Essential Reads | Murakami pays homage to The Great Gatsby in his new book, Killing Commendatore

Editor | Literary Fiction

In Killing Commendatore, a thirty-something portrait painter in Tokyo is abandoned by his wife and finds himself hold 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 precious 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 Gatsby – Killing Commendatore (Published by Penguin, Rs 799) is a stunning work of imagination from one of our greatest writers.

About the author

In 1978, Haruki Murakami was 29 and running a jazz bar in downtown Tokyo. One April day, the impulse to write a novel came to him suddenly while watching a baseball game. That first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, won a new writers’ award and was published the following year. More followed, including A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, but it was Norwegian Wood, published in 1987, which turned Murakami from a writer into a phenomenon. His books became bestsellers, have been translated into more than 50 languages, and he has received many honours, including the Franz Kafka Prize.

His works include non-fiction, such as What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and Absolutely on Music, short story collections, like Men Without Women, and the masterful novels The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84, and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage. He is one of the world’s most acclaimed and well-loved writers.

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