From the shelf: “The Buried Giant”

The Buried Giant is another ARC I got at work. I’d been curious about Kazuo Ishiguro for a while, and wanted to read something by him. His most famous books are The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go. NLMG is what I’d particularly wanted to read. Then this free copy of his new book showed up at work, so I read it instead.

It’s probably not his best work. Actually I heard from an interview that his wife told him never to let anyone read this book. It’s not as bad as that, but it’s very strange. It’s pure fantasy to begin with, which took me by surprise. An elderly couple living in a village in England decide to visit their son in another village. There’s a lot of walking and plodding along. The husband always calls his wife “princess,” which I found a little annoying. The story’s set in King Arthur’s days, and there are a dragon and knights. Saxons. The story is also about this strange mist that clouds people’s memories. It’s about the strength of love and fears of the past.

There are definitely some good parts, but they’re mostly at the end. Not knowing whether these good parts were coming, I took a break and read three other books. I thought about not finishing TBG, but I couldn’t get the story out of my head. I thought some of the themes and ideas were good and worth thinking about, but the story’s execution seemed half baked. So I was surprised when I learned Ishiguro’d been working on this book for, I think it was, 15 years. I still want to read one of his other books. (Even though Jeff Bezos likes him–yuck!)

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