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The unconsoled - Kazuo Ishiguro

ISBN: 057122539X
See also: Jabberwock ; Fantastic Metropolis

Surreal and weird are terms that come to mind when I attempt to review this book. Or to be even more accurate, very weird and extremely surreal :)

The story revolves around a world famous pianist who travels to a city, in Europe somewhere but we’re never told where exactly, and then travels around meeting people and being late for other meetings with people. Ryder seems to be suffering from some sort of amnesia at first. We don’t really know anything about him, and he doesn’t really seem to know anything about himself either.

As the novel, I hesitate to say progresses… As we read through the novel it becomes increasingly dreamlike; places that were one moment were miles apart can suddenly be reached through a turn-off or a mysterious doorway. And our narrator sometimes turns omniscient; knowing what is going on in the minds of others, sometimes knowing what has gone on when he was nowhere nearby. Perhaps it isn’t dreamlike, maybe it is more his insanity that makes him think he knows this. I don’t know.

I pretty much have no clue what this novel was about. And yet I liked it. Yes, it was sometimes frustrating to be so totally in the dark about what was going on, but at the same time it is very well written. Ryder is an ass, no bones about it, but he is also extremely well-drawn and engaging. The writing is wonderful.

I can’t really condense this book into a review. You’ll have to read it. If you find that you like it then good, if you don’t, you don’t. Personally I loved it. And hated parts of it at the same time.


As the was born in Japan but is a British citizen I have tagged this post as both.

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