his younger sister who died in junior high, quits his steady but unadored gig and sets out to discover his own creative style and purpose The slow moving story picks up a bit when Narrator reluctantly accepts an offer to paint for a large but unrevealed sum the portrait of one Wataru Menshiki, a mysterious, retired IT baron and investor.The familiar mishmash of Murakami tropes and ideas are present throughout Killing Commednatore, to such an extent sometimes that the author ends up coming across as a parody of himself There is an isolated thirtysomething male protagonist, a precocious teenage girl, a deep hole and a subterranean world An alluring ear and a cat also manage to get in a mention, though no, I still somehow managed to not get Bingo One of the biggest disappointments about Commendatore was its lack of movement in both a figurative and quite literal sense Throughout a crawling narrative where people do an awful lot of pillow talk and discussing opera over whiskey, there are some discoveries to be made and a missing person to be found But revelations Not so much and what dark forces are introduced are inevitably left to pace the perimeter vaguely, even by the standards of this author, for whom nebulous menace is a calling card This is a story where it is frustratingly unclear what is at stake and why, even in its most harrowing moments, and the lack of actual physical, questing throughout was disappointing, particularly for a novel of its size There are no sheep to chase Unlike in Wind Up Bird Chronicle, the historicism is expository rather than transportive Something like a Hard Boiled Wonderland is finally traversed in the closing acts, but it feels too little too late.For all its derivativeness, however, Commendatore manages to do something new, if only a little While Murakami remains a literary darling in the West, he retains a larger faction of critics in his home country who believe that his work, among other things, is not Japanese No doubt Commendatore retains the smaller things that may make the collective eye of Japan s traditionalist literati twitch they could have miso soup for breakfast just once, I mean come on , but Commendatore may still be Murakami s most Japanese book to date Japanese identity is explicitly scrutinized here through art and through guilt Mention of a man who commits suicide ostensibly over his participation in the Nanking Massacre is the probably closest Murakami has ever come to a political statement, though that is not the tone In Killing Commendatore, Murakami still exhibits his ability to craft an absorbing narrative and toy with some interesting ideas, but he is an author on autopilot as completely comfortable as his seeking protagonists are not It is my hope the author will take some risks next time flag 44 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Jan 21, 2019 Ian Marvin Graye rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves mura karmic wonder land, read 2019, reviews, reviews 5 stars First MisapprehensionsMy first impression of this novel turned out to be a misapprehension.For the first ten pages, there were no references to characters or place names When the view of the Pacific Ocean was eventually mentioned, it could only be obtained by facing south west I had started to assume that the novel was set in northern or southern California, even though Murakami is obviously Japanese.The nameless narrator had separated from his wife of six years, Yuzu, and gone on a road trip First MisapprehensionsMy first impression of this novel turned out to be a misapprehension.For the first ten pages, there were no references to characters or place names When the view of the Pacific Ocean was eventually mentioned, it could only be obtained by facing south west I had started to assume that the novel was set in northern or southern California, even though Murakami is obviously Japanese.The nameless narrator had separated from his wife of six years, Yuzu, and gone on a road trip through the coastal towns, surf beaches, and mountains The separation lasted nine months, before they ended up making a go of marriage one time 7 Up to this point, the novel reminded me of a cross between a Raymond Carver story and Thomas Pynchon s Vineland. When I finished it, 64 chapters and 681 pages later, I had a foggy notion it was closer to Infinite Jest , only without the drugs and tennis.Nevertheless, the novel is a triumphant hybrid, both geographically, and metaphysically.My review focuses on the metaphysical and metafictional aspects of the novel, rather than the plot and the supernatural aspects I ve tried to avoid any spoilers A Systematic, Logical Account The narrator s life had been basically placid, well adjusted, and, for the most part, rational He says rational, even though he was a commercial portrait artist, who relied on his imagination and intuition Even these qualities were tested over the nine months of separation, because it was a period of chaos and confusion 7 He felt like a swimmer in the middle of a calm sea caught up in a mysterious whirlpool that came out of nowhere 8 Some years later, after his wife has given birth to a daughter Muro, the narrator sits down to tell his story as best he can When he thinks back on that nine month period almost another gestation period , the importance, perspective, and connections between events sometimes fluctuate, and if I take my eyes off them even for a second, the sequence I apply to them is quickly supplanted by something different 8 Still, the contents of the novel are his attempt to set down a systematic, logical account 8 It s like a helpless swimmer who snatches at a scrap of wood that floats his way A Lot of Dominoes Fell Over Most of the novel reads logically enough, apart from the supernatural subject matter Strangely, when I went back looking for the following quotation which I remembered appearing at the very beginning , I didn t find it until page 58 Generally speaking, whether something is logical or isn t, what s meaningful about it are the effects Effects are there for anyone to see, and can have a real influence But pinpointing the cause that produced the effect isn t easy It s even harder to show people something concrete that caused it, in a Look, see kind of way Of course there is a cause somewhere Can t be an effect without a cause You can t make an omelet without breaking some eggs Like falling dominoes, one domino cause knocks over the adjacent domino cause , which then knocks over the domino cause next to it As this sequence continues on and on, you no longer know what was the original cause Maybe it doesn t matter Or people don t care to know And the story comes down to What happened was, a lot of dominoes fell over The story I ll be telling here may very well follow a similar route 58 Cause and EffectMurakami clearly believes in the importance of cause and effect, even if it s sometimes difficult to detect the precise cause or effect.While re reading the novel in search of quotations, I realised how little of it was laid out in a conventional linear narrative As long as all of the dominoes were there, it was enough that each domino fell on the domino next to it The chronological or causative order of the domino or sequence was of less significance The Flow of My LifeThe narrator relates to his painting in a similar way if he could make time be on his side, I was sure to seize the right flow 48 The problem was that somehow the flow of my life had gone off in the wrong direction 48 He needs to get his personal and artistic groove back.After his road trip, he lives in a western style house in the mountains that belongs to the 92 year old father of a fellow art student, who was a famous Japanese artist himself Tomohiko Amada As I listened to his record collection on the stereo he d left behind, borrowed his books, slept in his bed, made meals every day in his kitchen, and used his studio, I gradually became interested in Tomohiko Amada as a person 51 He was pretty wild and did whatever he likedHe was tall, good looking, a young guy from a wealthy family, and a talented painter How could women not be drawn to him And he was certainly fond of the ladies 61 A Pair of DominoesThe first two dominoes the narrator chooses to tell us about are a mysterious handsome, coolheaded, well groomed, white haired neighbour the former businessman, Wataru Menshiki, who has commissioned the narrator to paint his portrait for an enormous fee who lives in a white mansion on the mountaintop across the valley, and a painting titled Killing Commendatore that the narrator finds wrapped in paper and hidden in the attic Inevitably, the narrator describes the two dominoes in reverse order Just as the painting is hidden in the attic, there is a forbidden chamber in Mr Menshiki s home Sounds like Bluebeard s castle 120 Whatever Order is Easiest The narrator seeks some advice from Mr Menshiki about how to tell him part of his story It s kind of a weird story I might not be able to tell the whole story in the right order, so it makes sense 136 Mr Menshiki advises him, Take your time, tell it in whatever order is easiest for you 136 All Mysterious Things Should Be Left Buried The story concerns two new dominoes which lead the story in the direction of a supernatural mystery a bell, and a stone walled pit in the ground covered by a mound of stones the pit forms part of a shrine, and is analogous to the wells in Murakami s earlier novels When the narrator tells his friend Masahiko about his plan to exhume the pit with Mr Menshiki, Masahiko tells him that all mysterious things should be left buried 162 It s advice he doesn t take The narrator prefers to trust the joint, dual intuition of himself and Mr Menshiki.Objectivity and IntuitionThe process of painting the portrait informs the narrator about the workings of his intuition which could equally apply to fiction and the composition of this novel in particular I had to find what was hidden beneath the surface What underlay her personality what allowed it to subsist I had to find that something and bring it to the canvas 407 What you must discover, can you not see, is what it is about Mr Menshiki that is not present here 190 Artistic impressions and objective reality are separate things Impressions don t prove anything They re like a butterfly in the wind totally useless 363 Later, the narrator extrapolates, The visible is not the only realitySometimes in life we can t grasp the boundary between reality and unreality That boundary always seems to be shifting 205 Thirteen year old Mariye thinks alike I like things I can see as much as things I can t see 341 Between Reality and UnrealityFor the narrator, the act of artistic creation is concerned with both what is present and what is absent e.g what is invisible and can t be seen The artist must integrate both aspects of the subject s personality and manifest them in the painting When it s finished, the narrator realises that the end product outstripped the bounds of any logic or understanding I possessed This process took him to a level of artistic abstraction beyond his earlier commissioned portraits It s not a portraitit s a work done with you as a model It s a work I had to paintTo put it another way, I prioritised the ego of the artist myself over you, the subjectand maybe extracted something from inside you that I shouldn t have 200 The Realm of the MetaphysicalConversely, the narrator suspects that maybe all I d done was use Menshiki as a catalyst to locate something buried inside me and dig it up 202 It s an abstract style portrait, one in which I let my imagination run free 259 That highly efficient cerebral cortex might seem wasted at first, but without it we wouldn t be able to enter the realm of the metaphysical 260 In contrast, the narrator describes a blank canvas in terms of Canvas Zen Nothing is painted there yet, but it s than a simple blank space Hidden on that white canvas is what must eventually emerge As I look closely, I discover various possibilities, which congeal into a perfect clue as to how to proceed That s the moment I really enjoy The moment when existence and nonexistence coalesce 221 The Captured Subject Escapes the PaintingThese metaphysics open up the possibility that a person in a picture could escape from it 234 Alternatively, the novel imagines a world in which an Idea could adopt the form or appearance of a figure in a painting Like a hermit crab chooses the prettiest and most sturdy shell to live in 240 These possibilities suggest that any product of the author s imagination might be real within the framework of the novel itself.The Darkness of the Artist s ConsciousnessIn this context, the narrator alludes to the music of Thelonious Monk Thelonious Monk did not get those unusual chords as a result of logic or theory He opened his eyes wide, and scooped those chords out from the darkness of his consciousness What is important is not creating something out of nothing What my friends need to do is discover the right thing from what is already there 242 In the Dark by YourselfMurakami and the narrator seem to associate alienation with darkness and holes pits I feel as if I lost track of something along the way, and have been searching for it ever since 451 I began to feel like a stranger to myself as well 455 When you re in the dark by yourself, it s like your body is gradually coming apart and disappearing 252 The walls close in on you and the delusion grabs you that you re going to be crushed In order to survive, a person has to overcome that fear Which means conquering yourself And in order to do that, you need to get as close to death as you possibly can 271 Alice in WonderlandThe narrator also alludes to Alice in Wonderland and the rabbit hole in relation to Mariye Alice really does exist in the world The March Hare, the Walrus, the Cheshire Cat they all really exist And the Commendatore too, of course 253 She s a quiet child to begin with, and thirteen is said to be a difficult age, the beginning of puberty 420 Mariye hadn t yet reached the stage where she could see herself as an object of male desire 469 That s one heck of a hypothesis 673 How Freudian can you get I imagined some egghead critic fulminating on the drawing s psychological implications This black, gaping hole, so reminiscent of a woman s solitary genitalia, must be understood functionally, as a symbolic representation of the artist s memories and unconscious desires 381 On the other hand, the hole might represent the passageway to unreality, or, in Mariye s and Alice s case, the path through puberty to adolescence and maturity.The Possibility of UnrealityJust as the novel is concerned with reality and unreality, it contemplates the possibility that reality represents the truth, and unreality represents fantasy and illusion the products of the mind and the imagination.Menshiki, who is a pragmatic version of the narrator, accommodates the possibility of unreality in these terms Instead of a stable truth, I choose unstable possibilities I choose to surrender myself to that instability 280 Changes in a person s feelings aren t regulated by custom, logic, or the law They re fluid, unstable, free to spread their wings and fly away Like migratory birds have no concept of borders between countries 315 The narrator is deluged with unreality on his spiritual journey All sorts of things I couldn t explain were insidiously grabbing hold of me Tomohiko Amada s Killing Commendatore that I d discovered in the attic, the strange bell left behind inside the gaping stone chamber in the woods, the Idea that appeared to me in the guise of the Commendatore, and the middle aged man with the white Subaru Forester And that odd white haired person who lived across the valley Menshiki 297 Reality Doesn t Necessarily Extinguish FantasyMasahiko says Tomohiko s memory is like a black hole This dark, unfathomable hole that popped up out of nowhere in the middle of the cosmos 446 The Commendatore explains There are plenty of things in history that are best left in the shadows Accurate knowledge does not improve people s lives The objective does not necessarily surpass the subjective, you know Reality does not necessarily extinguish fantasy 301 Allegories and MetaphorsBeyond reality, there are allegories and metaphors that go beyond reason Allegories and metaphors are not something you should explain in words You just grasp and accept them 302 My thoughts and those of the pit were like trees grown together our roots joined in the dark, our sap intermingled In this condition, self and other blended like the paints on my palette, their borders ever indistinct 379 I had been compelled to endure one ordeal after another in a world of darkness 597 So I m the catalyst that happened to set those events in motion 418 I had met Menshiki soon after my arrival in early summer, we had dug up the pit behind the shrine, then the Commendatore had made his appearance, and finally Mariye Akikawa and her aunt Shoko had entered my life I had a girlfriend, a housewife in her sexual prime, who came to comfort me Tomohiko Amada s living spirit had paid me a visit There was hardly time to be bored 446 You d better believe it 681 flag 44 likesLike see review View all 51 comments Ron BlairB wrote Well, if you re going to compare this to Infinite Jest, I d be convinced with the inclusion of one funny part This sounds like BlairB wrote Well, if you re going to compare this to Infinite Jest, I d be convinced with the inclusion of one funny part This sounds like a boring drunken Jesuit college professor in a boy s school tr I have to agree He s not even POMO It s not that the translations can t uncover some depth that is there in his native language He s a good, but not great, writer who really does exist on the most superficial level and there is absolutely no greater depth to his works even upon repeated readings The fact is, some of his books are just flat out bad, and others are just infuriatingly nonsensical He s the most vastly overrated writer working today Jan 29, 2019 10 58PM BlairB Ron wrote He s the most vastly overrated writer working today Yes I d just add Martin to the list as there s one similarity They both expound on Ron wrote He s the most vastly overrated writer working today Yes I d just add Martin to the list as there s one similarity They both expound on a 2 minute subject for an hour in Murakami s case lecturing Jan 30, 2019 01 57AM Jan 19, 2019 Trudie rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves read 2019, timeout bookclub, japan, translated 1.5 One couldn t escape death, but it should come later she wanted to know what it felt like to have full breasts and a woman s nipples at least once before she died It would really suck if hornets killed her before she had that chance Indeed It is probably worthwhile to say at the outset that I am not a Murakami superfan I have read three of his books now and I nearly always leave with a vague sense of disappointment and unease Killing Commendatore is not a good choice for a person w 1.5 One couldn t escape death, but it should come later she wanted to know what it felt like to have full breasts and a woman s nipples at least once before she died It would really suck if hornets killed her before she had that chance Indeed It is probably worthwhile to say at the outset that I am not a Murakami superfan I have read three of his books now and I nearly always