An extraordinary new novel from the author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day.
"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.
©2015 Kazuo Ishiguro (P)2014 Random House Audio
Ishiguro's "The Buried Giant" is similar in style to his other novels. This is not to say that is more of the same, but an extremely engaging and interesting novel. The aspect most enjoyable is the process of discovery that is present in the other Ishiguro's novels I have listened to (Never Let Me Go, The Remains of the Day). The reveal is slow and paced, but appropriately so. The language is delicious and engaging. The story is many things all at once, which makes it all the more interesting. For the first third of the novel it was a bit difficult to figure out what the story actually was, but having read other works by this author I was prepared to be patient. Doing so is well worth the effort as the interplay of the different characters results in a weave of such intricacy that it's hard to stop listening.
Other works by Ishiguro are similar. In particular the slow, steady reveal of plot seems to be a hallmark of this author. The weaving together of a very tight story makes it similar to other great stories.
No one particular scene, but one device that I particularly appreciated about this story is the use of reminisces to fill in what has happened up to this point of the story. It seems that every character in the story experiences such reminisces at some point of the story and they are well used to skip ahead in time, but keep the listeners informed and engaged.
Clearly endings are something this author does well. The ending is tender, heartfelt, and moving. It is the perfect bookend to the story that both finalizes the reveal, but allow for the reader's imagination to come into play in the concluding of the story.
There are few authors who I read without any knowledge of what the story is about. I purposely avoided reading other reviews of this story since storytelling is what Ishiguro does so well. Listen to this book at the pace it was intended; give it the attention it deserves. You won't be disappointed.
I have never had a prose style and a reading style be so wonderfully matched...
Ishiguro's interweaving of past and present, and points of view are perfectly articulated by Horovitch's use of accent and emphasis -- but without trying to be a different person each time.
This is the kind of book I would usually read in print. But due to eye surgery I downloaded this book -- and I was mesmerized, comforted and coaxed on like a good story told by your favorite uncle at Christmas...
but with the gentle and precise prose of Ishiguro.
The Book Snob for Paris Life Magazine.
The book is called: "The Buried Giant" and has a chalice on it. So you know you are getting an old English quest book. And sure enough, there is a knight, an ogre, even a dragon, a warrior, and a young man. The monks may be good and they may be evil. There is even someone who knew King Author.
But there is also a boatman, and an old couple. And a river. And ye goode olde Brittany is covered in fog. Actually, the people have foggy minds. They can't remember, so they are living in harmony.
Is that a good thing? What is it that the old couple can't remember? And, why is an old couple in the quest story to begin with? Is the boatman going to harm them or do them good? What, exactly, is the buried giant? And what is the longed for chalice?
A very different offering, that raises more questions than it answers, enfolded in an entertaining quest. Well Done.
(I listened and read).
The narrator was on point. The tale met my expectations as an Ishiguro classic. A world of good old fashioned ogres, dragons, pixies and the like. A world filled with chivalry and hostility. Wonderfully setting off the characters. I feel like was the haunting ending. Very much recommended. A world I will be happy to return to many times.
Great tale, interesting characters and real drama set in the dark ages where ogres, dragons and Merlin still shape a war torn landscape.
An unlikely backdrop for an analysis of love, will and forgetting.
Only if you're in the mood for a deeper book. Not light reading, definitely good if you are able to appreciate the poetic meaning behind the story line.
Yes, a beautiful story that doesn't drag on un-neededly. Almost have to listen a second time to pick up on all of the underlying themes.
Definitely. Partly to revisit the characters and get some of the nuance of the story that I'm sure I missed the first go around - mostly for Horovitch.
It's constant pace. It's doesn't have to hit you in the face. Axl and Beatrice are on a journey, the subtext of the journey is delivered subtly and on the way. It's not flight butressed by essays, but a nice walk; a full and satisfying walk.
He's a master. If you want to learn about yourself if you're the kind of person who'd like audiobooks, start with this; If you don't, you won't. It doesn't get better than this. The character changes are effortless and real. I've started to search for books to try not by author, but by clicking on this narrator.
Every ounce of dialog from Axl. Start to finish.
At times disturbing, even nightmarish, yet also rich in redemptive kindness and acutely-observed human love, The Buried Giant is an allegory for a generation that is dealing with the intensely personal pain of Alzheimers while also struggling with loud, public arguments about ignoring history. From Australians' denial of their genocidal history, to Japan's school curriculum on WW2, to the southern USA's refusal to mark the locations of white lynchings of African Americans: this novel is as timely as it is deeply touching.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I really looked forward to this book by Ishiguro. Though I really can't expect anything to come up to the level of "The Remains of the Day," I really expected it to come close. For me, it wasn't even in the same league. But looking at all the raves, I am definitely in the minority.
It's not that I didn't love it - I didn't even like it. I thought it was boring. I'm not crazy about fantasy as a genre, but gave it a shot because it was Ishiguro. It didn't work work for me. Nothing about it that made me eager to pick up the iPod and listen at every chance. I didn't care about any of it. I thought it was dull.
I still like Ishiguro. A lot, actually. I just didn't like this book or anything about it. My best suggestion is to really read the summary by the publisher and understand what you're getting into. If the fantasy - allegory - myth book is your thing, you may just love this one.
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