Saturday, 21 March 2015

Review: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Ten years after the release of Never Let Me Go, Booker Prize winning author Kazuo Ishiguro is back with The Buried Giant a thoughtful and literary fantasy novel, set in the years just following the reign of King Arthur. A strange mist flows through the land, robbing people of their memories. One day, an older couple--Beatrice and Axl--decide to set out on a journey to visit their son who they can barely remember. During their journey they have a surprising number of adventures, meeting callous and spiteful (perhaps) boatman, a Saxon child who has been bitten by a monster and none other than Sir Gawain, who turns out to be integral to the story. But what will happen to the dragon who is causing the mist to fall over the land? And what will happen when people start to remember all the things that they have forgotten? Will their memories make them any happier?

I enjoyed reading The Buried Giant though it's prose, while beautiful, felt very slow to me in places. Ishiguro's musings on whether remembering makes us any happier, or if it is sometimes better to forget were certainly thought provoking. In some ways, the ending feels a bit flat and left me wondering if I had perhaps missed something? Or maybe that was he point ...

Thank you to Allen and Unwin and the Reading Room for my ARC.