Monday, 20 November 2017

A Pale View of Hills by Kazoo Ishiguro

"In any case, that's when it started, Mariko's obsession with that woman."

Fancy a dash of moodiness? A melange of suspense with just a hint of horror? This might be the one for you. This strange and rather short tale is both evocative an interesting. If, perhaps you seek things spelled out clearly then this may not be the novel for you. If, alternatively, you enjoy second guessing and getting to grips with strange, dreamlike occurrences, I'd say grab yourself a copy. I was keen to explore another of Ishiguro's works, particularly in celebration of his recent win of the Nobel Prize - quite the achievement. While I did not enjoy this nearly as much as Never Let Me Go,  which I consider an amazing novel, it does nonetheless pack a punch. Unease is something which pours forth from the pages and that, in of itself, is rather impressive. Apparently this was his first novel and I think there are aspects which mark it as an earlier work, less polished.
Thematically, its treatment of mothers and daughters and distance and priorities struck me as particularly interesting, albeit jarring. This is a book I could re-read and possibly discover more new, and alternate views; perhaps that is a testament to its promise.
Happily this represents another tick on the 1001 novels to read before you die list. In fact at this point, I've read 461 of the 1,305 combined list of all the series published and this one was a winner.

5 out of 5 strange neglected children can seem rather ominous.

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