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Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami
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Killing Commendatore (original 2017; edition 2018)

by Haruki Murakami (Autor)

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9213016,436 (3.81)58
"The much-anticipated new novel from the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of 1Q84 and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, Killing Commendatore is an epic tour de force of love and loneliness, war and art--as well as a loving homage to The Great Gatsby--and a stunning work of imagination from one of our greatest writers"--… (more)
Member:jimctierney
Title:Killing Commendatore
Authors:Haruki Murakami (Autor)
Info:Harvill Secker (2018), Edition: 01, 704 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami (2017)

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» See also 58 mentions

English (27)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Uh...wow. I kept telling friends that this might be the most accessible Murakami novel...and then about 4/5s the way through everything went completely sideways. As usual? It is an excellent read, just watch out for your head becoming your feet suddenly and some scars. ( )
  Cliff_F | Sep 11, 2020 |
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 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. The rest of my rant on that one is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/660020838

For the other nominations for 2018 see here.
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
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 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. The rest of my rant on that one is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/660020838

For the other nominations for 2018 see here.
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
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 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. The rest of my rant on that one is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/660020838

For the other nominations for 2018 see here.
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
“But you know, it seems to me that reality itself has a screw loose somewhere. That’s why I try to keep at least myself in line as much as possible.”

It’s been four years since the English translation of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (2013), a welcome addition to Murakami’s oeuvre. It was a sort of anti-1Q84: tightly edited and rooted more in the everyday than the magical. Now Murakami is back with another heavy tome, and while it’s not exactly 1Q84-length, at 704 pages it’s almost the length of Colorless Tsuku Tazaki and Kafka on the Shore combined.

It’s vintage Murakami. There’s always something lurking under the surface of the mundane, each moment a possible trigger for strange events. And, since this is Murakami, you know that sooner or later this stranger realm penetrates the one we’re inhabiting. Murakami is so good at this that even when the watershed moment comes, he’s able to readjust us in the narrative to accommodate basically anything he throws at us. A bit like David Lynch, but perhaps more nuanced in the sense that in Murakami, he actually more easily inhabit the world and it makes sense to us.

So it is that for me, Murakami’s greatest achievement is the strong ambience he’s able to create. You can touch and smell within the narrative itself.[1] One of my favorite moments of terror is in 1Q84 and involves a hideout apartment and reading In Search of Lost Time. There are many such quality moments in Killing Commendatore. Add to this his lovely sense of humor,[2] which surfaces at times, and you’ve got a recipe for a hugely enjoyable read.

But just as Murakami at his best takes us to great places, I think he gets such a rollercoaster ride going that ultimately I always find his endings lacking, a bit like some of my encounters with Terry Pratchett, where the journey is so great that when the end approaches, there’s something lacking when he has to grind it to a halt. This was my greatest problem with 1Q84, and something that a less ambitious work as Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki avoided. From what I can remember, Kafka on the Shore found a sweet balance.

I wasn’t quite as invested in the endgame as I would have liked, either. He takes a leaf out of Dante’s book, and while I completely respect this decision in the context of the creative process and its description, that’s one moment where I felt the narrative turned on the autopilot and merely sailed home without further ado. And, gosh, is everyone in the book obsessed with what Lorelai Gilmore would term ”breastage”.

Since I’m incapable of reading it in the original, I read the English translation. I wonder if it was merely my own projection, knowing there were two translators, but I felt the style changed dramatically especially during the first quarter of the book. It would be interesting to know from someone fluent in Japanese whether any trace of this exists in the original.

I think that, on the whole, Killing Commendatore is a book I will gladly revisit in the future. Even now as I’m contemplating reading more Murakami, I’m really drawn to rereading 1Q84, never mind that it somewhat epitomizes the traits I find tiresome in Commendatore, too. In short, Murakami is such an original voice in contemporary fiction that he has yet to leave me cold.

Endnotes:

[1] ”In the silence of the woods it felt like I could hear the passage of time, of life passing by. One person leaves, another appears. A thought flits away and another takes its place. One image bids farewell and another one appears on the scene. As the days piled up, I wore out, too, and was remade. 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.”

[2] ”The mansion was surrounded by a high white wall, with a solid gate in front. Large wooden double doors painted a dark brown. Like the castle gate in an Akira Kurosawa film set in the Middle Ages. The kind that would look good with a couple of arrows embedded in it.”

20 March,
2019
( )
  Thay1234 | May 27, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gabriel, PhilipTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goossen, TedTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Today when I awoke from a nap the faceless man was there before me.
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"Without realizing it, I had come to feel a certain kinship with the two-foot man with the tiny sword art his side, despite his odd way of speaking, his voyeurism when my girlfriend and I were making love, and the fact that I had no clear idea what he was." -narrator, pg. 409
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"The much-anticipated new novel from the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of 1Q84 and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, Killing Commendatore is an epic tour de force of love and loneliness, war and art--as well as a loving homage to The Great Gatsby--and a stunning work of imagination from one of our greatest writers"--

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