Friday, May 28, 2010

Nocturnes, by Kazuo Ishiguro

Ordinarily, when I am engrossed in good fiction, the author is far from my mind. While reading Ishiguro, however, I often picture the author. I can't help thinking that he must be an interesting dinner companion; he is so well-spoken, and in photographs and interviews appears neat and relaxed, but there's a seriously whacked sensibility under that proper exterior. Then I read an interview with him in which he described his "buttoned-up unreliable narrators." Hmmm, perhaps I am confusing him with his characters. Still, I love that his writing is so elegant and simple and accessible, and yet off-beat.

Where I heard about this book: Everywhere.

What this book is about: Great. 4 stars.

What this book is about: 5 stories about evening and music. They are longish, and were conceived as a group - there is more holding them together than the shared theme of music. As per Ishiguro, they evoke a sense of melancholy. The whole is more, to me, like a jazz album than a classical one. There is the uptempo section and the slower, sadder riff. The overall impression is that humans are prone to folly, but can create a little magic while falling on their faces.

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