- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (3 Mar. 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0571315038
- ISBN-13: 978-0571315031
- Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.8 x 24.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 471 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Buried Giant Hardcover – 3 Mar 2015
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The Buried Giant does what important books do: It remains in the mind long after it has been read, refusing to leave, forcing one to turn it over and over ... Ishiguro is not afraid to tackle huge, personal themes, nor to use myths, history and the fantastic as the tools to do it. The Buried Giant is an exceptional novel. (Neil Gaiman New York Times)
What Ishiguro has delivered, after much labour, is a beautiful fable with a hard message at its core ... there won't, I suspect, be a more important work of fiction published this year than The Buried Giant. And take note, Peter Jackson. Ishiguro's fiction makes wonderful films. (John Sutherland The Times)
Ishiguro is, as ever, very readable ... the novel is moving and strangely resonant. I suspect him of being wise, of having a vision that subtly and politely exceeds that of ordinary people ... Ultimately the novel achieves a tragic synthesis between its various parts that ... reverberates powerfully in the mind. (Theo Tait Sunday Times)
The Buried Giant ... reveals itself as a work not just of great originality but peculiar, even hypnotic, beauty: such a late, great extension to Arthurian literature. (David Sexton Evening Standard)
The world's greatest living novelist Kazuo Ishiguro has a new book out. It is a masterpiece. (David Walliams)
A novelist of unparalleled distinction. The style is elegant, sparse, non-archaic and, as with Ishiguro's other works, it accumulates as you progress, until you are mesmerised by the agony of his characters. It is a bold, sorrowful, brilliant and unyielding book. The journey might be imaginary, yet it is existentially real, and that is its great beauty and strength. (Joanna Kavenna Prospect)
The prose, as in many of Ishiguro's novels, is lapidary and beguiling, suggestive of secrets to be disclosed. [F]or Ishiguro, our poet laureate of loss, the mercies of forgetfulness hold the greater fascination ... The Buried Giant is ultimately a story about long love and making terms with oblivion. It is an eerie hybrid: a children's fable about old age. In Ishiguro's novel, as in life, love conquers all - all, that is, but death. (Nathaniel Rich Atlantic)
The writing is at times lush and thrilling, rolling the gothic, fantastical, political, and philosophical into one. In its best moments, the fantasy elements blend with the exploration of memory, identity, and power to significant effect. The Buried Giant may feel very different from Ishiguro's previous works, but the concerns that lie at its heart have preoccupied him his entire career. (Elaine Teng New Republic)
Ishiguro was described as 'a master craftsman' by Margaret Atwood, and he is every inch that throughout this book, from the self-confidence and certainty of the slow start, through to the final, profound and very moving, pages. (Emily Hourican Irish Independent)
Ishiguro is too subtle and complex a novelist to rest content with such a message. The memory loss that may serve a troubled people as a blessing cannot help but threaten the individual with the dissolution of his or her self. At the heart of The Buried Giant, luminous amid all the dragons and warring knights, is a deeply affecting portrait of marital love, and of how even the most precious memories can end up vulnerable. (Tom Holland Guardian)
There's a journey we must go on, and no more delay . . .See all Product description
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So I actually found it very difficult if not impossible to engage with the players. I say players because elements of it reminded me of those old computer games called something like ‘adventure quest’ , where you had to ask the right questions to get the right answers. Only it took the whole book for them to ask the right questions.
At the end I found myself admiring the quality of the writing, the construction of the plot but totally missing what the purpose of the book was. I was astonished by the rave reviews and wondered if there was another version of the book I had not been allowed to read.
Did I understand it? Was I missing something that other people could see? I don't know, I just know that I put it down for several days and when I did pick it up it was with a sigh and wondering what was going on outside my window.
I did persevere, however, and when I reached the end, waiting for the lights to switch on and make it all worth it, I gave my biggest sigh and returned to the window. An anti-climax to say the least.
Even the dragon didn't feature in the way I had hoped. So would I recommend this book? Probably not but maybe I just didn't get it.
I couldn't put it down. It's Kazuo Ishiguro's foray into the fantasy genre and is so beautifully written. The book drips with intrigue and poignancy. It's set in a kind of Arthurian Britain, following this old couple as they go looking for their son. But the book has a message, and a devastating ending. I still stop to think about it to this day, and I read it when it came out.
If you don't mind a bit of a spoiler (otherwise stop now) read on: It's a book about burying the truths of the past. Arthur committed war crimes and they're hidden under the amnesia-breath of the dragon which covers the land, like propaganda from a war-winning country, but it just buries resentment and will later lead to worse problems (Middle East, anyone?). And with the old couple, it transpires that the man drove his son away, but they've lied to themselves about this and hidden this truth, with the result that the wife has buried resentment, and so when their love is tested at the end, it is found to be wanting, and they cannot remain together.
It's an astounding book. But I think people miss all this, even Neil Gaiman's review of it seemed to miss the mark.
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