leave with a vague sense of disappointment and unease Killing Commendatore is not a good choice for a person with this attitude because I think even superfans will agree this is not his best work Nevertheless, my commitment to book club is such I dutifully plowed through this brick collecting up grievances These can be summarised as i Length ii Repetition iii Breasts i Length It is too long man, far too long It is a short story idea with an ego problem.Hari Kunzru sums it up well in his NYT review the narrator s dreaminess mainly feels unfocused, and a story that might have been engaging at 300 or 400 pages is drawn out to almost 700 This is a novel in which no character can go to meet a friend at a restaurant without a description of the route and the traffic conditions. ii Repetition Do you remember that pit we found the dry stone one that is 9 meters by 3 , the one with the bells, a stone pit covered over with ancient stones Well it is pretty hard to forget because it is mentioned constantly and each time it is redescribed using the exact same language I am pretty sure the narrator wanders along to visit it about 18 times This frustrating need to replay events and repeatedly describe scenes that are already established is probably my single biggest grievance No book has needed an editor desperately iii Breasts The little excerpt that was quoted in the annual bad sex in fiction award was indeed eye wateringly bad but odd to me was this books weird obsession with breasts It was such a constantly repeated motif, that it was difficult not to feel this was Murakami s own obsession, every woman in this novel has their boobs sized and it almost the first thing you learn about them The final section of the novel which in theory should have been relatively tension filled was undercut by 13 year Mariye checking to see if her breasts had sprouted, budded or otherwise developed Sigh There is some good facets to this book, descriptions of the creative process of painting are particularly compelling The character of the Commendatore was delightful and I wish he could have been made of It can be quite meditative to read Murakami, he captures the simple routines of everyday life well but it is a fine line between meditative and snooze fest NYT Review flag 39 likesLike see review View all 11 comments Oct 11, 2018 Daniel Simmons rated it it was ok review of another edition If I were feeling charitable, which I m not, I would say this is vintage Murakami or a return to masterful form or something like that after the under edited 1Q84 and faintly ridiculous Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki , since like many of his earlier mostly better novels, this one features creepy holes in the ground and WW2 atrocities and jazz references and ennui laden pasta sauce making But it just feels like recycling the same stuff to no particularly new or wondrous effect It s like h If I were feeling charitable, which I m not, I would say this is vintage Murakami or a return to masterful form or something like that after the under edited 1Q84 and faintly ridiculous Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki , since like many of his earlier mostly better novels, this one features creepy holes in the ground and WW2 atrocities and jazz references and ennui laden pasta sauce making But it just feels like recycling the same stuff to no particularly new or wondrous effect It s like he s writing on autopilot, just phoning it in, really, and while he s still good at creating a certain unique unsettling mood wherein the boundaries of the characters normally quotidian lives are always at risk of suddenly blurring or collapsing into paranormal weirdness , that mood is often rudely interrupted by passages of thuddingly dull dialogue or, well, stuff like this Up till then I d had sexual relationships with a number of women not so many I could brag about it but her vagina was exquisite, wondrously varied, than any other I d ever known And it was a deplorable thing that it had lain there, unused, for so many years When I told her this, she didn t look as dissatisfied as you might have thought p 293.Murakami san, come ONNNNN Even a soft boiled wonderland would be better than this flag 35 likesLike see review View 1 comment Dec 10, 2018 Edward Lorn rated it it was amazing review of another edition I hesitate to recommend this astounding novel because if a reader misses the hints early on they re going to have a bad time The metaphor is thick with this one, and even mentioning what means what in this book would be the most heinous of grievances Because that s what makes a Murakami novel such a wonderful experience Puzzling out the meanings Doing so, for me, is a refreshing change of pace I don t like an author to hold my hand, which far too many do these days, and Murakami rarely even I hesitate to recommend this astounding novel because if a reader misses the hints early on they re going to have a bad time The metaphor is thick with this one, and even mentioning what means what in this book would be the most heinous of grievances Because that s what makes a Murakami novel such a wonderful experience Puzzling out the meanings Doing so, for me, is a refreshing change of pace I don t like an author to hold my hand, which far too many do these days, and Murakami rarely even waits up ahead, much less by my side But, E it s easy for you to say this book is brilliant as you vaguepost about how metaphor heavy and brilliant this is, ya fuckin pretensious poser Okay I ll put my money where my mouth is, possible future commenter If you think I m blowing smoke up your poop chute, drop me a comment and we ll discuss the many intricacies of this novel in private messages Many thanks to my buddy Gregor Xane who read this one with me and helped to unlocked its secrets It was a pleasure, man My friend Sarah brought up how there s a sex scene in this book that s up for a Worst Sex Scene of the Year award If it s the one I m thinking of, it s supposed to be bad Murakami even explains in the book why it s supposed to be bad Really hard to miss, considering it s right after the scene ends The upsetting part of this book is how the main character constantly describes the breasts and beauty of a thirteen year old girl, but the age of consent in Japan is thirteen, so I ll chalk it up to cultural differences Nonetheless, it s fucking weird to read But I made it through LOLITA and THE HOTEL NEW HAMPSHIRE, so this was a cakewalk Mind you the narrator never makes a pass at the girl or describes her in a sexual nature It s just awkward thinking about a grown man and a young girl discussing budding breasts, and the like No matter the awkward nature of certain elements, I never wanted to stop reading this book I felt saddened to see it end Very few books of this length accomplish such a feat Instances of other long books I wish were even longer would be IT, GONE WITH THE WIND, and THE TERROR 1Q84 by this author is yet another example of a huge book I never wanted to end The fluid nature of this translation only helps in that regard, and Murakami s unpredictable narrative is the icing on the proverbial cake Mmmcake In summation It s a shame that of my friends aren t catching the meaning here because this truly is a terrifically built metaphor fornever mind Spoilers But if you d like to discuss, let s do so privately.Final Judgment This Land of Metaphor has left many in the dark flag 37 likesLike see review Peter What do you think is the subtext of Killing Commendatore Edward Feel free to message me if you don t want to post it I enjoyed the novel too, though What do you think is the subtext of Killing Commendatore Edward Feel free to message me if you don t want to post it I enjoyed the novel too, though not as much as you Feb 02, 2019 12 37AM Sep 10, 2018 Faroukh Naseem rated it it was amazing review of another edition This is probably my 8th or 9th Murakami and I ve finally come to realize Murakami doesn t write to please anyone, sometimes it feels like he doesn t even write to please himself He writes because he needs to he needs to free his mind of these thoughts that ve made a home in his mind And I have nothing to complain about that, we re lucky he s decided to This is the first time I took notes and wrote bullet points to refer to when writing the review of the book This is also the first time I m d This is probably my 8th or 9th Murakami and I ve finally come to realize Murakami doesn t write to please anyone, sometimes it feels like he doesn t even write to please himself He writes because he needs to he needs to free his mind of these thoughts that ve made a home in his mind And I have nothing to complain about that, we re lucky he s decided to This is the first time I took notes and wrote bullet points to refer to when writing the review of the book This is also the first time I m deleting them since they will make the review seem mechanical So free flow it is, dare I say, like Eminem, I m a Kamakaze.It s been than 10 days since I finished reading Killing Commendatore, I have two reasons for waiting so long to start writing this review Number one being that sometimes I tend to get a bit excited as soon as I finish a book and end up mostly thinking about the later parts of the book Second is for everything to sink in and remove all the little random bits like a brain sieve.This book starts with a very magical Prologue which sets the scene for the book which is followed by a very easy flowing but unique first 200 pages You can tell things are going to go crazy and can almost sense it, but when it hits, you re not ready for it The guiding light for everything is Menshiki, a character inspired by and a homage to Gatsby