Get Your Free Audiobook

Non-member price: $48.62

After 2 months, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami, read by Kirby Heyborne.

The epic new novel from the internationally acclaimed and best-selling author of 1Q84.

In Killing Commendatore, a 30-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 13-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 is a stunning work of imagination from one of our greatest writers.

Please note: new audio available as of November 2018.

©2018 Haruki Murakami (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about Killing Commendatore

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    83
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    100
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    74
  • 4 Stars
    39
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

You have to love Murakami to finish it!

I have listened and read six of Murakami's books in the last two months and this I enjoyed the least.
While I enjoy the clarity of the narrative, this story digresses and wanders off like lost wounded soldier. It is the first book I forced myself to get to the end because I believed the author would surprise me. He did not. This story could have been written in a third of the book. Again, here he works with very similar characters to build plot and uses similar settings to cross realities (places I like to go with him), but this attempt was far too predictable. Also, his obsession with young women and their budding sensuality does not ad to the story. On the contrary.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

very slow story

this book was a challenge to finish and was read in a very monotonous voice. ended well though but detail was tedious but necessary. persevere if you take this one on, it's worth it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating and intriguing listen

I imagine this book greatly divides readers but at least can be appreciated by those who have read his others novels. Murakami has an unusual way of telling stories and his characters can be questionable as to their personality and morality. But I love how he uses his world as metaphors and questions everything we take for granted to be "normal."

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

killing commendatore

Should be buried and forgotten with no flowers required.
Ridiculous storyline with no plot.
Regret starting it

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

not his best book, but I enjoyed it

This is a very long book, and it does drag a bit by the end. There is a lot of unnecessary detail and repetition as others have mentioned in reviews, however I found that aspect.. meditative? Somehow calming? Reassuring? I can't quite put my finger on it, but I enjoyed it. Perhaps it comes down to the narrator's calm voice.
I don't think Murakami really understands young girls, I found the 13 year old character to be quite one dimensional.
The obsession with breasts that becomes increasingly apparent as the book progresses is strange and I didn't understand it.
It was well read, I thought the narrator did a great job. Overall, a good book but not his best.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Preaching to the converted

you need to be a fan of Murakami for this one 4 previous works have enthralled me but this was a struggle. It is languid, cerebral and mostly passive. it seemed bloated and repetitive. Yet it ended well and was intriguing in parts, at least. I would not recommend this is a first choice to start reading Murakami. Glad I finished it in more ways than one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

addictive listening

I downloaded the audio book version of Killing Commandertore for my wife to listen to on a long car trip. The book had been in her reading pile for months. Not only did she love it but I became hooked as well on the plot, writing style and excellent narration. Listening to a book together with someone is a really enjoyable novelty. We'll be doing that again.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • MK
  • 21-04-2020

The girl's name is not Maria, it's Marie

In English translation the girl's name is written "Marie" I believe, because in Japanese (original) book her name is まりえ (Ma-ri-eh). Suddenly it is Maria here. Wow. Why did it happen? Mari-Ah and Mari-Eh are two totally different names (In Japanese). (And Maria sounds too religeous, where religion has nothing to do with this story. )

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Wooden narration mars and interesting story

Murakami is hit and miss. I've read a few of his books and I do embrace the magic realism of his stories and his complex characters. I did like Killing Commendatore, but unfortunately I found the narrator's wooden, stilted style so distracting. Also the mis-pronunciation of words like SHONE consistently mispronounced as 'SHOWN'. Given there's a lot of torch action in the dark and much wondering through pits and mazes, sadly we hear 'SHOWN' over and over again. ARGHHHH! I have noticed this several times. Doesn't Audible have producers that listen to the narrators and correct mispronunciations?

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Murakami, not at his greatest

No plot, no arc, just a sequence of events, told in Murakami's trademark detached manner.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for 匿名
  • 匿名
  • 30-03-2019

Interesting and enjoyable read

I am a big Murakami fan — I have read all his books. This one like many others of his, centres around a recently divorced man, a loner who loves jazz and classical music, and cooking pasta. It also has many references to his previous books such as “colourless” character, etc. I am, however, willing to ignore such repetitions for “Killing Commendatore” offers an interesting set of new characters — a miniature commendatore and a sartorial millionaire. I enjoyed this book and found it quite hard to put down.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for C. Hanratty
  • C. Hanratty
  • 27-11-2018

Disappointing

This newest novel from Murakami is a bit of a slog. There’s a kind of a dance that’s happening between this story and The Great Gatsby, alongside the references to various operas, Japanese stories and so on. Unfortunately it doesn’t come to much, and the author comes across as more interested in young women’s breasts than anything else.

