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The ambitious major new novel from this internationally celebrated writer, on the scale of his bestselling 1Q84

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 strange 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 GatsbyKilling Commendatore is a stunning work of imagination from one of our greatest writers.

Reviews

An exemplary translation

Max Davidson, Mail on Sunday

I found it totally gripping with scarcely a dull page, the loose ends enhancing its mystery. An absorbing work by a great writer

William Hartston, Daily Express

Wild, thrilling. . . Murakami is a master storyteller and he knows how to keep us hooked

Sunday Times

It’s safe to say that there’s no one like Murakami

Anthony Cummins, Literary Review

Written in a simple, readable style that leaves you free to concentrate on the weirdness of the content… There is no other writer able to give us the fix that his unique qualities provide

Jake Kerridge, Sunday Express

[An] immersive, repetitive, big-hearted new novel

Charles Finch, Independent

Murakami is happy to exist in a state of flux… His prose is warm, conversational and studded with quiet profundities. He’s eminently good company; that most precious of qualities that we look for in an author. We trust him to get us entertainingly lost, just as we trust that he’ll eventually get us home

Xan Brooks, Guardian

In this novel, [Murakami] captures the creative process compellingly… The complex landscape that Murakami assembles in Killing Commendatore is a word portrait of the artist’s inner life

Ruth Curr, Times Literary Supplement

Murakami dancing along ‘the inky blackness of the Path of Metaphor’ is like Fred Astaire dancing across a floor, then up the walls and onto the ceiling... Killing Commendatore is a perfect balance of tradition and individual talent

Spectator

Murakami keeps the reader gripped

The Week

Expansive and intricate . . . touches on many of the themes familiar in Mr. Murakami’s novels: the mystery of romantic love, the weight of history, the transcendence of art, the search for elusive things just outside our grasp

New York Times

Exhilarating. . . . Only in the calm madness of his magical realism can Murakami truly capture one of his obsessions, the usually ineffable yearning that drives a person to make art

Washington Post

For fans of Murakami, this is another great read

Eastern Daily Press

Beautifully mundane and tantalisingly surreal in equal measure… An incredibly well written novel, you are completely immersed in the novel, savouring every page until reaching the satisfying conclusion

Alicia Duggan, Olive Press

Mysterious and page-turning

Irina Nakonechna, Scottish Woman

Uproarious, outspoken, tinged with deep grief

Boyd Tonkin, theartsdesk, **Books of the Year**

A massive 700-page exercise in narrative suspense. Reading the novel, you keep waiting for the book to fall to pieces, stunned that Murakami is getting so much from so little

Matt Thorne, Catholic Herald

Killing Commendatore appears then to be the summa of all the previous works of the author and of all the cultural influences that lead him to write them, shaping his imagination: a homage to his career, to his passions and art as well

Ruth-Anne Walbank, SCAN

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Formats & editions

  • Hardback

    9781787300194

    October 10, 2018

    Harvill Secker

    704 pages

    RRP $45.00

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • Paperback

    9781784707330

    October 1, 2019

    Vintage

    704 pages

    RRP $26.00

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • Killing Commendatore
    Haruki Murakami

    Audio CD

    9781786142955

    June 27, 2019

    Audiobooks

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • EBook

    9781473549449

    October 9, 2018

    Vintage Digital

    704 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
    • iBooks NZ
    • Google Play EBook NZ
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia NZ

Extract

Prologue

Today when I awoke from a nap the faceless man was there before me. He was seated on the chair across from the sofa I’d been sleeping on, staring straight at me with a pair of imaginary eyes in a face that wasn’t.

The man was tall, and he was dressed the same as when I had seen him last. His face-that-wasn’t-a-face was half hidden by a wide-brimmed black hat, and he had on a long, equally dark coat.

“I came here so you could draw my portrait,” the faceless man said, after he’d made sure I was fully awake. His voice was low, toneless, flat. “You promised you would. You remember?”

“Yes, I remember. But I couldn’t draw it then because I didn’t have any paper,” I said. My voice, too, was toneless and flat. “So to make up for it I gave you a little penguin charm.”

“Yes, I brought it with me,” he said, and held out his right hand. In his hand—which was extremely long—he held a small plastic penguin, the kind you often see attached to a cell phone strap as a good-luck charm. He dropped it on top of the glass coffee table, where it landed with a small clunk.

“I’m returning this. You probably need it. This little penguin will be the charm that should protect those you love. In exchange, I want you to draw my portrait.”

I was perplexed. “I get it, but I’ve never drawn a portrait of a person without a face.”

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