Customer Reviews


83 Reviews
5 star:
 (38)
4 star:
 (15)
3 star:
 (7)
2 star:
 (12)
1 star:
 (11)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In my dreams
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...
Published on 31 Jan 2002

versus
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great escape.
It's a tremendously comforting and rewarding read. In the same way people feel enlightened looking at a painting by Dali, Ishiguro opens doors invitingly. He makes us smile, although sometimes we may not be quite sure why. The protagonist, who is travelling (body and mind) is the only real constant in the book, everything else changes constantly. Ishiguro reflects a...
Published on 13 Jan 2006


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In my dreams, 31 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Unconsoled (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious, beguiling fiction, an all too real dream-world, 30 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Unconsoled (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, 6 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Unconsoled (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ishiguro is a modern Kafka., 14 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Unconsoled (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pointless Genius, 15 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Unconsoled (Paperback)
An epic, stumbling, vague, directionless ramble of an novel which illustrates better than ever Ishiguro's mastery of the frailty of human character. Confusing and disturbing it undeniably is; but ultimately it is very, very rewarding. Genius.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great escape., 13 Jan 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: The Unconsoled (Paperback)
It's a tremendously comforting and rewarding read. In the same way people feel enlightened looking at a painting by Dali, Ishiguro opens doors invitingly. He makes us smile, although sometimes we may not be quite sure why. The protagonist, who is travelling (body and mind) is the only real constant in the book, everything else changes constantly. Ishiguro reflects a really bleak modern world where people, although interacting in society and physical environment constantly, are very self-orientated, introspective and discovering that they are 'free' to think but alone with their thoughts. The conscious mind bleeds into unconciousness seamlessly in this book. It's beautifully done.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The culmination of Ishiguro's art, 22 Mar 2006
By 
Mr. Peter Anderson "purnis" (sheffield) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Unconsoled (Paperback)
This is a profoundly rewarding and moving book about the unreliability of memory, the circular nature of time, the fundamental lack of any certainty in any given existence. It also deals of course, with loss, perhaps Ishiguro's central thematic concern. An incredibly detailed realisation of one man's inner world, it is a riveting, bewildering, amusing and heartbreaking read. Yes, it is long. But never boring. Maybe you should be familiar with the author's preceding efforts before tackling this. But when you do tackle it, it's a bit like Seinfeld in the sense that all you do is walk around for years afterwards, greeting innumerable situations with the words: "It's just like the Unconsoled!"
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unpleasant Physical Reaction, 27 July 2001
By 
This review is from: The Unconsoled (Paperback)
A strange, infuriating and unique book. I might read it again when I've calmed down. As the main character is side-tracked from his purpose by layer upon layer of distraction I found that I became more and more tense and irritable. Even thinking about it as I write this review is making my chest tighten. My first attempt at this fat novel failed, not because I didn't like the writing, but because I couldn't take the situation of the main character. It has the atmosphere of a convoluted and frustrating dream - vivid and difficult to pin down. It's not a restful read.
Ishiguro has written a novel that provoked a physical reaction in me. This alone is enough to mark this as a special book for me and one that I will never forget.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable, 5 Oct 2010
This review is from: The Unconsoled (Paperback)
I was totally unprepared for this work. I picked it up simply because I had enjoyed quite a few of Ishiguro's other works. I had no idea what a roller-coaster ride of intrigue, surrealism, hilarity, farce, absurdism, and general weirdness I was in for. What was surprising to me, however, was the fact that I found it so compelling. I had never read anything quite like it before and the more I got into it the more intrigued I became.
Is the narrator suffering from dementia? Are we at the mercy of a mind that no-one can glimpse? Is it all a hideous dream? Is this the result of every character in the book becoming so inward-looking that they have lost all sense of how to communicate with each other? Is it social ineptitude gone beserk? What the hell is going on?
The thing which made it so fascinating for me was the fact that the writing is completely and utterly ordered. The sentences are constructed with a beautiful precision (as always with Ishiguro) and they flow with the skill of a craftsman. This combination of precision and madness was, for me, a novel and imaginitive device that was extremely clever. The fact that there were virtually no answers at the end made it even more intriguing and so I turned around and read it again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars somewhat puerile postmodernist lit - not my preference, 27 July 2008
By 
V. ATKINSON (Midland, TX) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Unconsoled (Paperback)
A previous reviewer who likens experiencing the shifting, distorted context for this novel to that often depicted by Dali fails to take into account the fundamental difference between these two experiences as temporal phenomena; where we can chart our own course through the visual, bowing out the very moment we feel the need to return to the comfort of observable reality, the novel leads us at the author's pace through a series of disconcerting scenarios. This is at once its strength and weakness; with every page I dared myself to take just another few paragraphs of the meandering, disquieting saga narrated by the self-absorbed and entirely unsympathetic protagonist, but having just completed the 253rd of 535 pages I have decided that enough is enough - I get it, the postmodern world is one of disillusion, confusion and ambiguity. Reading the reviews of others has confirmed what I suspected might be the case: that the ending brings no more enlightenment than the implication that I myself am an actor in such a world - that we are all "the unconsoled". On balance I appreciate the novel as quintessential postmodernist literature, but that is all - its progress from one living nightmare-like cliché to the next (the inability to speak when required to do so, the appearance of acquaintances from incongruous times and places, the loss of the use of one's legs when being chased, etc) is ultimately too wearing and too obvious for me to recommend it without the above disclaimer. If you're considering an Ishiguro I would wholeheartedly recommend `The Remains of the Day' instead - a subtle, lovely, atmospheric alternative with all of the reward and none of the frustration.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Unconsoled
The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro (Paperback - 7 Feb 2013)
£6.29
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews