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••• The International Writers Magazine: Review

Killing Commendatore
(Kishidancho Goroshi #1-2)
by Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (Translator), Ted Goossen (Translator)
ISBN13: 9780525520047
Hardcover, 688 pages
Published October 9th 2018 by Knopf Publishing Group
• Sam North review

Killing Commendatore

This is a perfect big fat book for reading on a long flight or QM 2 crossing the Atlantic. It concerns a talented portrait artist who despises his talent and who is fascinated by the previous occupant of the house he has rented (also an artist of some repute). It's also about a man who's wife grew bored of him and booted him out and how he lost his way and found himself and his artistry again by way of study of the artist who created 'Killing Commendatore'.

As in his 1000 page novel '1984' - we spend a great deal of time preparing food, contemplating paintings and doing little - but the narrative is saved by the strange teenage girl whose portrait he is painting and her curiosity about the man spying on her - who most strangely has befriended the artist and whom believes the young girl to be his daughter. It's a simple tale with mystical dimensions - as one would expect from Murakami. The novel haunts one long after reading it and now the paperback is released I find that I look back on it with affection.

I think perhaps you have to be a genuine fan of Murakami to enjoy his work if starting out here, but I have become accustomed to the slow pace and leisurely approach to anything resembling a plot. To be honest it really doesn't matter. One either appreciates this style or one does not, but I find myself curiously involved by every little detail. Every one of us wishes we could step outside our lives at some time and begin again and this is a strange manual for how to do it.

For lovers of matters zen - Killing Commendatore is definitely one for the collection.

© Sam North Oct 2019
author of Another Place to Die: Endtime Chronicles

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