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Friday, January 04, 2019

Killing Commendatore (2018) by Haruki Murakami

Book Review
Killing Commendatore (2018)
by Haruki Murakami

  Killing Commendatore was the first pick for my new book group.  I picked it because I knew the people in the book group would want to read it.  Murakami has that kind of pull- almost unique among top drawer serious writers of literary fiction.  Compare his sales figures to recent Nobel Prize winner Ishiguro, and I'm sure Murakami wins by a wide margin.  That impression was reinforced during a recent trip to that temple of the English language book trade- Foyle's in London, where Murakami gets two whole shelves to himself. 

  The book group was only so-so on Killing Commendatore, people thought it was a trifle long and  meandering for a Murakami book (although that describe almost all of his books).  Due to the 700 page length, we discussed it over two weeks- that was awkward- since people read to different points for the first session, and many didn't finish the book on time.  I guess that is typical in book groups.

  The story in Killing Commendatore will be familiar to any reader who has read any of his other books: A recently divorced man, who is taking an extended break from his career as a portrait painter, an isolated retreat, a strange twist into the supernatural, owls, cats, you know the drill...  I don't think it is a top Murakami book- but maybe the top of the second tier.  

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