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The Unconsoled

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  10,954 ratings  ·  1,435 reviews
Librarian note: an alternate cover for this edition can be found here.

The Unconsoled is at once a gripping psychological mystery, a wicked satire of the cult of art, and a poignant character study of a man whose public life has accelerated beyond his control.

The setting is a nameless Central European city where Ryder, a renowned pianist, has come to give the most important
Paperback, 535 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Vintage International (first published 1995)
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Betty Confetti I enjoyed this because in my mind, Ryder is living in an insane asylum and everything that unfolds in terms of time and space in that setting can beco…moreI enjoyed this because in my mind, Ryder is living in an insane asylum and everything that unfolds in terms of time and space in that setting can become believable. Everything from him happening to show up at just the right place to play the piano during the burial of Brodsky's dog . . . to the weird partial connections/disconnects with Sofia and Boris, Gustav, and even Ryder's parents. Think about it. The scene where the movie is being shown borders on insane. And then the condolences to Brodsky about the death of his dog range from sympathetic to just plain weird. The huge piano recital at the end leads to a breakfast in the wee hours in the morning? Maybe this is done in Europe on a regular basis, but it's more like Milk and Cookies in an institutional setting. I imagine Sofia to be an employee there, and her son is around and occasionally connects with Ryder but most often does not. Hoffman is like the social director of the asylum--trying to keep order in a difficult setting. I don't even believe his son is his son in the book--he could just be another person who is committed there. The wall that Ryder hits trying to get to his performance--too weird to be true. I think it's a real wall keeping him in. And his bird's eye view of the theatre just another sort of hallucination. He's not "there" when some of the story unfolds, and yet he tells us what people say and do. It's surreal in a way that implies another reality--something that Ishiguro must have had in mind to help give the book a sense of containment and manageability. I'd be interested in knowing if anyone else find these thoughts plausible. Without that sort of perspective, it is a long laundry list of twists and turns for someone who can not manage much of anything in his life. Ryder is too inept to be so genius. YOu gotta admit, even the amputation is implausible, except in the mind of someone who has been committed to an insane asylum on a large estate with a mansion of huge dimensions and much on the property to serve as a distraction. (less)

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Jim Fonseca
The author is Japanese-born but British enough through education and upbringing to have written The Remains of the Day. This is a long novel (more than 500 pages) that is like a Kafka dream, or better, nightmare.

An eminent pianist wanders in a dream-like state through an unnamed central European city. While the whole city awaits his performance, he misses appointments and neglects friends and family while he navigates through an unreal world of his own making.


It’s not a “pleasant” book but I fo
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20-ce, uk, fiction
Thoughts on my second reading of The Unconsoled.

The novel's form is, I believe, a veiled commentary on the text's processes and progress. Structurally, it may be Ishiguro’s most daring novel so far. It must have been awfully hard to write; the prose is lighter than air. It strikes me as Ishiguro's most Kafkaesque novel, especially in its use of dissociative states. Kafka's "In the Penal Colony" especially springs to mind.

Its narrator, Mr Ryder, a pianist of international reputation, checks into
May 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Having loved all his other novels, I finally got around to reading Ishiguro's The Unconsoled, and boy, was it strange and wonderful. I'd heard a vast array of opinions about this book, from "It is one of my top ten novels of all time" to "I loved it in a tense, uncomfortable way" to "it was an unmitigated train wreck." It's always intriguing to me when a book attracts such a wide variety of reactions, so I was looking forward to The Unconsoled for that reason. It also just so happens that I read ...more
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I felt a tremendous sense of relief that I had finally completed Ishiguros’s The Unconsoled. I allowed myself to remember the experience of reading it, with its unusual memory-impaired narrator and the endless stream of absurdity and satire, and its improbable, dream-like narration. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like it would make the perfect subject for a Goodreads review. I worried a bit about the time it would take to make my feelings clear about the book, but after looking ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Unconsoled, Kazuo Ishiguro

The Unconsoled is a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, first published in 1995.

The novel takes place over a period of three days. It is about Ryder, a famous pianist who arrives in a central European city to perform a concert.