Yes, Jay Gatsby The plot is inspired from The Great Gatsby and Murakami does than justice to it The book has multiple references to Gatsby and the uncanny resemblance in the characters of Menshiki to Gatsby and the unnamed protagonists to Nick is beautifully handled Their relationship is not usual as is with most Murakami characters What was very interesting to me though, was although based on these evergreen characters, they didn t over power the plot and they fit perfectly which sometimes isn t the case It could feel forced if not balanced properly to the new plot.If you don t know, Murakami s picks for the three most meaningful books to him are The Great Gatsby, The Brothers Karamazov and The Long Goodbye A few years ago he also translated Gatsby in Japanese So Killing Commendatore is that much interesting to fans of Murakami.The book is set on a hill station in a quiet town in Japan, a silent but very atmospheric setting The mood is created through numerous references to songs, the silence of the hills, the focus on any sounds of around the characters Murakami fills up the void created by the silence really well and the characters, though isolated have strong and distinct personalities Another thing very tactfully done is the inclusion of history References mainly to the annexation of Austria in Nazi Germany Midway through Volume one something happens which we realize in the grand scheme of things isn t as shocking Kind of like we get used to characters being killed off in Game of Thrones but when Ned Stark is assassinated, we couldn t believe it What I realized later on in Volume two is that I was underestimating the magical element in this book, a pleasant surprise Menshiki and our protagonist is joined by 2 other characters, a girl and her aunt which breath fresh air into the setting, especially the girl who becomes the center of everything that happens in volume 2 and Menshiki takes the back seat I could go on about all the little things that Murakami does to give life to the characters, like how the narrator always notices paintings wherever he goes since he is a painter but I d be taking a lot away from your experience of the book.Overall, this book is to be savored, and before anything I d recommend reading The Great Gatsby and also Alice s Adventures in Wonderland which forms an integral part of the book There was something lacking about the ending, it wasn t as dramatic The Great Gatsby but then again there are somethings F Scott Fitzgerald did that you can t imitate.If book depository ships to you, here s a link so you can order right away KILLING COMMENDATORE flag 32 likesLike see review Oct 18, 2018 Lee rated it liked it review of another edition 3.5 picked up a bit after a Murakami by numbers middle section rounded down I ll write a longer review at some point but, for now, two things feel worth mentioning One some of this is so Lynch inspired that on one occasion he even lifts an actual line of dialogue from Lost Highway It is not my custom to go where I m not invited Two here s my favourite worst bit of Murakami ever My breasts are really small, don t you think Mariye asked, out of nowhere I wonder, I said They 3.5 picked up a bit after a Murakami by numbers middle section rounded down I ll write a longer review at some point but, for now, two things feel worth mentioning One some of this is so Lynch inspired that on one occasion he even lifts an actual line of dialogue from Lost Highway It is not my custom to go where I m not invited Two here s my favourite worst bit of Murakami ever My breasts are really small, don t you think Mariye asked, out of nowhere I wonder, I said They re like bread that didn t rise I laughed You ve just started junior high I m sure they ll get bigger It s nothing to worry about I don t even really need a bra The other girls in my class all wear bras Certainly it was hard to see any development through her sweater If it really bothers you, you could always pad your bra, I said You want me to Either way s fine with me It s not like I m painting you to capture your breasts You should do whatever you like But don t men like women with big breasts Not necessarily, I said When my younger sister was about your age, her breasts were small too But that didn t seem to bother her Maybe it bothered her, but she just didn t mention it Could be, I said But I don t think that bothered Komi She had other things to worry about Did your sister s breasts get bigger after that My hand continued to move the pencil swiftly across the page I didn t respond to her question Mariye watched my hand glide along the paper Did her breasts get bigger after that Mariye asked again No, they didn t, I finally gave up and answered My sister died the year she entered junior high She was only twelve Mariye didn t say anything for a while Don t you think my aunt s really beautiful Mariye said, abruptly changing subjects Yes, she s a very lovely person Are you single Ah nearly, I responded Once that envelope arrived at the law office it d be completely Would you like to go on a date with her That would be nice She has big breasts, too I hadn t noticed And they re really nicely shaped We bathe together sometimes, so I know I looked at Mariye s face again Do you get along well with your aunt We fight sometimes, she said About what All kinds of things When we have a difference of opinion, or when she makes me mad You re an unusual girl, I said You re quite different from when you re in art class I got the impression you were very quiet In places where I don t want to talk, I don t, she said simply Am I talking too much Would it be better if I stayed quiet No, not at all I like talking Feel free to talk as much as you like Of course I welcomed a lively conversation I wasn t about to stay totally silent for nearly two hours and just paint I can t help thinking about my breasts, Mariye said after a while That s all I think about, pretty much Is that weird flag 40 likesLike see review View all 16 comments Nov 05, 2018 Pavle rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves preleta i ili medju anr Ravnodu ni protagonista, klasi na muzika, d ez, umetnost, brak pri raspadu, seks, usamljenost, udni mali ljudi, drugi svetovi, fatalizam, hrana Ve ina nas je upoznata sa Murakamijevim Romanom Ono to je ovde druga ije, medjutim, jeste koliko je esto transparentan sa upotrebom metafora, simbola i ideja, to i nije toliko udno, s obzirom da je roman upravo o Idejama i Metaforama Po tome, tom nedostatku uvijenosti koja krasi neke druge njegove romane gde poenta uop te nije klju na , Komend Ravnodu ni protagonista, klasi na muzika, d ez, umetnost, brak pri raspadu, seks, usamljenost, udni mali ljudi, drugi svetovi, fatalizam, hrana Ve ina nas je upoznata sa Murakamijevim Romanom Ono to je ovde druga ije, medjutim, jeste koliko je esto transparentan sa upotrebom metafora, simbola i ideja, to i nije toliko udno, s obzirom da je roman upravo o Idejama i Metaforama Po tome, tom nedostatku uvijenosti koja krasi neke druge njegove romane gde poenta uop te nije klju na , Komendatore je najsli niji Tvrdokuvanom Jajetu a takodje i po gotovo potpunoj pripadnosti SFF anru Dakle, likovi i dalje nemaju nikakvu predstavu za to rade to to rade ali znaju da to moraju da urade , ali italac ima, pa, prili no dobru ideju I sve je tako lepo i divno i zavodi te da pomisli da ne to zna , a onda dodje kraj koji te baci u rebus Zna li ti uop te i ta ta je metafora Mo e li metafora biti dupla Odjednom ne zna da li je kraj sre an ili tu an Ne zna ni da li su tvoje sopstvene ideje, koncepti, teorije bile na mestu ili ne I rekao bih da je to mo da i glavna ar ovog romana Igra se sa samim poimanjem knji evnosti kao smislene celine Nije to za Murakamija ni ta novo, no ovde je i klju no Knjiga o knjigama, ili makar o umetnosti Bez obzira na to, ipak mislim da su mu neki drugi zavr etci bili smisleniji pri emu moram da se delimi no ogradim od same te re i Nekako, bez obzira na simboli nu slepu ulicu Kafke ili 1Q84 ili Ptice, uvek postoji izvesna celovitost koja ovde nedostaje to bi sam Murakami verovatno smetnuo u italikse ne to se zavr ilo Koja je dakle poenta Mora li delo imati istu Eh, vrtim se u krug I ini mi se da u dobiti nervni slom svakog asa A i ko to uop te mo e da zna Ili pak ko to uop te pa i eli da zna 5 flag 29 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Nov 08, 2018 Em bedded in books rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves asia sans india, favorite authors, paperback hardback, regional translated Was a bizarre and awesome read , though the ending left some unanswered questions to me, at least.Unable to coherently review this for the time being.How I came upon this book Noticed this one at a Flipkart sale with a lucrative 45% discount, and grabbed at the opportunity without even blinking an eye Though alas, if patience was a virtue with me, I would have gotten it for nearly 55% discount from , barely a week later The hardback was perfect and beautiful, with an intriguing jack Was a bizarre and awesome read , though the ending left some unanswered questions to me, at least.Unable to coherently review this for the time being.How I came upon this book Noticed this one at a Flipkart sale with a lucrative 45% discount, and grabbed at the opportunity without even blinking an eye Though alas, if patience was a virtue with me, I would have gotten it for nearly 55% discount from , barely a week later The hardback was perfect and beautiful, with an intriguing jacket cover as almost all Murakami hardbacks are, and paperbacks too aren t far behind in their attraction potential Started reading within a few hours of laying my hands upon it, and relished it bit by bit, and took nearly two