Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nocturnes - Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro's novels are among my favorites. He has a way of playing with memory and reality that really sticks with me. So, I was quite excited when his collection of short stories came out. While each of the five stories features different characters, they all feature music as an important centerpiece. For each of the main characters, music is a way to find meaning in a world in which they would otherwise be lost or alone. For some this brings comfort, for others a sense of torment. While Ishiguro's writing is as beautiful as ever, I felt that the short story form just did not highlight his talents the way his novels have. With each of his novels, I always had a sense of impending doom and building anticipation. The short stories, on the other hand, carried with them more of a feeling of resignation. There wasn't enough time to come to uderstand the complexities of the characters or to care about their conflicts. I did not have the same feelings of affection and wonder that I usually get from his books. Instead, I was left with a bit of disappointment - and hope that another novel is yet to come.

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