gail schimmel

The blog of writer Gail Schimmel: A bit of writing, a bit of parenting, a bit of thinking and some book reviews

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

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This fantasy tale about amnesiac Arthurian knights and a couple in search of their son would not be my usual choice of book. But I will read anything that Kazuo Ishiguro writes. I would read his shopping list. I would read his descriptions of his bowel movements. You get the picture. I even read his huge book The Unconsoled without understanding the plot for more than 5 out of 50 pages. But he writes so beautifully that I don’t care. And most of the time I can follow him beautifully and his plots are as good as his writing.

As I said, this is not my usual genre, but I imagine that it follows many of the conventions of the genre. I loved the characters and was intrigued by the main characters – Axl and Beatrice – and their memory loss. When they encounter Sir Gawain on their quest to find their son, we realise that Axl may be more than a doddering old man. There are knights and dragons and crazy monks and a battle and a poisoned goat. I read it – gripped – to the end.

It is not my favourite Ishiguro (Remains of the Day still gets that prize) but he never fails to deliver. And as I read, I remembered a childhood obsession with King Arthur and Merlin, and was briefly taken back to that time.


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