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A Village After Dark

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  209 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Short Story: "A Village After Dark" (The New Yorker, 2001)
13 pages
Published May 21st 2001 by The New Yorker
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Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
I listened to this being read and discussed by Ben Marcus via The New Yorker's Fiction Podcast, and I'm very glad that I did. Had I read this on its own, I doubt that I would have spared the energy to really consider the depth and possibilities that make up this intriguing little story. Taking the time to ponder all the possible meanings is absolutely essential to enjoying this story. Seriously - if you don't like stories that can have multiple interpretations, this is not for you. Ishiguro leav ...more
Jun 16, 2015 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie, Anna
You may read online here.

Opening lines:
There was a time when I could travel England for weeks on end and remain at my sharpest—when, if anything, the travelling gave me an edge. But now that I am older I become disoriented more easily. So it was that on arriving at the village just after dark I failed to find my bearings at all. I could hardly believe I was in the same village in which not so long ago I had lived and come to exercise such influence.

3* Never Let Me Go
4* The Remains of the Day
5* W
Milica Chotra
Listen or read... on a dark, rainy day.

Not much happening here. Not much to be seen in the dark of the cottages and streets... We don't know anything. Even the people we hear - are they really there, or are they memories? Faces of guilt and regret, of past mistakes? Do all of these conversations exist only in Fletcher's mind?

An old man, tired of constant travelling (life itself?), coming back to try to make amends to those who he had hurt... The feeling of disorientation and anxiety. I've no id
Paul Fulcher
Although featured subsequently in the New Yorker, "A Village After Dark" wasn't originally intended to be published (*), but was rather written by Ishiguro as part of his experimentation with narrative techniques in preparation for writing his, in my view, masterpiece, Unconsoled.

As such it is less well developed than his novels. There is even greater ambiguity than usual (what exactly did Fletcher do? what's the significance of his schooling in Canada? where and when is this - seemingly present
Jigar Brahmbhatt
More like a practice session before he wrote The Unconsoled. Yeah, the publishing dates say otherwise but who knows what's cooking up in the writer's mind? There is no chronology in one's head!
Read mainly to hold myself off from the intense desire I have to tear through The Buried Giant. Perfect lunch-break reading for this gloomy, rainy day.
An experiment in writing prior to the Unconsoled. This story: its ability to appear simple and straightforward, but somehow also inscrutable and unsettling. I think if I were not paying attention I could believe that nothing at all happened. There are numerous interpretations, the story could be entirely figurative, it could be within a dream, but it seems to be written to convey a sense of desolation, longing for the past, and deeply held guilt - and so it doesn't matter what the fictional real ...more
An Ishiguro short story which I don't think has been published outside the New Yorker. It's very reminiscent of The Unconsoled.
Lee Broderick
Like some other short stories I've read, I'm not sure that this really counts as a book but it is on GoodReads, so...

In many respects, this is classic Kazuo Ishiguro, rooted in a sense of loss and detachment from the present. It's remarkable what he can condense into so short a piece of writing. Beyond that though, the tale is teasingly, wantonly ambiguous. Is the narrator deranged? Are we witnessing real events or his imaginings? Are his principal feelings those of guilt or optimism? We don't e
What an amazing story. Okay, I admit that I listened to this story (read by Ben Marcus) while walking the track at the local rec center. Nevertheless, I was absorbed by the images that Ishiguro brought to mind. In fact, I had to find the story online as soon as I returned and read it for myself. One other person has reviewed this story, and because she didn't know what it was about gave it an unfair rating. I'll admit that I'm not sure what this story is about. But it has got me thinking, and th ...more
Lauren Dostal
This story is essentially a very short version of Franz Kafka's The Castle--strange, unsettling, and ultimately unsatisfying; but the mood of the work was orchestrated beautifully, so I can't mark it down too much. In all, it was a very well written piece, I only wish there was more to it.
Short story that appeared in The New Yorker.

Ishiguro is a con-artist who specializes in the very long con (it's a compliment). The short form doesn't exactly work well with his style. It feels like a parody of his style and themes. This is why I still haven't read his short story collection.

Just can't wait to read THE BURIED GIANT. Somebody give it to meeeeeee..
Listened to this from the New Yorker Fiction podcast. Enjoyed the story about a man returning to the town where he once was someone important, but now can barely remember the place. Story about regret, loss, and misunderstanding. Very reserved, as usual for Ishiguro. Lots of unanswered questions which works well I'm a short story.
Reminded me more of Italo Calvino's "If on a winter night a traveler" or Atwood's "Handmaid's tale" rather than other works by Kazuo Ishiguro (an author that I deeply admire) or Kafka... On a reviewer's note - very visual, very economic, on a personal one - quite unpleasant... I don't understand... a "conversation piece"?
In classic style Ishiguro is restrained in his storytelling I just wish he gave a little more detail on this one!
Really enjoyed this short story published in The New Yorker. At only 10 pages and leaving most questions unanswered it seemed like a snippet of something larger. Intriguing - where were they? what had happened? what were the consequences of the previous mistakes? I really wanted to know what happened next - was there really a bus? was the man telling the truth about the location of Wendy's house? why would you plan to call on someone you didn't know lived there? Much food for thought for somethi ...more
Sandra Nyamu
This story was so weird.
An interesting short story, with heavy undertones of The Unconsoled and When We Were Orphans. A strange and mysterious short-story. Very simple, but with moods of unease and anxiety.
Quick and pleasant reading that kept me thinking. Something I really like.
I just found out that you can also listen to it being read and discussed, so I'll do that to. :o)
Listen here
This reads like the start of a story that might have been interesting but I was left feeling like I was missing something.
It's a nice short story, Ishiguro has a good style, but the story didn't say nothing to me, so I don't know how to rate it...
Have no clue what it was about.
Caitlin Coats
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Kazuo Ishiguro (カズオ・イシグロ or 石黒 一雄) is a British novelist of Japanese origin. His family moved to England in 1960. Ishiguro obtained his Bachelor's degree from University of Kent in 1978 and his Master's from the University of East Anglia's creative writing course in 1980. He became a British citizen in 1982. He now lives in London.
His first novel, A Pale View of Hills won the 1982 Winifred Holtby
More about Kazuo Ishiguro...
Never Let Me Go The Remains of the Day The Buried Giant When We Were Orphans An Artist of the Floating World

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