Saturday, October 10, 2015

Buried Giant

If you haven't read Kazuo Ishiguro, you should treat yourself and pick up one of his wonderful books. "Remains of the Day" is on my desert-island list, and I've just finished the beautiful "Buried Giant".

This is one of those very satisfying novels which, while you're reading it, plays you like a violin. I so much love the way authors can create pathetic fallacy in its most real incarnation, by engineering the reader's inner sky - the weather inside me changing according to the events of the story.

The husband and wife have forgotten something. It's important - it's part of their past and the story of their love and their youth, but the mists that lay over the land have clouded their memories and lulled them. They know there is something, but don't know what or why or how to get it back. So they set out to walk from their village, to find an answer they aren't even sure exists.

While reading this book, I felt the stirrings of puzzlement and curiosity precisely where, I think, the author wanted me to. They come and go, these stirrings - sometimes, they drop away out of sight so fast, and leave all quiet and placid, and you're left wondering whether they were ever there in the first place. In the same way, you sometimes wake up, heart pounding, hearing not a noise but the echo of a noise. And you listen hard for a few seconds, and soon you doubt you ever heard anything in the first place. Then, a few minutes later, you are back asleep and dreaming, sure there was nothing, after all.

I talked out loud to this book. I exclaimed several times "Who IS this guy?!" and many more times I furrowed my own brow in concentration, as the main character furrowed his, trying to lift his own memories off the page and into my mind.

Do yourself a favour and dig up "The Buried Giant". It really is the most marvellous thing.

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