March Book of the Month: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
Kazuo Ishiguro is an author often described (deservedly) as a 'genius'. He is a master stylist, a writer you turn to in order to relish the beauty of his sentences. His quiet thoughtfulness and carefully crafted prose create an atmosphere of intense emotion but with an apparently effortless lightness of touch.
Ishiguro is a graduate of the UEA writing course, was named a Granta Top 20 British Writer and has been at the forefront of international literature ever since. He has been a multiple nominee and winner of the Booker Prize and dozens of other international awards.
Throughout his hugely successful and varied career, Ishiguro has often explored the idea of memory: how it shapes us, its fickle nature, how it distorts the choices we make. Ishiguro's new novel, The Buried Giant, is an adventure fantasy, set in Dark Ages Britain populated with knights, giants, monks and dragons. All the inhabitants appear to have suffered a loss of memory.
The central characters, Axl and Beatrice, are an elderly married couple on a journey to find their son. As with all fantastical quests, they encounter mysterious strangers and dangerous escapades. Throughout the novel, an overriding question hangs in the air: is it worth suffering painful memories, or better to live in ignorance?
The best way to read this unusual and complex book is to switch off, duck out of reality and immerse yourself for a few hours in a completely fantastical world.
What the critics said
"We don't like to play favourites, but the excitement of Ishiguro's first novel in 10 years has had us reaching for the blood-pressure pills. Superstition prevents us from saying too much about it, but there are dragons and ogres involved, and a character called Sir Gawain. Imagine the magically simple narrative voice of A Pale View of Hills and the whirring brain behind The Unconsoled lent to the early Middle Ages, and you have a clue." Telegraph
"Something a bit different from a well-loved author: The Buried Giant is set in an ancient Britain, with dragons, ogres, giants, an elderly but still spirited Sir Gawain, and a quest. Its setting may come as a surprise to fans of The Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go etc, but it's worth suspending disbelief - the leading couple, Axl and Beatrice, in particular, are typically, exquisitely, Ishiguro." Katy Guest, The Independent
"Quite possibly the literary event of 2015... another thought-provoking literary masterpiece." The Bookseller
About the author
Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954 and came to Britain at the age of five. His seven previous books have won him wide renown and many honours around the world. His work has been translated into over 40 languages. The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go have each sold in excess of 1,000,000 copies in Faber editions alone, and both were adapted into highly acclaimed films. In 1995 Ishiguro received an OBE for Services to Literature, and in 1998 the French decoration of Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.
Webchat with Kazuo Ishiguro
We have the very rare and special opportunity to chat live with Kazuo Ishiguro when he joins us on Thursday April 9, 9-10pm. The discussion will range from his latest book to his previous bestsellers and future projects. So whether you have read The Buried Giant, or you're a lifelong fan of Remains Of The Day - or if you would like a few tips from one of the UK's most experienced and acclaimed writers, please come along and say hello. Look forward to seeing you on April 9th…
Faber have very generously offered 50 hardback copies of The Buried Giant to give to Mumsnetters. To claim yours, please fill in the details below. We'll post on the thread when the copies have gone. If you're not lucky enough to bag one of those, you can always get a copy here.
Last updated: about 3 years ago