Killing commendatore

by Murakami, Haruki, 1949-

Format: Print Book 2018.
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Summary
The epic new novel from the internationally acclaimed and best-selling author of 1Q84

In Killing Commendatore, a thirty-something portrait painter in Tokyo is abandoned by his wife and finds himself holed up in the mountain home of a famous artist, Tomohiko Amada. When he discovers a previously unseen painting in the attic, he unintentionally opens a circle of mysterious circumstances. To close it, he must complete a journey that involves a mysterious ringing bell, a two-foot-high physical manifestation of an Idea, a dapper businessman who lives across the valley, a precocious thirteen-year-old girl, a Nazi assassination attempt during World War II in Vienna, a pit in the woods behind the artist's home, and an underworld haunted by Double Metaphors. A tour de force of love and loneliness, war and art--as well as a loving homage to The Great Gatsby -- Killing Commendatore is a stunning work of imagination from one of our greatest writers.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* E. M. Forster began Howards End with the now-famous epigraph "Only connect." Writing nearly a century later, in his latest mind-expanding novel, Murakami says, "Everything connects somewhere." In the space between those statements lies the evolution of the novel from early twentieth-century modernist realism to the kind of genre-leaping metafiction practiced today by Murakami, David Mitchell, and others. And, yet, Forster's plea for the primacy of human relationships remains central to Murakami's work, even if, as happens here, those connections can sometimes be terrifying as well as life-sustaining. For Murakami, the journey to connecting often begins in a hole in the ground. As much of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1997) takes place with the protagonist sitting in the bottom of a well, so the portrait-painter hero of this novel, recently abandoned by his wife, is jolted out of his lethargy by what he finds in a mysterious hole near his rental home on a mountaintop outside Tokyo. A mysteriously ringing bell alerts the narrator to the hole, which leads in turn to his discovery of a painting called Killing Commendatore, hidden in the attic of the house by the former resident, a famous Japanese painter. So far, reality has only slightly begun to bend, but the hairpin curves hit the reader as soon as a character from the painting, the murdered commendatore, appears as a two-foot-tall living person. From there, it's a long and winding road back to the hole and through a nightmare landscape bedeviled by mind-twisting Double Metaphors before the connection our hero seeks can be achieved. Murakami's multifaceted genius is expressed not only through his wide-ranging imagination but, even more important, through his ability to ground those imaginative flights in the bedrock realism of human experience. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The complexity of Murakami's fiction would seem to preclude a mass readership, yet he is the most popular writer in Japan and a best-seller throughout the world.--Bill Ott Copyright 2018 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Murakami's latest (following Men Without Women) is a meticulous yet gripping novel whose escalating surreal tone complements the author's tight focus on the domestic and the mundane. The unnamed narrator, a talented but unambitious portrait-painter in Tokyo, discovers his wife is having an affair, quits painting, and embarks on a meandering road trip. The narrator's friend offers to let him stay in the home of his father, Tomohiko Amada, a famous, now-senile painter whose difficult secret from 1930s Vienna unfurls over the course of the book. Once situated on the quiet, mysterious mountainside outside Odawara, the narrator begins teaching painting classes and finds a hidden, violent painting of Amada's in the attic called Killing Commendatore, an allegorical adaptation of Don Giovanni. He begins two affairs-one with an older woman who sparks the novel whenever she appears-and is commissioned by the enigmatic Mr. Menshiki to paint his portrait. Menshiki is preoccupied with a 13-year-old girl named Mariye-an intriguing character, but one whom the book has an unfortunate tendency to sexualize. At night, the narrator is haunted by a ringing bell coming from a covered pit near his house. This eventually leads him to a magical realm that includes impish physical manifestations of ideas and metaphors. His discovery provokes a pivotal, satisfying moment in his artistic development on the way to a protracted, mystic denouement. The story never rushes, relishing digressions into Bruce Springsteen, the simple pleasures of freshly cooked fish, and the way artists sketch. As the narrator uncovers his talents, the reading experience becomes more propulsive. Murakami's sense of humor helps balance the otherworldly and the prosaic, making this a consistently rewarding novel. 250,000-copy announced first printing. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."

Additional Information
Subjects Portrait painters -- Fiction.
Painting, Japanese -- Fiction.
Psychological fiction.
Publisher New York :2018.
Edition First United States edition.
Other Titles Kishi danchò„-goroshi.
Contributors Gabriel, Philip, 1953- translator.
Goossen, Ted, translator.
Language English
Notes "This is a Borzoi book published by Alfred A. Knopf"--Title page verso.
"Originally published in Japan in two volumes, titled Kishidancho goroshi: Dai ichi-bu, Arawareru idea hen and Kishidancho goroshi: Dai ni-bu, Utsurou metafa hen by Shinchosha Publishing Co., Ltd., Tokyo, in 2017"--Title page verso.
Description 681 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN 9780525520047
052552004X
9780525435761
052543576X
Other Classic View