He is entangled in a web of appointments and promises which he cannot seem to remember, struggling to fulfill his commitments before Thursday night's performance, frustrated with his inability to take control.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و هفتم ماه جول
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One very hefty tome about musical geniuses & unsure artists (plus the people who love them).

This is one strange, uber-Surreal in that Czech sort of way (yup, the birthplace of surrealism)--twisty streets, opaque individuals... resplendent crystals. Mr. Ishiguro strayed from his quiet solemnity to include literary examples of the picaresque.

But it does not reach the same heights of "Remains of the Day," "A Pale Vies of Hills" or "Never Let Me Go." It is not as perfect a novel as any one in his s
Manuel Antão
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1995
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Ones-self: "The Unconsoled" by Kazuo Ishiguro

(Original Review, 1995-12-12)

I'm pretty respectful of other people's opinions and durable literary reputations. Reading Ulysses was bliss for me, but I have no harsh words for people who don’t like it. It is obviously something that has engaged reader’s minds, hearts, and souls, and perhaps more importantly influenced and engaged writers across generations, and I wish I could figure out why
Seth T.
Jul 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
The Unconsoled is almost certainly not a work for everybody. Or even, perhaps, for many. Ishiguro has crafted what is a pretty thoroughly boring, deeply rewarding novel. What at first appears to be a simple series of encounters between a renowned pianist—Mr. Ryder to you—and the inhabitants of a European city turns out to be anything but. Ryder is ostensibly meant to play part in the concert performance that will bring the city back from the realm of the culturally inconsequential and into the f ...more
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tara by: P
Shelves: 1001-list
4.5 stars.

The Unconsoled is at once humorous, touching, uncanny, and intricately, beautifully absurd. My words are failing me at present; the best I can do to describe this paralyzing, captivating reading experience is to say that my inability to wrench my eyes from the page, even when my mind was desperately claustrophobic and screaming for air, felt remarkably similar to the exquisitely unbearable compulsion which gripped the narrator in his childhood:
“My ‘training sessions’ had come about
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
ishiguro ortalama okur seviyesine edebiyatın zirvelerinde sayılan ve ulaşılmaz-anlaşılmaz görülen romanlarla boy ölçüşebilecek bir roman sunmuş. amacı bu olmasa gerek ama üzerine kitaplar yazılabilecek, yazar adaylarına-yazarlara ders olarak okutulabilecek, romanın bugününe-geleceğine dair tezlere konu olabilecek bir roman olmuş avunamayanlar.

merak uyandıran hikaye-sade dil-akıcı anlatım şeklinde özetlenecek ortalama okur kriterleriyle muhteşem bir roman dünyası yaratılmış: kendi mantığına ve i
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1990-2010, reviewed
The Unconsoled is an extraordinary work. It is close in themes and texture to Ishiguro’s equally extraordinary The Buried Giant, even though they were published at twenty years’ distance from one another, The Unconsoled in 1995, The Buried Giant in 2015. There are similarities in reception, as well. Both novels sparked wildly disparate responses in their readers, with some regarding them as masterpieces, others as unredeemed turkeys. James Wood’s original review of The Unconsoled in The Guardian ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Feb 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
A long 500plus-page read but an easy one. You don't need to grab the dictionary when you read an Ishiguro but you have to pause, drop the book, every hour or two just to take a breather. An Ishiguro is a joy because it is like a silent but deep pond but if you love to shoot the rapids, it can be boring. What I am saying is that this book is not for everyone and judging from the reviews of my GR friends who have read this already, their ratings tend to go either very/quite high (5 or 4) or very/q ...more
Biron Paşa
Avunamayanlar, Kazuo Ishiguro'nun 95 yılında yazdığı, 560 sayfalık Kafkaesk bir bilinçaltı öyküsü. Müthiş incelikli bir başyapıt.

