‘Killing Commendatore’: Murakami’s latest lacks inspired touch of earlier works

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By Daniel Morales

Haruki Murakami has lost his magic.

After two consecutive novels written in the third person (2009’s “1Q84” and 2013’s “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage”), Murakami has returned to first-person narration with his latest novel, “Kishidancho Goroshi” (“Killing Commendatore”), published in Japan and so far only in Japanese, on Feb. 24. In it, he is unable to capture the same energy of the wry, poignant protagonists that drove his books in the 1980s and ’90s.

The novel relates the story of an unnamed 36-year-old portrait artist living in Tokyo. When his wife, Yuzu, suddenly wants a divorce and admits she’s been seeing someone else, he clears his schedule and goes on a month-long road trip to Hokkaido and Tohoku before settling in a house on the top of a mountain in rural Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, where he plans to paint for himself for the first time in years rather than taking portrait work. Read more

Source: The Japan Times

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