Only in solitude, when the future is uncertain, does the real journey begin.
The expected and addictive new novel by Haruki Murakami.
In the middle of a couple crisis, a prestigious portraitist leav
es Tokyo in the direction of northern Japan. Confused, immersed in his memories, he wanders around the country until, finally, a friend offers to settle in a small isolated house, surrounded by woods, which belongs to his father, a famous painter.
In short, a place to retire for a while. In this house with empty walls, after hearing strange noises, the protagonist discovers in a loft what looks like a picture, wrapped and with a label that reads: "Killing Commendatore". When he decides to unwrap it, a strange world will open before him, where Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, the commission for a portrait, a shy adolescent and, of course, a commander, will sow his life, until recently anodyne and routine.
This first volume of the novel Killing Commendatore is a fascinating labyrinth where the everyday is invaded by indecipherable signals, questions whose answer is still far from being glimpsed. The reader, all the same as the protagonist, must remain very attentive.
Over almost a month, I savored all 28 hours and still, I didn't want it to end. After finishing, I went back to the prologue and listened to it again, and found myself unable to stop once the narrative began. A few situations we've come to expect appeared in this work, too. There is a man out-of-sorts who is cooking for himself. Whiskey is drunk, although not Cutty Sark. There are cats. But these cue unpredictable situations in this story as it reveals more of itself with each flashback. I won't comment about pacing or technical aspects. I enjoyed this too much to take on that kind of analysis.
The atmosphere and surrealism in this book are top notch. I was thoroughly captivated by the mood and pace. I'm fairly new to Murakami and this is my 4th book I've read this year by him and I'm already picking up on all the recycled tropes that are, at times, endearing and other times uncomfortable and distracting. Almost like listening to a greatest hits record. Storytelling is superb and the big takeaway for me is how much more I enjoyed 1Q84 and Wind Up Bird Chronicle in comparison. This book was more Lynch-like than his other volumes which definitely won points with me. Recommended read. Also, I'm going back to change my star rating on 1Q84 because it is absolutely haunting and begging for a re-read.