The narration is alright, although words in Japanese, German, French and other languages are very poorly pronounced throughout. This is very poor for someone reading a Japanese novel. Do your homework!

At 28 hours, it is a big commitment - one I doubt I’d recommend.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Hallvard M�ller
  • Hallvard M�ller
  • 30-11-2018

Utterky boring

Murakami seems to have lost it. Starting around 1Q84, his novels lack direction and are drowned in words.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MR C K GRAHAM
  • MR C K GRAHAM
  • 15-11-2018

Great for a Murakami virgin

To be fair, all of the reviews I have read this far have been on the nose. Murakami has not really tapped into anything new here, most of this is classic and trademark his style. I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing, especially if you are new to Murakami, but it would have been fun to read something totally different.

I was sucked in to the story, it kept me wanting more, even though for most of the time nothing was even happening. This could be down to the fantastic narration, or perhaps the depth of the characters. My favourite being Mr Mancheeki (spelling?) who I think gets a hard time in this book.

Positives: kept me wanting more, excellent narration, descriptive and trippy.
Negatives: is it just me? Or does anyone else feel a bit uncomfortable when Murakami writes about prepubescent girls in this way?

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lk1984
  • Lk1984
  • 24-11-2018

Struggling to get through this one...

I do like Murakami's books in general, but this one is far too slow to get going. It also feels like a bit of a re-hash of old ideas, with themes from other novels appearing in this one. And therefore, the appearance of the commendatore isn't really that much of a surprise.

The narrator here doesn't add much to the story. It sometimes feels like listening to someone reading aloud from a non-fiction book....

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr Vertigo
  • Mr Vertigo
  • 11-11-2018

It's a bit like a computer algorithm wrote it.

I love the general atmosphere of Murakami worlds and am generally quite happy to just cruise around his stream of consciousness for a few hundred pages, but this story, sadly for me, didn't offer anything new or original that hadn't been already explored in his other stories. Little magic people, other worlds opening up, young mysterious girls, a solo guy who can cook and likes jazz and classical music - it really was like someone fed all of Murakami's past work into a new AI novelist program and this is what it came up with. Lots of great scenes and interesting characters and fun tangents as usual, but I don't find I care that much what happens as we approach the end.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Solaire
  • Solaire
  • 11-11-2018

Good but deja-vu

I liked it and Kirby Heybourne is a top narrator. However... if you're a Murakami fan it may feel like a remix of previous works. There are themes that he has explored before. I suspect if it was my first Murakami novel I may have enjoyed it more.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nibor
  • Nibor
  • 29-11-2018

Usual Murakami but

Why is there always a 13 yo girl obsessed with her breasts?? Enough already. Who is really obsessed with 13 yo breasts?

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for M. Y. Mim
  • M. Y. Mim
  • 10-11-2018

All Murakami is wonderful, but this is not Murakami at his best.

I’ve read or listened to all of Murakami’s novels. Immediately I was struck in hearing this one by odd linguistic anomalies, awkward word choices, jarring language usages. So I checked translators. Indeed, Killing Commendatore has been translated by someone who has not translated the author before. He’s done a clunky job, so poor than even someone who doesn’t read Japanese, as I don’t, can tell. Don’t judge the master by this example.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Catherine
  • Catherine
  • 06-11-2018

intriguing - the revelation wasn't in the story

You can't dismiss Murakami - nobody else quite weaves reality and 'reality' as well as he does.

But for me by far the biggest revelation after 28+ hours of being drawn into the Japanese male gaze is how fortunate I am not to be a Japanese woman!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nic
  • Nic
  • 18-12-2018

a complex and unfolding storyline

I love Murakami and his stories. Gotta stick with this one, but it's beautifully written

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Furniture and your home
  • Furniture and your home
  • 04-06-2020

Was really enjoying it THEN Pedophilla

Sorry this is the second murakami to feature graphic sexual content between miners and a adults. Used to love his books but I am not listening to that anymore.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Trish
  • Trish
  • 03-10-2019

really disappointing and incredibly boring.

far too much emphasis on the breasts of thirteen year old girls. loads of unnecessary information about cars. really disappointing.

1 person found this helpful

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.