Friday, March 27, 2015

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Axl and his wife Beatrice are elderly Britons leaving their home to journey to visit their son.  They aren’t quite sure why their son is no longer living near them, that part is hazy, as are all memories for all people and it has been that way for some time.  Regardless of the fog overlying their recollections they head off to be reunited with their boy while they can still travel.

That is the crux of the book: the journey of Axl and Beatrice physically and mentally as the fog of their minds is broken down and eventually lifted.  Along the way they meet a knight, a soldier, and a curious boy all of whom journey with them for they all have similar goals relating to the memory issues everyone in the land suffers.

This book has received some harsh reviews and while I understand why that is so, I personally liked the book.  I majored in Medieval and Renaissance Literature in college and had to read the Canterbury Tales and L’Morte d’Arthur (in Middle English no less) and this reminded me of those old works.  It was repetitious and the cadence was of an oral tradition being set to paper.  What I found familiar and nostalgic I can see others seeing as repetitious and weird. The overlying problem of the novel, the fog, is magical in nature, another element that may frustrate readers. 

So if you like the REALLY old classics you may enjoy this.  If not, you may want to read something else…