By Haruki Murakami
Knopf, 9780525520047, October 2018, 704pp.
The Short of It:
In my opinion, this is one of his most linear works and yet it possesses all of the key elements that Murakami fans have come to expect from his work.
The Rest of It:
I spent a lot of time reading this one. Not because it was long and dense, but because each and every sentence begged to be read again. Much of it was beautifully written, but some of it was puzzling which is why I love Murakami so much. He takes an idea and just goes with it.
In this story, an artist, recently separated from his wife, heads to a remote, hilltop home to do what he does best, paint. But in this house he finds a painting that basically, changes his life. The painting titled, Killing Commendatore, is a violent depiction of what is basically an assassination. An “idea” takes the shape of a very small man. There is a deep pit in the forest which will remind readers of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. There’s a young girl, a faceless guy, a menacing man who drives a Subaru, an impressionable aunt, and a very mysterious man who lives in a white mansion across the way.
If you ever felt intimidated by Murakami in the past, this is the book for you. I think there is a lot to relate to in this one. The overall theme of loneliness, isolation, what it means to be married and loved and generally, what can be found at the core of each human being and how that can shift depending on the circumstances.
I can see Murakami winning an award for this one. It seems to embody everything he’s ever written and yet remain so unique. I highly recommend it.
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20 thoughts on “Review: Killing Commendatore”
I have been intimidated to try his work – maybe I’ll pick this one up.
Loved this one, too 😉 Your review was spot on. By the by, I’ve just started reading Becoming, too – so far, I’m really loving it.
I’ve only read one page of the Obama book because I had to finish my book club read but I finished that the other day.
I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, I know how much you love his works. And you’re reading Michelle Obama’s book, I can’t wait to see what you think about it. I wonder if people are loving it because it’s good or because we yearn for the Obama days?
Re: Murakami, yes, I am very glad this latest book was so satisfying. It took me forever to read it though because I kept stopping because I didn’t want to blow through it. It takes so long for his translations to come out. This one came out two years ago in Japan and I had to wait so darn long.
On Michelle’s book. I heard that it was great and even great on audio, apparently she reads it herself but I do think we are yearning for something better. The other day someone, I think it was Bruce Springsteen said he doesn’t think anyone can beat Trump in the next election and now I am worried because he’s so liberal, right? And even he thinks that. I know Biden is maybe throwing his hat in the ring but can he beat him? Probably not.
Thanks for reviewing this one! I’ve had it on my list as soon as I heard it was coming out. I could read Murakami all day. 🙂
Whenever I see you write about his novels I want to read one but I’ll admit to being intimidated by his work. Sooner or later I’m going to try one though.
You really must try him someday. You have all that cold weather. Just pick a book of his, hunker down by the fire and give it a go.
This is probably the one for me then!
Yes. I agree. It’s accessible but a little long. I didn’t feel the length at all because I never want his books to end.
You finished it! Yeah!
Yep! And now I am finishing up the other books I set aside for it and getting the reviews written before the end of the year. Three reviews scheduled and now I can read Michelle Obama’s book.
You are free!
Since you spent so much time with this book, I’m happy to see you enjoyed it so much.
One of these days…
Glad you loved this. I had it on hold at the library but canceled it as it is so lengthy. I may have to buy this one.
So does it rate high among all the books you’ve read by the author? Is it one of your favorites? Quite an accomplishment that you finished it. So long. & mysterious too. It has an interesting premise. & themes.
Yes. I think it may be a new fave of mine.
Haruki Murakami is one of my favorite writers.
thank for your excellent review
have a great weekend
This book of his is one of the best written. This became my first read of the year and, while I thought I will be taking longer to read it but no, I surprised myself finishing it much faster. The lines have been beautifully crafted – the whole approach to give visualization to idea and metaphor was the best thing which I could relate to. The art of loneliness- he does magic with it. The simplest of conversations between characters are sensibly laid out.
He always leaves you in awe of his content.