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The Unconsoled Paperback – 3 Mar 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber; New edition edition (3 Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057122539X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571225392
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 299,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kazuo Ishiguro is the author of six novels, A Pale View of Hills (1982, Winifred Holtby Prize), An Artist of the Floating World (1986, Whitbread Book of the Year Award, Primio Scanno, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), The Remains of the Day (1989, winner of the Booker Prize), The Unconsoled (1995, winner of the Cheltenham Prize), When We Were Orphans (2000, shortlisted for the Booker Prize) and Never Let Me Go (2005, shortlisted for the MAN Booker Prize), and a book of stories, Nocturnes (2009). He received an OBE for Services to Literature in 1995, and the French decoration of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1998.

Product Description

Book Description

The Unconsoled is an utterly original masterpiece by Kazuo Ishiguro, the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go and The Buried Giant. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954 and came to Britain at the age of five. He is the author of six novels: A Pale View of Hills (1982, Winifred Holtby Prize), An Artist of the Floating World (1986, Whitbread Book of the Year Award, Premio Scanno, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), The Remains of the Day (1989, winner of the Booker Prize), The Unconsoled (1995, winner of the Cheltenham Prize), When We Were Orphans (2000, shortlisted for the Booker Prize) and Never Let Me Go (2005, Corine Internationaler Buchpreis, Serono Literary Prize, Casino de Santiago European Novel Award, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize). Nocturnes (2009) was awarded the Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa International Literary Prize. Kazuo Ishiguro's work has been translated into over forty languages. The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go have also been adapted into major 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.


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Oct. 1998
Format: Paperback
Remember those Max Escher drawings of staircases that somehow turn back on themselves, buildings where everything looks fine, but somehow the planes are all wrong? The Unconsoled lures you into a similar world, where the natural order of relationships and places is somehow "disturbed". As you read, you find yourself remembering your own dreams of journeys that never finish and relationships that end up strangely out of synch with reality.
A compelling book, Kafkaesque (a compliment!), or perhaps with shades of Mervyn Peake. Must have.
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83 of 86 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
Number 9...number 9...number 9...A surreal labyrinth of a novel, car journeys that take hours and then you return to where you began simply by walking through a door...strangers who you suddenly realise you have known for years...and no sleep, never the chance to sleep...This book will haunt your dreams and make you wander about with a vacant expression muttering under your breath and cause you distress and unease but if you're anything like me you won't be able to leave it alone and when you've finished you'll want to read it again. Like all of Ishiguro's work it contains incomparable insights into the complexities and sadness of human nature. The characters ramble on and on explaining in a pedantic way every fine detail of the subjects that prey on their minds day and night but it is endlessly fascinating and Ishiguro is such a kind writer, you feel nothing but tenderness towards this large cast of lonely and obsessed people.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
This brilliant masterpiece is an utterly unique novel - unlike anything I have read among books written in the past fifty years. The story - of a concert pianist arriving in Central Europe only to find himself constantly walking into various unresolved emotional aspects of his life - brings us into contact with great seriousness and sadness, wonderful farce and is unremittingly strange and bizarre. Ishiguro writes brilliantly, and conveys the alienation and dissociation from the world brilliantly in his prose and his unique dialogue.
Oh, and the scene with the broom cupboard is one of the funnisest things I've read in years.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Janet on 28 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
To begin with I found this book extremely frustrating, I just wanted to shout at the central character, Ryder: why do you let people push you around like that? Why don't you complain when you are taken for a long drive to end up back where you started, or taken to a dinner party in your dressing gown? Why don't you speak up when people insult you as if you weren't there? Why don't you ask why?

As a reader, equally disconcerting was the protagonist's apparent psychic abilities: when the hotel porter falls silent in the lift, Ryder realises that it is because he is worrying about his daughter and grandson. How on earth does he know that? Did I miss a page?

But once I got used to the dream-logic of the book, and accepted it for what it is, I began to thoroughly enjoy it, and really care about the characters. As the book hurtled towards its conclusion, I was really hooked, desperate to know how it would all turn out. And although the ending didn't provide answers to all the questions raised by any means, it provided enough resolution for me to go away satisfied.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 April 2000
Format: Paperback
Read this book! The Unconsoled conjures up images which will stay with you long after you turn the last page. Ever woken from a dream with a vague uneasy sensation and not known why? Maybe this will remind you. Very unusual, and brilliantly crafted.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BlestMiss T on 21 May 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read 'Never Let Me Go' and then 'Remains of the Day', by now I can truly say I am a fan of Ishiguro's writing style. It manages to be both accessible, without patronising the audience. Yet, he still manages to explore some complex matters of the heart and life in general, capturing with such realism and empathy the voice of his protagonists. This is thus the saving grace of 'The Unconsoled'. World renowned pianist Ryder is due to give the performance of his life in an unnamed Central European city, but he can't seem to get a grip as his surroundings get more and more surreal. I was a little taken aback when I read some of the more venomous reviews of this novel. However having now finished the book I can see their point. It's not so much the ephemeral structure of the story that grates. Once you get used to it, it's not a problem. If anything it resembles any number of dreams you might have had. I think the problem is there are too many unnecessary detours and longwinded, futile monologues that it feels like Ishiguro tries our patience making the book as long as he did. He would have got away with it a lot more if it was a couple of hundred pages shorter. By now I am used to Ishiguro's trademark ambiguous endings. Things tend to taper off without much in the way of a major resolution. I normally find this strangely satisfying, if not a bit sad. At the end of the day it's realistic, life goes on. However after being lead on a merry dance through so much of 'The Unconsoled' you feel like you should have been rewarded with a more concrete ending. Some of the characters undergo evolution I suppose but most of it does seem rather pointless. Again the aimlessness of the book only really started to get to me when I was about two thirds of the way through.Read more ›
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