And our narrator also increasingly suspects makes some hidden reference to what befell the artist in late s 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. 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. 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. A round room, like a ball. The ceiling was round, the walls were round, and the floor, too.
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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. A room just for me. No one else can get there. 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. Pretty weird, huh? 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 just want to go outside. It was real. 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. One hopes not - the much longer 1Q84 was unabridged - but the page count discrepancy is concerning. View all 12 comments. It would really suck if hornets killed her before she had that chance. 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. 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. 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 more desperately. 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 more 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.
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Oct 18, Gorkem rated it it was ok. Hi Murakami To 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 Murakami To be honest, my first running into with Murakami was after my army duty.
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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 more, 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 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 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 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 more deep mystic background If 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 more creative Murakami. View all 16 comments. 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, 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.
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. 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!
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. View all 3 comments. Jan 21, Ian "Marvin" Graye rated it it was amazing Shelves: read , reviews , reviewsstars , mura-karmic-wonder-land. First Misapprehensions My 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 Misapprehensions My first impression of this novel turned out to be a misapprehension. 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 more time. When I finished it, 64 chapters and 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. Even these qualities were tested over the nine months of separation, because it was "a period of chaos and confusion.
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. 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 "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? 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.
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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. 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 Life The 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. 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 more interested in Tomohiko Amada as a person.
He 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. 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. 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. Menshiki advises him, "Take your time, tell it in whatever order is easiest for you When the narrator tells his friend Masahiko about his plan to exhume the pit with Mr.
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Menshiki, Masahiko tells him that "all mysterious things should be left buried. The narrator prefers to trust the joint, dual intuition of himself and Mr. Objectivity and Intuition The 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. Menshiki that is not present here. Impressions don't prove anything. They're like a butterfly in the wind - totally useless. Sometimes in life we can't grasp the boundary between reality and unreality. That boundary always seems to be shifting. 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.
It's a work I had to paint To put it another way, I prioritised the ego of the artist - myself - over you, the subject Hidden on that white canvas is what must eventually emerge. As I look more 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. The Darkness of the Artist's Consciousness In 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. In order to survive, a person has to overcome that fear. And in order to do that, you need to get as close to death as you possibly can. And the Commendatore too, of course. 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.
The Possibility of Unreality Just 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 more 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. They're fluid, unstable, free to spread their wings and fly away. Like migratory birds have no concept of borders between countries.
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. This dark, unfathomable hole that popped up out of nowhere in the middle of the cosmos. Accurate knowledge does not improve people's lives. The objective does not necessarily surpass the subjective, you know. Reality does not necessarily extinguish fantasy. You just grasp and accept them.
In this condition, self and other blended like the paints on my palette, their borders ever more indistinct. 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. View all 47 comments. Dec 10, Edward Lorn rated it it was amazing. 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. 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.
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 more 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. 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. The fluid nature of this translation only helps in that regard, and Murakami's unpredictable narrative is the icing on the proverbial cake.
In summation: It's a shame that more more of my friends aren't catching the meaning here because this truly is a terrifically built metaphor for But if you'd like to discuss, let's do so privately. Final Judgment: This Land of Metaphor has left many in the dark. View 1 comment. Which is a large part of what makes it such a frustrating read.
Or not. Fitzgerald did so much more with so much less! Not to mention utterly baffling - something about living metaphors and similes?! Too weird! It would be inaccurate to say that I disliked everything about the book - after all, I did finish it. As incomprehensible as the Orpheus Descending sequence was, the dark and sinister shift was a welcome change of pace to the mundane reality that made up most of the novel. Killing Commendatore is not a good novel.
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 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 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 more exquisite, more 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. Even a soft-boiled wonderland would be better than this. After a sudden split from his wife, the Narrator quits his job as a portrait artist, abandons built up civilisation and holes up in his friends isolated mountain home, which once housed Japans most famous artist. Whilst exploring the attic he uncovers a forgotten painting entitled Killing Commendatore.
The discovery of the painting opens up a circle of mystery and investigation that had me addicted to turning the pages as I had to know the answer to the questions the Narrator was exploring. Unfortunately after odd pages the finale kicked off and it all became a bit silly. He could have ended the investigation with a sense of normality but he decided to go full weird and stupid.
Another thing that really ticked me off was how every loose end was tied up. Barely any intrigue was left unsolved with the last few pages becoming a boring summary of the aftermath. The sheer quantity of sex also became a chore to read and slightly creepy. Today when i awoke from a nap the faceless man was there before me. Sep 10, Faroukh Naseem rated it it was amazing.
This is the first time I took notes and wrote bullet points to refer to when writing the review of the book. 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 pages. 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 more 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. It could feel forced if not balanced properly to the new plot. A few years ago he also translated Gatsby in Japanese. So Killing Commendatore is that much more 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.
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. Oct 18, Lee rated it liked it. 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. The other girls in my class all wear bras. You should do whatever you like. She had other things to worry about.
Mariye watched my hand glide along the paper. She was only twelve. We bathe together sometimes, so I know. When we have a difference of opinion, or when she makes me mad. I got the impression you were very quiet. Would it be better if I stayed quiet? I like talking. Feel free to talk as much as you like. Is that weird? 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. Everyone is always a work in progress. 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 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 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 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. 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. Tip - When you read Gatsby, think a bit about its narrator's role in the story. One major takeaway?
Murakami and art is the combination that needs to become a regular thing. 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. 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. View 2 comments. Was a bizarre and awesome read , though the ending left some unanswered questions to me, at least.
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Unable to coherently review this for the time being. How I came upon this book? 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. 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. 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. View all 4 comments. 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.
Of course the irony of a little person speaking in my head when reading a Murakami novel is not lost on me. 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. 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 more 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. Jan 04, Laura Noggle rated it really liked it Shelves: 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.
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. It was fun to check off each box, and this book incorporated at least 20 out of 25 squares. 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.
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. View all 6 comments. Nov 30, notgettingenough added it 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. 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. For the other nominations for see here. 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. 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. 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 more 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
Together with her few allies, Cassandra must protect the students caught up in the entanglement. Dealing with homesickness, vandalism, and a stalker, Cassandra is trapped in a public relations disaster that could cost her job, or more. No one said college was easy. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Product Details. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches.
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