Piyanist Mr. Ryder bir konser için adı bilinmeyen -Kafkaeskin kimliksizliğinden olsa gerek, bir Avrupa şehrine gider. Daha önce hiç gelmediği bu şehirde birkaç gün sonra çok önemli bir konser verecektir. Ama işler pek de beklediği gibi gitmez, biz okurların da beklediği gibi gitmez, Ryder daha önce hiç gitmediği yerlerde bulunduğunu hatırlamaya başlar, tanımadığı insa
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Мога до края на годината да не прочета нищо повече и пак ще се чувствам литературно задоволен без да имам чувството, че съм пропуснал нещо.

Това е моята лична книга на годината.
Имах притеснения, че Ишигуро ще се подхлъзне като много други писатели, които са прибягвали към гледната точка на автори като Кафка и Бекет и че ще ме умори от скука. За щастие Ишигуро е много талантлив и силен автор и успя да ме увлече от началото до края в ирационалния свят на “Неутешимите”.

Това, за което се разказва в к
Sep 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
رمان تسلی ناپذیر از ایشی گورو، یک رمان نسبتا طولانی ۷۳۶ صفحه ای هست که درباره ی رایدر پیانیست مشهور و چیره دست اروپایی ست که برای یک کنسرت مهم به شهری نامعلوم در اروپای مرکزی دعوت شده.
این شهر مردمانی عاشق موسیقی کلاسیک داره و رهبر ارکستر شهر اونا مدتیست که حال خوشی نداره و کنسرت خوبی اجرا نکرده. حالا همه ی امید ها به رایدر و حضورش در این شهر هست.

این رمان رو بسیار پراکنده و غیر قابل کشف خواندن. و اصلا دلیل انتخابم همین بود. نیاز همیشگی به یک نرمش مغزی. اما افسوس که اینطور نبود و دریغ از چیزی برای
Jan 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: glaziers
I read quite a bit of this during insomniac chunks in the middle of the night. In spite of the fact that much of what is happening to the narrator, Ryder, if it happened to me in real life would be intensely disturbing - things such as time and distance warping, people making constant and unreasonable demands on me, missing scheduled appointments, not recognizing people I knew well - I found the whole novel soothing, and actually hard to put down. Of the Ishiguro novels I've read, which is now m ...more
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
From the writer of giants like Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day comes something completely different. Ryder is an accomplished and famous musician who has being invited/hired to appear at a special event that is set to rejuvenate an artistically imploding city in an unnamed West Central European city. We then have 500+ pages of missed opportunities in business, life and love and by multiple characters!

I would even go further and say that the book itself could be seen (intentionally?) a
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strange, surreal, dream-like work, this book--to me--is Ishiguro's most daring and ambitious, and the one I'm tempted to re-read above all his others, if only to plumb the depths I might have missed the first time. ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Няма как да не се побъркаш с тази книга, която е като продължителен, напрегнат, хаотичен, неадекватен, изнервящ и изтънчен сън, който е на ръба с кошмара. "Неутешимите" не е като нищо друго на Ишигуро. Всичко от него, което съм чела дотук, е било разумно, дори в неразумностите си. Обаче този роман... леле, майко.
Прекрасен е. Известен пианист отива за концерт и няколкодневен престой в неназовано градче, където всички са абсолютно неадекватни, но претендиращи да са - от управителя на хотела, през
Jul 12, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
As a person who compulsively makes lists and worries about crossing things off them, I read this book with a continual low-level anxiety. The main character, a pianist traveling in an unnamed European city, continually makes promises and takes on enormous responsibilities and then fails to follow through with them for various absurd and aggravating reasons. The style of the book is unique and unexpectedly engaging, but the experience of immersing yourself in the story is one of frustration. I se ...more
Margarita Garova
„Ефектът беше колкото смущаващ, толкова и покоряващ“.

Този цитат от „Неутешимите“ описва идеално въздействието на тази книга върху мен.

Не правя лесно такъв тип изявления, но да кажем, че досега не сте чели такава книга.