weeks to complete.Many aspects were familiar to me, being a Murakami veteran.The 30 something single man, recently seperated from wife, animals cats and owl here, though no crow or rat, except mentioned in passing , music, loneliness, eccentricity, bizarre sex, strong female characters, a very peculiar though lovable teenaged girl, mysterious men, friends And above all, the peculiar Magical Realism, made real to the reader, only as Murakami can.Music and art was mentioned a lot, and I greedily lapped up the knowledge, though I knew I would forget all the names and details soon.I had also bought Men without Women, another Murakami work along with this planning to read it next, after a couple of weeks gap flag 28 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Sep 10, 2018 Sumaiyya rated it it was amazing review of another edition If there was ever any doubt to the fact of Haruki Murakami s skill at nuanced storytelling, KILLING COMMENDATORE eliminates them all with its artistic telling Publishing on 9th October 2018, Harvill Secker, Penguin UK The latest novel from the Japanese author is a gripping tale of art and obsession With nearly 700 pages to its name, KILLING COMMENDATORE surprises with prose that flows nearly as smoothly as the many layers of interconnected meanings in the story There are several familiar elem If there was ever any doubt to the fact of Haruki Murakami s skill at nuanced storytelling, KILLING COMMENDATORE eliminates them all with its artistic telling Publishing on 9th October 2018, Harvill Secker, Penguin UK The latest novel from the Japanese author is a gripping tale of art and obsession With nearly 700 pages to its name, KILLING COMMENDATORE surprises with prose that flows nearly as smoothly as the many layers of interconnected meanings in the story There are several familiar elements an unnamed male narrator, an increasingly bizarre plot aided by inexplicable occurrences, music references, the methodical unrolling of each day in the narrator s life And of course, cats None of us are ever finished Everyone is always a work in progress The unnamed narrator a portrait painter by profession is at a crossroads in his life following the unexpected and unforeseen demise of his marriage His separation leads him to take up occupancy at the house of Tomohiko Amada, his friend s father, a famous painter The house, located in the mountains of a small town, is the main setting of the novel The brilliance of KILLING COMMENDATORE mainly takes place in its space and the accompanying woods The sense of isolation the remote setting creates is palpable in the reading of the novel It s like a world with its own energy encasing the spirit of the story, a place where the supernatural appropriates reality The novel is split into two volumes The Idea Made Visible and The Shifting Metaphor The story begins with an unsettling prologue that intermittently lingers in the back of your mind as you wade deeper into the story The strangeness of the prologue prods you forth with the awareness that no matter how normal the narrative feels right now, things will most certainly capsize The signature surrealism of Murakami will leap at you, any page now The final 200 pages are packed with details and action that unpacks the bizarre tangents Alone in the rooms where Tomohiko Amada lived and painted, the narrator embarks on a journey which uncovers Killing Commendatore, a mysterious painting in the attic, stowed out of sight In fact, it s the only painting in the entire house, which makes it an object of greater curiosity for the thirty something narrator Enter Wataru Menshiki, an enigmatic and peculiar man willing to pay the narrator a huge commission for a portrait Menshiki s character is parallel to Gatsby s, and that s one of the reasons the strange charm attached to his persona never really dissipated in my reading of the novel As Menshiki slowly becomes a regular in the narrator s life, his obsession and motives become slightly clear This is followed by the entrance of a peculiar 13 year old girl and her aunt The girl s obsession with her body s maturity is one of those elements that are idiosyncratic and weird at best Murakami has managed to create a balanced parallel to The Great Gatsby, drawing only enough similarities to retain the uniqueness and originality of his epic As someone familiar with the classic text on a near obsessive level I named my cat Gatsby , reading KC was almost like a treasure hunt of all the Easter eggs he had dropped in his story The familiarities in KC and The Great Gatsby unfold seamlessly, with Murakami managing to control his latest from becoming a great rip off of an American classic So while KILLING COMMENDATORE traces elements from The Great Gatsby, it is obviously a sprawling and layered chronicle that goes beyond the enigma of the classic The final effect is on a metaphysical and psychological level, making KC a fantastic story of Gatsby esque obsession visible in both the narrator and Menshiki The world shaping that obsession is entirely and fabulously Murakami esque While the novel follows somewhat in the tradition of The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, it reminded me equally of the realism in Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage I d advise reading The Great Gatsby before you take a plunge into KILLING COMMENDATORE the link to the classic and it s imprint and influence on Murakami s writing add a definitive layer of meaning to the story Tip When you read Gatsby, think a bit about its narrator s role in the story KILLING COMMENDATORE is an inquisition into the world of art and the unfurling of explosive capacities in an unknown painting that seems to carry multitudes of meanings One major takeaway Murakami must write another art themed mystery magic realism Murakami and art is the combination that needs to become a regular thing Haruki Murakami expands the breadth of his literary nuance and intrigue in KILLING COMMENDATORE There s no simple way to express what a Murakami novel does to the soul I devoured the story, the writing and the gratification that comes with turning the last page and knowing that every single page was worth it In fact, I was wishing for it to be longer There were no wasted words, and somehow despite its length and spiralling trail, the craftsman seemed to be in complete control of the story from the very first page KILLING COMMENDATORE is positively the best Murakami novel I have ever read I m thrilled for all the people who have yet to read it It s going to be epic and I am so grateful to Penguin UK Books for sending me an advance copy to read and enjoy The opinions in this review are entirely my own and written with honesty.Review from my blog flag 31 likesLike see review View 2 comments Nov 15, 2018 Gumbles Yard rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves 2018 Generally I love Murakami and I think I have read and kept every one of his novels published in English but this one I think caught me at the wrong time after I had been reading and enjoying some challenging literature I felt like all the time I was reading, there was a young voice in my head pointing out the lack of literary clothing, that I normally choose to ignore when enjoying this Emperor of writing Of course the irony of a little person speaking in my head when reading a Murakami Generally I love Murakami and I think I have read and kept every one of his novels published in English but this one I think caught me at the wrong time after I had been reading and enjoying some challenging literature I felt like all the time I was reading, there was a young voice in my head pointing out the lack of literary clothing, that I normally choose to ignore when enjoying this Emperor of writing Of course the irony of a little person speaking in my head when reading a Murakami novel is not lost on me I struggled with many if not most of the ideas and metaphors used soccer players memorising the rules of the game really I doubt many Premiership players have even read them only 10% of the brain being used a tired urban myth a bizarre and as far as I can tell almost entirely wrong understanding of Dolphin s ability to sleep with half their brain the amazing revelation that the Spanish armada suffered most of its losses to the Irish weather who knew apart from most schoolchildren in England.And without going into details the whole thing with the 13 year old girl not just the obsession with her body shape but also the initial inspiration he takes for her picture immediately after seeing that another picture he has painted can be viewed as something else was at best creepy.Paul in his excellent review plays a game of Murakami Bingo and I was able to assist him with some of the squares that he had not spotted.I would use a different idea to Murakami bingo This is a book that features a corporate portrait painter who, through, circumstance re finds his creativity and discovers a new way to paint and as a key character a painter who goes to Europe to study and is so traumatised by what he witnesses and does or accurately does not do there, completely changes his art to a traditional Japanese school However Murakami I feel makes no effort to change his style here at all In fact this book felt at times like Murakami by numbers I even speculated when reading if Murakami should do like James Paterson and employ co authors to write books in his style perhaps even employ English ones so we could read his novels without the delay of translation Although I realised this could not work Paterson s style is to give his co authors tight outlines of the plot whereas of course the very joy of Murakami is his ability to write without