The Buried Giant – Kazuo Ishiguro

The Buried Giant -Kazuo Ishiguro

The Buried Giant -Kazuo Ishiguro

Every year my daughters’ school has a book fair to raise money. I always like to buy something and I had been eyeing this off at various different stores (despite my decision to buy novels on my kindle to save space), so decided it would be the one.

I have read Remains of the Day (years ago) and loved the adaptation, but that’s my only Ishiguro experience.

Here’s the blurb …

An extraordinary new novel from the author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day.
“You’ve long set your heart against it, Axl, I know. But it’s time now to think on it anew. There’s a journey we must go on, and no more delay…”
The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at least the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased.The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years.
They expect to face many hazards – some strange and other – worldly – but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.
Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.

This was a beautifully written book – slowly paced, mystical with a solid sense of place – I even learnt about Saxon castle construction! The part I liked the most was the relationship between Axl and Beatrice (it is unusual to have a relationship between elderly people portrayed beautifully. Part mystery, part fable, part knight’s take of daring deeds – there are ogres and dragons and a mist that makes people forget. It is a seemingly simple tale – two elderly people set out to visit their son in a village two days walk away. Along the way they meet two knights Wistan and Sir Gawain (yes of King Arthur fame) and some very sinister monks. They learn that the mist is actually the breath of a dragon and it is designed (by Merlin) to make people forget so that Saxons and Britons can live in peace. Sir Gawain is in fact the dragon’s protector and Wistan has come to kill the dragon. l am sure this novel has lots to say about contemporary society and the perils of forgetting, but I enjoyed it as a simple tale.

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