Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Book Review - The Buried Giant - Kazuo Ishiguro


“How can old wounds heal while maggots linger so richly?”

The Buried Giant follows an elderly couple, Axl and Beatrice, on their travels to their son's village, though they cannot remember where that is. In fact, there is a mist of forgetfulness over the whole country. And though the story is written as a dragon slaying fantasy, it looks more into whether remembering everything is really a good thing.

I haven't read any of Ishiguro's previous works, and I think this is a good thing, as having read some of his fan's views on this book there seems to be wide disappointment. This is his first foray into the fantasy genre - a very difficult genre to get right, but I think when done well makes some of the best reads.

It was another slow book, and at times, I did find it difficult to keep going. At first I was glad to have an elderly couple for protagonists, as it isn't something you usually see, but after a while the plot seemed to move as fast as they did. 

While the couple first set out to move to their son's village, feeling mistreated by their own after having their candle taken away, they get directed instead into finding and slaying the dragon Querig, who's breath is causing forgetfulness throughout the land. Though Beatrice is eager for her memories to be returned, Axl is more cautious, worried that knowing the truth could mean the end of their relationship. Beatrice argues that the love they feel for each other now must mean that the past cannot be so bad - and this is the theme that the book mostly follows. 

The dialogue can feel awkward and slightly forced at times, and by the end of it I was sick of reading the word 'Princess', and it can sometimes be a slightly confusing read, with passages that after reading you still don't know what is going on, but even then I found that I enjoyed the book overall. I think it is a very different kind of fantasy to what I am used to, it focuses on the journey rather than the adventure. Overall I would give this book a 3/5, it can be slow, and it can seem slightly repetitive, but if you're looking for a relaxed fantasy, then I would recommend this to you
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