planning and to let the story simply take whatever course it and its characters take something that it is very fashionable for authors to claim they do but which I believe is completely true in Murakami s case.But ultimately its Murakami and for all its flaws, his books are ones to get lost in So 3 and I will probably buy this for my bookshelves when in Paperback and order his next novel the day it is announced flag 27 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Jan 04, 2019 Laura Noggle rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves 2019 A Murakami twist on The Great Gatsby, The Indian in the Cupboard, and Duma Key Another bewitching mis en scene by Murakami This was my 7th Murakami book, and although not quite as good as 1Q84 and The Wind Up Bird Chronicle my two favorites , it was still charmingly atmospheric and engrossing Murakami s world envelops you up as the story unfolds I actually didn t realize there was an intended link to The Great Gatsby until after I d finished reading and saw other reviews, although in hinds A Murakami twist on The Great Gatsby, The Indian in the Cupboard, and Duma Key Another bewitching mis en scene by Murakami This was my 7th Murakami book, and although not quite as good as 1Q84 and The Wind Up Bird Chronicle my two favorites , it was still charmingly atmospheric and engrossing Murakami s world envelops you up as the story unfolds I actually didn t realize there was an intended link to The Great Gatsby until after I d finished reading and saw other reviews, although in hindsight, I see the correlation It was still inchoate, something missing Something that should be there was appealing to the nonvalidity of absence And that missing element was rapping on the glass window separating presence and absence I could make out its wordless cry After stumbling across Murakami Bingo, I don t think I ll ever read another Murakami book without thinking about it It was fun to check off each box, and this book incorporated at least 20 out of 25 squares As the days piled up, I wore out, too, and was remade Nothing stayed still And time was lost Behind me, time became dead grains of sand, which one after another gave way and vanished I just sat there in front of the hole, listening to the sound of time dying The writing is at times brilliant and breathtaking, and yet, there were two main points that prevented me from giving Killing Commendatore five stars really bad sex, and a reoccurring fixation on the development or lack thereof of teenage breasts This reoccurring joke was not funny, ber awkward, and added absolutely nothing to the story.Not surprisingly, Killing Commendatore was shortlisted for The Literary Review s Bad Sex in Fiction 2018 award You can read the most cringeworthy paragraphs here Still, Killing Commendatore was an enjoyable journey It s fun to note the themes and similarities between all of Murakami s books, especially the attraction to dark holes, secret passageways, the passing of time, and parallel worlds And the writing, I ll always come back for the haunting, ephemeral writing Further reading The New Yorker Haruki Murakami On Parallel RealitiesThe Guardian Haruki Murakami My lifetime dream is to be sitting at the bottom of a well Upon reflection, quite possibly my 3rd favorite Murakami book thus far flag 30 likesLike see review View all 6 comments Oct 28, 2018 Neil rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves 2018 I have read several times that Murakami does not plan out his stories in advance In The Guardian, Xan Brooks writes that Murakami gets into a rhythm of writing in the morning and running in the afternoon Eventually, he says, the writing and the running become indivisible, a form of mesmerism that serves to cast the author as a semiconscious agent in the forward movement of the narrative, or an observant traveller through pre existing terrain.This would, I think, be scary for someone at the s I have read several times that Murakami does not plan out his stories in advance In The Guardian, Xan Brooks writes that Murakami gets into a rhythm of writing in the morning and running in the afternoon Eventually, he says, the writing and the running become indivisible, a form of mesmerism that serves to cast the author as a semiconscious agent in the forward movement of the narrative, or an observant traveller through pre existing terrain.This would, I think, be scary for someone at the start of their authorial career But Murakami is an experienced novelist, and a famous one who, therefore, probably has a bit leeway from editors etc This novel starts with an artist going on a road trip as his marriage breaks down, re shapes itself as he starts looking for a way to recover his creativity, re shapes again itself into a budding bromance as he builds a relationship with a neighbour, re shapes itself again to become a David Lynch style mystery with portals and dwarves etc and then re shapes yet again to become the story of a father and his daughter or, maybe, two fathers and their two daughters It would be tempting to back out as the story seems to spiral out of control, but Murakami has a different solution he just keeps writing until everything gets to a point where the book tells him it is done this is a repeating theme through the novel as the protagonist listens to his paintings that tell him when to stop working on them even if they are not finished This does not mean that everything is tied up neatly at the end, however.A lot of this novel appears to be about the relationship between an artist and his work Its unnamed protagonist is a painter, but it also applies to a novelist and his books and it feels at times as though Murakami is reviewing his past works and exploring how he and they have interacted, what influence they have had on one another he definitely sees it as a two way street For our protagonist, it all starts, as I ve already mentioned, when his marriage breaks down He travels for some time and eventually finds himself living in the vacated house of a famous artist where he discovers an unknown painting called Killing Commendatore This sets in motion a whole series of both normal and bizarre events, always with some hints of the paranormal in the background For fear of spoilers, I won t discuss the events that follow, but they include a mysterious man, a very small man who is actually an Idea, a young girl who seems obsessed with the size of her breasts, a trip to a place somewhere else and several other things along the way.I have often stopped to wonder why it is that I enjoy reading Murakami as much as I do On the face of it, I think I should find it disappointing This novel has the kind of weirdness I associated with David Lynch movies, but it is never unnerving in the way Lynch movies are The writing style, in English, is fairly matter of fact But I think that what makes it such fun to read is the sense that the author is having such fun writing it It feels consistently like it could all go very wrong at any point, but after 13 previous novels, the reader learns to trust the author and go along for the ride You start to share his sense of fun in wondering where the story will go And I m not worried by the sense of incompleteness, even after almost 700 pages this is one topic the novel keeps returning to a work of art may get to a stage where it refuses to let anything be done to it even though it is not complete and that incompleteness is part of the impact of the thing This is equally true for both paintings and novels and probably other works of art, too I am trying to think how I could incorporate this into my photography which doesn t lend itself so readily to the idea but feels like it might be an avenue worth exploring with my camera.All this adds up to four stars, mainly driven by the sense of the fun the author had creating the work that somehow transfers itself to the page I am choosing to ignore the multiple use of whiskey that should say whisky There are repeated references during the narrative to viewing things from different angles and near the start of the book there are several chapters that reflect back on what has already happened but from a different perspective, showing new details It feels like Murakami has an Idea as mentioned already, an Idea is a character and is dancing round it, seeing what it has to say from different angles and then joining up the dots The topic of connectivity is also key to the book, suggesting the author might see connections than are immediately obvious to the reader, or vice versa.It s a fascinating book to look back on, which also contributes to the four star rating I enjoyed it, but probably enjoyed the thinking afterwards about some of the artistic topics it discusses This is 7 images overlaid on one another in camera, not in Photoshop Is it finished I don t know flag 21 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Nov 30, 2018 notgettingenough added it review of another edition Shelves haven t read but In all conscience I can t put this on my better written than Harry Potter shelf because I just don t think a sex scene in HP could be this bad Of course, people who have actually read HP may set me right on that.My ejaculation was violent, and repeated Again and again, semen poured from me, overflowing her vagina, turning the sheets sticky There was nothing I could do to make it stop If it continued, I worried, I would be completely emptied out Yuzu slept deeply through it all without mak In all conscience I can t put this on my better written than Harry Potter shelf because I just don t think a sex scene in HP could be this bad Of course, people who have actually read HP may set me right on that.My ejaculation was violent, and