Grace's Reviews > The Unconsoled

The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
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's review
Apr 11, 10

Read from April 05 to 11, 2010

I thought this was excellent but, when I think about what to write here, it just sounds awful. A renowned pianist arrives in a town not quite knowing what he's scheduled to do there. It quickly becomes apparent he doesn't have a firm grasp on anything in his life, including who he is. Alienated from any normal social context, this is an anxiety dream of his life (or his life as an anxiety dream - is this a moot point for a fictional character?) at a crisis point. Everyone has high expectations of him which he couldn't possibly fulfil even if he had more than a passing desire to do so. He is surrounded by figures reminiscent of his troubled youth, with unhappy parents and familial pressure, as well as those prefiguring the failures of age and the consequences of overreaching yourself. There are boring bits and stressful bits, there is nudity during public speaking, strange collections of people from the past, unlikely topography and other typical dream events. Inability to communicate looms large. This book did actually inspire a rather tiring anxiety dream of my own after one day of heavy reading. It was loosely based around a recent leaving do on a train, full of confusion, memory loss, strange diversions, running along platforms and apparently solid pub fixtures suddenly turning into a buffet car. Notwithstanding some disturbed sleep, I enjoyed this book much more than you might imagine and do highly recommend.

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message 1: by Andrewh (new)

Andrewh Nice review, and has reinforced my view of Ishiguru as an unreadable author who missed his historical timeslot (1910 Vienna is about his mark).

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