Почнах я с големи опасения, почти с уплах. И как не, като отвсякъде мненията са, че е странна, шантава, налудничава творба. Прави са, такава е. Но освен това „Неутешимите“ е изключително изтънчено описание на нашите лудости, претенции, очаквания и разочарования. Най-вече на неумени
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who aren't too anal
Recommended to Jimmy by: Jessica
This is undoubtedly Ishiguro’s masterpiece! I’ve read several of his other books, but I always come away from them with a mixture of enthusiasm and reserve. The thing is, Ishiguro is a control freak. His books always seem to me to be so well planned out that there is no sense of discovery for the reader. It is almost like you are being shown a set of corridors that unfold very sure-handedly. It’s artfully done, but that is the problem: as a reader, I feel like he hides certain things from me (pl ...more
Katie Lumsden
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a bizarre, dream-like, meandering and somewhat bewildering book – and I think I rather loved it.
Barry Pierce
Probably Ishiguro's more divisive book, I view this as his "Finnegans Wake". An experiment in plot. Yes, most of this novel makes absolutely no sense whatsoever but I actually enjoyed this. Oddly. While I was reading this lucid, dreamlike novel I felt compelled to continue. I don't know. I liked this but I can't exactly put my finger on the reason why. This novel is definitely not for everyone but I'm glad Ishiguro wrote it. It's interesting, let's say that. ...more
Oct 05, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hated this book almost as much as I hated myself for finishing it! If it hadn't been a library book I genuinely would have thrown it away. It infuriated me incessantly. I honestly expected to get the end and see the phrase 'and then he woke up and it was all a dream' but was even more irritated when this didn't even happen, such was the non-sensical dreamesque drivel that had occupied the previous 500 pages. The character's weak will and inability to do what he wants to do was beyond irritatin ...more
Why, you ask, did I give three stars (meaning "I liked it") to a book I DNF? Because I see what Ishiguro is doing here, and he does it masterfully. Reading The Unconsoled is like reliving some sort of dream, with all the unexplainable rifts in memory and sudden recollections, the impossible-in-real-life shortcuts, and the full knowledge of the context of a situation even though that situation is unfolding in-media-res. But I can only take so much of this. I quite like vagaries in my fiction (I'm ...more
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, 5-stars
Literary critic James Wood claimed The Unconsoled “invented its own category of badness”. On the other hand, Anita Brookner said it is “almost certainly a masterpiece”, a thought echoed by The Times review quoted on the front of the edition I read: “A masterpiece…It is above all a book devoted to the human heart.”

Masterpiece or disaster? You have to read it for yourself to decide, but I am on the masterpiece side of the argument.

One thing is sure: this is a novel unlike other novels. I’ve read a
anahtar kelime : Nobel değil. hayır sadece o değil.
Beni Asla Bırakma'yı seneler önce okudum, yeterince iyi anlamamıştım, aslında gereğinden önce okumuşum şimdi anlıyorum. Ishiguro'nun Nobel kazandığını duyduğumda hem sevindim hem de biraz burukluk yaşadım. Ödüller ve jüriler yazarları çoğunlukla hırpalayıp yoruyor bence. Elimde Günden Kalanlar olmasına rağmen fiziken yanımda değildi. Ben de karşıma çıkan ilk YKY kitabevinden aldım Avunamayanlar'ı karlı bir günde.

Bir otel lobisinde nefis bir başl
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
داستان پیانیستی که یکی از مشهورترین های زمان خودشه و برای اجرا به یه شهر کوچیک دعوت میشه، شهری که مردمش همه اون رو میشناسن و اکثرشون هم انتظارای عجیب و غریب ازش دارن. این پیانیست که اسمش رایدره تو این شهر انگار که یه داره زندگی خودش رو مرور میکنه. حوادثی که اونو به یاد خاطراتش میندازن و حتی بعضی از این آدمهای شهر رو میشناسه. جذابترین بخش داستان سبکش بود. با اینکه راوی اول شخصه ولی یه جاهایی مثل سوم شخص روایت میکنه. مثلا در مورد چیزی حرف میزنه که خودش اونجا حضور فیزیکی نداره. بدیش هم این بود که د ...more
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Sir Kazuo Ishiguro (カズオ・イシグロ or 石黒 一雄), OBE, FRSA, FRSL is a British novelist of Japanese origin and Nobel Laureate in Literature (2017). His family moved to England in 1960. Ishiguro obtained his Bachelor's degree from the 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.


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