repeated Again and again, semen poured from me, overflowing her vagina, turning the sheets sticky There was nothing I could do to make it stop If it continued, I worried, I would be completely emptied out Yuzu slept deeply through it all without making a sound, her breathing even Her sex, though, had contracted around mine, and would not let go As if it had an unshakeable will of its own and was determined to wring every last drop from my body.Got to be the winner of the worst written sex this year Not to mention seriously weird and creepy Why is it that men think a teaspoon or thereabouts of gunk goes that far And do male writers think that semen comes in quantities in proportion to their fame I m thinking now of On Chesil Beach, where McEwan actually writes He gave out a wail, a complicated series of agonised, rising vowels, the sort of sound she had heard once in a comedy film when a waiter, weaving this way and that, appeared to be about to drop a towering pile of soup plates.In horror she let go, as Edward, rising up with a bewildered look, his muscular back arching in spasms, emptied himself over her in gouts, in vigorous but diminishing quantities, filling her navel, coating her belly, thighs, and even a portion of her chin and knee cap in tepid, viscous fluid And to think that is going to be a movie My best advice is to take your umbrella The rest of my rant on that one is here the other nominations for 2018 see here flag 21 likesLike see review View all 14 comments Oct 16, 2018 Sarah rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves fiction tob 2019 2.5 tentatively rounded up Phew I feel like I deserve some kind of medal for finishing this bloated tome in just over a week This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year I m a long time Murakami fan, but in recent years I ve felt increasingly frustrated with aspects of his latest novels While I loved 1Q84, I found Men Without Women just boring, and Colourless Tsukuru almost instantly forgettable Unfortunately I think Killing Commendatore is destined to join the ranks of the 2.5 tentatively rounded up Phew I feel like I deserve some kind of medal for finishing this bloated tome in just over a week This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year I m a long time Murakami fan, but in recent years I ve felt increasingly frustrated with aspects of his latest novels While I loved 1Q84, I found Men Without Women just boring, and Colourless Tsukuru almost instantly forgettable Unfortunately I think Killing Commendatore is destined to join the ranks of the latter two novels.I ve seen a Murakami bingo card floating around online, and it almost feels like he s parodying himself in this novel Honestly, this one contains all the Murakami hallmarks nameless women who want to have no strings attached sex with the dull narrator holes in the ground wife leaves narrator references to WW2 jazz simple meals narrator living in solitude things disappearing cats mysterious women and men characters with odd namesI could go on but I ll spare you Often I find these aspects of Murakami s novels comforting with his writing you kind of know what you re going to get before you begin but here it just felt like a rehash of his older, better novels.There were a number of aspects of this one that I found problematic, an issue I ve not had with Murakami in the past Firstly why do hardly any of the female characters have names These women are classic Manic Pixie Dream Girls They say vague, insightful, plot progressing things to the narrator in exchange for a purely sexual relationship Secondly, I found the way Murakami describes Mariye the thirteen year old girl from his art class incredibly creepy and odd The narrator bangs on about how beautiful this child is, and almost every time this character comes up some reference is made to her breasts or lack thereof references made by her or the narrator You d think I was exaggerating, but once I started noticing this I paid closer attention to it and this KEPT HAPPENING As someone who has been a thirteen year old girl I can confirm that no girl that age would ever have discussed this with some random weird dude who taught her art class It was just bizarre and disturbing and completely unnecessary Ok, so Mariye is kind of odd, and a bit of a misfit, but this could have been conveyed differently.Regarding the actual plot, I found myself fully invested and excited to see what was going to happen for the first 45% or so but the speed was glacial, and I found myself rapidly losing interest after this, and I began skimming the pages By the time the actual action happens probably about 65 70% in, if not later I have to admit I didn t really care any.So why did I round this up to 3 stars I think I am inclined to review Murakami s novels a little favourably than others and while I did like the story, I just think the book could be halved in length and have been so much better Like I said, a lot of nothing happens in the middle third of the novel This part was still readable and I did enjoy being in Murakami s world this would have been a DNF otherwise The theme of the Nanjing massacre was such an interesting one to choose, I just wish it had been explored in greater depth, perhaps like the historical parts of The Wind Up Bird Chronicle.If you haven t read any Murakami before, please don t start here If you re a big fan and or completist, this is worth a try just go in with your expectations lowered a little bit flag 27 likesLike see review View all 20 comments Nov 13, 2018 Patrizia rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves ebook, letteratura giapponese Un prologo folgorante mi ha incatenata a questo romanzo, da cui adesso riemergo con sentimenti contrastanti Un pittore trentaseienne in crisi professionale e sentimentale, una casa in montagna appartenuta a un grande artista giapponese, un affascinante e misterioso vicino, il cui nome significa sfuggire al colore , una campanella buddista che suona di notte, un pozzo nel terreno dietro casa, un bellissimo quadro scoperto nel sottotetto abitato da un gufo, sono gli elementi che danno vita a un Un prologo folgorante mi ha incatenata a questo romanzo, da cui adesso riemergo con sentimenti contrastanti Un pittore trentaseienne in crisi professionale e sentimentale, una casa in montagna appartenuta a un grande artista giapponese, un affascinante e misterioso vicino, il cui nome significa sfuggire al colore , una campanella buddista che suona di notte, un pozzo nel terreno dietro casa, un bellissimo quadro scoperto nel sottotetto abitato da un gufo, sono gli elementi che danno vita a un racconto nella migliore tradizione di Murakami Atmosfere al confine tra reale e irreale Il bosco mi sembrava molto diverso da come lo vedevo durante le mie passeggiate diurne In quel momento seguiva la logica della notte, una logica nella quale io non ero incluso si alternano a momenti di vita quotidiana descritti minuziosamente, quasi a scandire e separare lo scorrere naturale del tempo dal tempo della storia che a volte si riavvolge, a volte si dilata rincorrendo ricordi, ma sempre nella consapevolezza che Me lo devo fare amico, il tempo.Anche la percezione delle cose cambia Il protagonista in crisi si sente risucchiato in un vortice in cui le certezze sono poche, se non addirittura inesistenti Per non so quale motivo, nella cornice della mia memoria tutto si trasforma di continuo, gli eventi, gli oggetti, e anche, forse per reazione, quei criteri che dovrebbero restare immutabili.Sia chiaro per che quest alterazione della memoria non riguarda tutto il mio passato non tutti i miei ricordi si gonfiano e si restringono pi o meno a caso.Presenza e assenza, vita e morte, presente e passato sono i nodi da sciogliere in questo romanzo, le cui pagine pi belle sono quelle in cui descritto il processo creativo, il momento in cui il pittore sceglie i colori e poi con poche, sicure pennellate, riempie la tela bianca E poi, una volta completata l opera, il distacco Quel quadro l avevo dipinto io, d accordo Eppure si era staccato da me, era diventato una propriet di Menshiki, e adesso che era appeso a una parete del suo studio, non potevo pi toccarlo Ormai era suo, non mio Se per qualche motivo avessi voluto prenderlo, sarebbe scivolato via dalle mie mani guizzando come un pesce Un viaggio alla ricerca della propria arte, del proprio io, che a un certo punto diventa il viaggio di Alice, mentre risuonano la musica di Strauss e il Don Giovanni di Mozart e riecheggiano la favola di Barbablu e i racconti cupi di Ueda Akinari, scrittore giapponese del XVIII secolo.Il fantastico prevale nel secondo libro, che per incapacit di aspettare gennaio, ho letto in inglese Tra Idee e Metafore, i fili si intrecciano e sembra impossibile rimettere tutti i tasselli a posto.Murakami lo fa, a modo suo, lasciando diversi punti irrisolti, riportando la vita del protagonista dentro una normalit che sembra allontanarlo dal suo ideale di arte Da qui, per me, il sapore amaro dell incompiuto, di un universo sotterraneo esplorato a met , mentre il tempo e la vita scorrono flag 20 likesLike see review View all 13 comments Nov 10, 2018 T.D Whittle rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves haruki murakami, reviews I just finished this last night and am struggling to consider it in its own right, as from the beginning onward it reminded me in so many ways of The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, which is my favourite of all of Murakami s novels, though this one is inferior in every way to its predecessor.I feel a bit disappointed, overall, as Murakami is my favourite living writer and I always wait with bated breath, like one of his cats at a mousehole, for a new release However, my reader s loyalty and my grateful I just finished this last night and am struggling to consider it in its own right, as from the beginning onward it reminded me in so many ways of The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, which is my favourite of all of Murakami s novels, though this one is inferior in every way to its predecessor.I feel a bit disappointed, overall, as Murakami is my favourite living writer and I always wait with bated breath, like one of his cats at a mousehole, for a new release However, my reader s loyalty and my gratefulness for his writing, overall, leads me to consider that the fault may be in myself rather than in him That said, maybe I am just becoming a love is blind groupie, as I ve been mildly disappointed with his last two novels and am even so with this one A serendipitous moment worthy of the author himself occurred the week I began reading this book, and it will make sense to you only if you ve read it yourself I was out with my husband at a state park deep in the country and came across an empty well, that s been mostly filled in It s about the same size as the pit in the painter s back garden, roughly ten feet deep and eight or ten feet in diameter If I were a truly devoted fan, I would have found a way to lower myself into the well, and then asked my husband to cover the top and leave me for an hour, just to see what happened Alas, our cat was home waiting for us so I could not spare the time flag 21 likesLike see review View all 15 comments Nov 07, 2018 Chris_P rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves haruki murakami 3.5 rounded down for unclear or maybe not so much reasons.In Killing Commendatore Ideas and Metaphors walk around as people, plot mechanisms become the ground for the protagonist to walk on or go into, for that matter , and abstract notions solidify if only to cover our need for proof that inner struggles don t take place in vain In essence, it s the hero s personal quest to fulfill his talent and make it worthwhile I m not sure if that was what Murakami intended but what I got out of the 3.5 rounded down for unclear or maybe not so much reasons.In Killing Commendatore Ideas and Metaphors walk around as people, plot mechanisms become the ground for the protagonist to walk on or go into, for that matter , and abstract notions solidify if only to cover our need for proof that inner struggles don t take place in vain In essence, it s the hero s personal quest to fulfill his talent and make it worthwhile I m not sure if that was what Murakami intended but what I got out of the story is that to rise and free your potential, you have to confront a bunch of abstract obstacles that hide well inside yourself and that often than not, people get defeated in the process.I really can t judge Murakami s books objectively When I read Murakami, I kind of feel like home and, although home can be unpleasant sometimes or dull maybe after all it s always the same old walls, the same old furniture , it s always home and you just can t help feeling cozy and warm there, if not happy When you have The Wind Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka On The Shore in your resume though, the bar is set kind of high If this is the closest he can get to those two now, I m sorry to say, it s not close enough Yet, it s not too far either On the other hand, it may be wrong to compare The point is, Killing Commendatore can still suck you in and spit you out well changed Plunge in but be sure to keep an eye out for double metaphors Rumor has it they re mean sons of bitches.P.S 1 I don t get why the owl didn t play a bigger role in the story.P.S 2 Most of Murakami s books have a Lynch ish atmosphere but this one begs to be adapted by Lynch Trust me, I played it in my head and it s sweet flag 20 likesLike see review View 2 comments previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book topics posts views last activity Around the Year i Killing Commendatore, by Haruki Murakami 3 16 Feb 02, 2019 01 17AM MVABC Feb 2019 Book Selection 1 3 Jan 13, 2019 02 09AM Indian Readers Murakami Buddies Kushal and Damini 32 61 Jan 02, 2019 09 23PM Japanese Literature 11 18 Killing Commendatore 42 85 Dec 03, 2018 09 44PM More topics Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed

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      • Haruki Murakami

        Murakami Haruki Japanese is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator His work has been described as easily accessible, yet profoundly complex He can be located on Facebook at childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature He grew up reading a range of works by Am Murakami Haruki Japanese is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator His work has been described as easily accessible, yet profoundly complex He can be located on Facebook at childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature He grew up reading a range of works by American writers, such as Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Brautigan, and he is often distinguished from other Japanese writers by his Western influences.Murakami studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo, where he met his wife, Yoko His first job was at a record store, which is where one of his main characters, Toru Watanabe in Norwegian Wood, works Shortly before finishing his studies, Murakami opened the coffeehouse Peter Cat which was a jazz bar in the evening in Kokubunji, Tokyo with his wife.Many of his novels have themes and titles that invoke classical music, such as the three books making up The Wind Up Bird Chronicle The Thieving Magpie after Rossini s opera , Bird as Prophet after a piano piece by Robert Schumann usually known in English as The Prophet Bird , and The Bird Catcher a character in Mozart s opera The Magic Flute Some of his novels take their titles from songs Dance, Dance, Dance after The Dells song, although it is widely thought it was titled after the Beach Boys tune , Norwegian Wood after The Beatles song and South of the Border, West of the Sun the first part being the title of a song by Nat King Cole


    537 Comments

    1. I am so unbelievably disappointed with this book What should I talk about first, the bland characters, the flat plot or the convoluted prose Either way it stank of mediocrity This doesn t feel like a Murakami novel It doesn t sound like a Murakami novel and it doesn t act like one I went back and read certain passages from After Dark and breathed in once again the beautifully rhythmic nature of the prose It just flows from one sentence to the next, from word to word, forming a story that [...]


    2. Our lives really do seem strange and mysterious when you look back on them Filled with unbelievably bizarre coincidences and unpredictable, zigzagging developments While they are unfolding, it s hard to see anything weird about them, no matter how closely you pay attention to your surroundings In the midst of the everyday, these things may strike you as simply ordinary things, a matter of course They might not be logical, but time has to pass before you can see if something is logical O [...]


    3. Thoughts while reading.Your wife she leftI did tooI came back to finish youPaintings on wallsMen two foot highMy brains been pulpedI give a cryI ve not been drinkingThat wouldn t doBut I might before I finish you.Shirley.Review to follow when I finish the story.Update.If I never achieve anything else in my life I achieved finishing this book In fact I got to the end of the audiobook some days ago and have since been wondering what to say I have looked at many five star reviews regarding this s T [...]


    4. I feel pretty conflicted about this one On the one hand, I enjoyed reading it until the final 100 pages or so turned into a slog On the other, it s repetitive and minimalistic in a way that felt generationally out of touch The unnamed main character is in one of these classic Murakami in between periods in his life, where everything has fallen apart but he s somehow fairly financially comfortable and has time to re evaluate things He gets involved with a questionably shady guy, and they star I f [...]


    5. More on this when it comes out I found it to be a return to form, mingling the realism of Norwegian Wood with the surrealistic approach of Wind Up Bird Fast read for such a long book, and the writing about painting is fascinating The biggest flaw is in the depiction of a 13 year old girl, whose constant fixation on her chest is a distracting running joke that doesn t do anything for the plot.


    6. If I close my eyes tight, what shall I see If I shut out all the noises I can sense, what shall I hear If I shun the world completely, what shall I feel A dark nothingness Or a blinding muddle of overlapping images Heartbeats of silence, may be Or forewarnings of myriad nature Forgotten memories, perhaps Or Unforeseen happenstances The options are many but the answers, scarce And a protagonist embroiled in a similar dilemma propels this part real, part supernatural tale of phantasmagori If I clo [...]


    7. In Germany, Murakami s latest tome was published in two parts, the first one entitled Killing Commendatore 1 An Idea Appears and you know why Because one of the characters in this book is an idea Yes An idea Welcome to the world of Murakami Our main protagonist is a 36 year old painter He who remains unnamed has just been left by his wife and retreats into a solitary house in the Japanese mountains to rethink his life While trying to figure out what to do next, he is confronted wi In Germany, Mu [...]


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