I closed the last page of this captivating book by Ishiguro. I’m still thinking about the people in the book. I know I have loved travelling with Axl and Beatrice, and meeting other persons in the way. Ishiguro writes slow and poetic, but his book moves fast. I wasn’t as captivated about the plot as I was with his Never Let Me Go, (which made me cry at the end), or it wasn’t as piercing a finale as the ending of The Remains of the Day, but it was less surreal than When We Were Orphans, nor as ambiguous as An Artist of the Floating World. (Yes, I had an Ishiguro year, and I could not get enough of his books).
All those books are very different and similar. Similar in the delicate beauty of his style, that Ishiguro simple way of writing yet so deep. Different in settings, all of them happen in different times, places, and he thus paints different universes.
My favorite part was the stay in the monastery, and the final scene with Sir Gawain, but I won’t write spoilers. I wish I could have known more about the monks. Medieval life is very interesting to me… all the book was great, I just want more. I guess for more I’d have to re-read a previous one, or this title when it gets a bit distant, or try with his short stories that were a bit too much at the time when I was always glued to one of his books.
This is definitely character driven (you get to love the people in the book, for different reasons, at different degrees… my favorite person was Sir Gawain, he is so Quixotesc). The reviews speak more about ourselves than the book, since readers bring what they bring to their readings, and get what they get based on who they are. Sure a book needs to have a richness able to reach different audiences, and good books have a potentially broad audience, but the beauty of good books is that there are so many… lately I’m being less impulsive (ahem, not really, but trying), and more careful in my selection of what I want to read.
The strengths of The Buried Giant are its same weaknesses. Language is simple (which some of us appreciate as poetic), plot is slow (which some of us appreciate as a way of moving and living that we desire in our stage on life.) So my guess is that younger adults, (unless they are old souls), may prefer Never Let Me Go much more than this title. Which brings me to my next book, Moby Dick.. I’m going to be reading 100 pages as a challenge, with another mom, and by reading just two pages I can see why young people don’t like it. Some of these classics have many layers, and for some children (if they have been shown and introduced to good literature since early in their life), these classics have an incredible appeal, but for many others, they are not easy reads, and they don’t connect with them.
And more times than not, we, moms, when we open a forgotten classic we never read, or even that we read, the book seems to be just a different book altogether. Our connections with the text have grown richer by our experience in life and our more informed reads at a later age.
I never thought that after 40 I’d feel a desire to read such a book like Moby Dick, but I do!