Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Buried Giant

The Buried Giant
Kazuo Ishiguro

Published 2015

First Sentence
"You would have searched a long time for the sort of winding lane or tranquil meadow for which England later became celebrated."
Publisher's Description:

"You've long set your heart against it, Axl, I know. But it's time now to think on it anew. There's a journey we must go on, and no more delay..."

The Buried Giant begins as a couple set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen in years.

Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in nearly a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge, and war.

Dear Reader,

I'm going to have trouble with this one, writing the review and trying to piece together the puzzle my brain is in. Ishiguro is well known and I've been wanting to read something by him for a long time now. I thought, 'hey, why not this one?', well... I now I have an answer to that question. I made a mistake and realize I need to read one of his more well known books, "The Remains of the Day" or even "Never Let Me Go" with a little hesitation. Am I the person for Ishiguro? Maybe I'm missing something? I hate being left out!

For those of you who don't know, this is Ishiguro's latest novel and was hyped up because of his fanbase and past success. I've heard through the grapevine that many of his fans felt let down by this book, which has me breathing a sigh of relief. Maybe there is nothing magical to get in this one? Or maybe it is SO subtle that it flew right over my head (which is much better than not being able to understand). The book was stuffed full of anecdotes and ponderings over memory. I pretty much took away that this book was dealing with memory and loss of memory in its entirety. The setting of the story (although exciting and fantastical) gave the story too much pull in the wrong direction for me. I wanted more adventure, more excitement, less of the boring bits. The characters are losing their memories little by little throughout the book, when they finally figure out why... we get fascinating interaction between the two (trying to remember and yet learning to fill in those gaps).

This book did make me reflect on how much would change if certain memories were plucked from my brain. I love this concept and felt very strongly to it while watching, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" but for some reason, when you add dragons, woodland creatures and King Arthur, the last thing I want is to overly think about psychology or the brain (fascinating as that is). Now, I love me some fantasy and this hit many of those itches - the boatman of death, King Arthur, dragons, lore... but the story held back a little. I remember thinking that maybe Ishiguro wanted to create a story set in this land but of the normal folk, the boring folk... then they introduced another group of characters and that ruined that theory for me. I was much more attached to the older couple than any of the others. I wish it would have stayed with them throughout the story. I'm going to stop here because I'd rather not give too much away but I do want to mention how charmed I was listening to this audiobook and hearing the husband call his wife "princess" all the time, it gave me girly butterflies.

Happy Reading,

The Buried Giant

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