Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

"This is an evil spot, princess, and we must leave quickly"

I was filled with anticipation at the prospect of a new Ishiguro novel, having absolutely loved the fierce intensity of Never Let Me Go  and the quiet reserve of The Remains of the Day. As such, I was quick to purchase a copy of this gorgeous looking book. So good looking I had to share the back jacket with you. Then, something happened... I started reading it in a slow, halting fashion that reflected the difficulty of the task at hand for the two, ancient,protagonists taking their final journey towards the truth.
When the true character of the novel revealed itself in a haze of dragon fog and Arthurian legend, I was somewhat disengaged from it and found progress plodded along at a crawling pace. This is a tale of memory and forgetting, taking refuge under the spell of a dragon that fogs memories of a wretched war. 
It was only at the end of the novel that I began to look upon it more favourably. It seemed appropriate on ANZAC weekend to reflect on a novel about wars and memory and trying to get over the destruction that war creates by forgetting and living in denial as an intriguing, yet ultimately unlikely way forward. We remember things, so hopefully we can not make the same mistakes again. Yet, when we look at history we know this is not the case. The war to end all wars was only World War One and today conflicts continue on a daily basis across the globe. Would a spell enable us to go forward in peace. I doubt it. Like, the ancient protagonists of the tale, we would always seek out the truth, regardless of how horrific it might be.

So, in short, I didn't particularly enjoy this book, but I don't think that is its point. It raises interesting questions.

4 out of 5 hidden memories tend to become unearthed.

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