The Unconsoled Hardcover – 2 Aug 1995
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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 the Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
The Unconsoled is at once a gripping psychological mystery, a wicked satire of the cult of art, and a poignant character study of a man whose public life has accelerated beyond his control. The setting is a nameless Central European city where Ryder, a renowned pianist, has come to give the most important performance of his life. Instead, he finds himself diverted on a series of cryptic and infuriating errands that nevertheless provide him with vital clues to his own past. In The Unconsoled Ishiguro creates a work that is itself a virtuoso performance, strange, haunting, and resonant with humanity and wit.
"A work of great interest and originality.... Ishiguro has mapped out an aesthetic territory that is all his own...frankly fantastic [and] fiercer and funnier than before."--"The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
A compelling book, Kafkaesque (a compliment!), or perhaps with shades of Mervyn Peake. Must have.
Oh, and the scene with the broom cupboard is one of the funnisest things I've read in years.
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.
I found this very fluent account of the narrator’s struggle to become orientated in a nameless town in possibly Germany to be compulsive reading. It is partly about memory loss and it recalled to me Karinthy’s Metropole,where a professor of linguistics ends up in a bustling modern city in central Europe in which nobody speaks any of the languages he knows. In The Unconsoled Mr Ryder, Ishiguro’s narrator-hero, is met with extreme politeness by hotel staff, but frustratingly he fails to get exact clarification of his mission. He is scheduled to address an audience in a small town where Mr Brodsky, a reformed alcoholic pianist has returned to perform some classical studies. Everyone in the town knows of Mr Ryder’s reputation and initially at least he receives nothing but generous plaudits wherever he goes. The reader, however, begins to doubt his sanity, since he fails to arrive for vital consultations and is easily persuaded to take on tasks for others - such as hearing Stephan, his host’s son, practice. What is almost a sub-plot involves Ryder in trying to make sense of the broken relationship between Leo Brodsky and Miss Collins. Complications multiply when we learn that Ryder’s parents are arriving to hear their son’s performance - pianistic or simply as Brodsky’s front man. Ultimately there is some doubt as to whether the Ryders senior have arrived or indeed whether they even exist within the book’s time frame.
The Unconsoled is a challenging book that deliberately frustrates its reader’s expectations. Dozens of unanswered questions are raised, many remaining unsolved at the end. Readers who like a tight plot and a tidy conclusion are unlikely to finish the book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I try not to read reviews before I write my own but, in this case, I made an exception because I wanted to know if I was the only person on the planet who thought this book... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Graham James
Frustration all the way through with the characters - struggled to complete itPublished 3 months ago by James McLellan
I've read this book three times now, over the years. It is weird and surreal, but Ishiguro has such control of his craft that even such a wandering and logic-less plot (or rather... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Busy mum
I found this book a difficult read. It is beautifully written and one keeps feeling like you are in the dream world yourself. Read morePublished 8 months ago by C. H. Kudla
If you're new to Ishiguro - don't start with this.
I tried and tried and tried. I followed it, but I didn't 'get it'. Read more
I finished it a couple of weeks ago and it still keeps coming back.Published 12 months ago by MR M R GRIFFITHS
The novel’s delicious strangeness is certainly a huge part of its appeal. Yet – as is common to other works by Ishiguro – beneath the swirling mass of... Read more
I am still not sure why one day I picked up that novel to read, because huge books are not usually my fare. tiring easily if not gripped, but I am very thankful I did pick it up. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Ann Fairweather