Tag Archives: Japanese Literature

Review: Killing Commendatore

Killing Commendatore

Killing Commendatore
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.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Advertisements

Review & Tour: Rainbirds

Rainbirds

Rainbirds
By Clarissa Goenawan
Soho Press, 9781616958558, March 2018, 336pp.

The Short of It:

Readers of Haruki Murakami will absolutely love Rainbirds. It has all the elements that I enjoy in Japanese literature yet still presents its own unique voice.

The Rest of It:

Ren Ishida’s sister has been murdered. The situation surrounding her death is rather mysterious. Not a lot is known and since Ren and his sister haven’t seen each other recently, he’s not able to contribute any valuable information towards the investigation. Nonetheless,  he feels compelled to visit the place of her death and to perhaps retrieve her belongings with the hope of finding some key piece of evidence.

In the process, he finds himself living in her old room and teaching in her previous teaching position. He meets a woman who does not speak, a young student who has a mysterious way of showing up every time he thinks of her, a childhood friend he hasn’t seen in years and he is continually visited in his dreams by a young girl in pigtails. Who is she? What is she trying to tell him? Does she know something about his sister’s death?

As a Murakami fan, I noted mentions of ears, music, food and cats. Yep, they are all here.

I LOVED Rainbirds. It’s one of those quiet, introspective reads that I adore. It’s thoughtful, very much a page-turner and the story is fluid and seamless. I highly recommend it.

Clarissa Goenawan

For more information on the author, click here.

TLC Book Tours

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via TLC Book Tours.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.