• Evan Symmonds

The Buried Giant

One of the most engaging books I've read in recent months. In many ways it's a very different departure from anything that Ishuiguro has given us previously. I had admired the craft in The Remains of the Day, but found both The Unconsoled and Never Let Me Go, though had found the world-view expressed irredeemably bleak and saddening. The Buried Giant, however, has a richness and density that was a joy to discover, and although it draws so heavily on the medieval romance tradition, the direction Ishiguro was going to take with it was wholly unpredicatable. After a gentle, probing beginning, it leads untilmatly to quite a breathtaking denouement. It was also such a surprise to find the character of Sir Gawain turning up as one of the principle protagonists. None of the reviews I'd seen when it first came out and was nominated for the Booker mentioned him! (He's not much like his fourteenth-century forbear, however, more like the Knight in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, or T H White's King Pellinor, whom I suspect might be his real forbear.) Recommended.

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