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Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  15,402 ratings  ·  1,687 reviews
One of the most celebrated writers of our time gives us his first cycle of short fiction: five brilliantly etched, interconnected stories in which music is a vivid and essential character.

A once-popular singer, desperate to make a comeback, turning from the one certainty in his life . . . A man whose unerring taste in music is the only thing his closest friends value in h
Hardcover, 221 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Knopf Canada
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Todd Great question. While I enjoyed them all, I liked Crooner best. It gave me pause, because it took a direction I didn't expect.

Community Reviews

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3.44  · 
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 ·  15,402 ratings  ·  1,687 reviews

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Amalia Gavea
‘’So a moment like that comes as an unwelcome reminder of how quickly things change. How the bosom pals of today become lost strangers tomorrow, scattered across Europe, playing the Godfather theme or ‘Autumn Leaves’ in squares and cafes you’ll never visit.’’

I believe that most of us have a writer that acts as a comfort. A writer whose work we choose to revisit once we feel that nothing is as it should be. This is a period which has taken a significant toll on me on a number of levels. Kazuo Is
Ive read the book “Beim Anbruch der Nacht” written by Kazuo Ishiguro. This book is based on 5 short stories, which are all about music and musicians. In comparison to his novels you can see a completely different side of the author, but I have to say that his other literature and Romans are on higher level.
In this other side, I did not get closer to Ishiguro. His characters seem artificial, even linguistically I found these stories not strong enough.
I had read much better of him before.
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
The music of the past will always remain in the past. In the future new notes can and will be played. Ishiguro explores the themes of love and loss. In letting go of the past, one can move forward and embrace new things. Getting stuck is detrimental, and sometimes love is forsaken (foolishly?) for the sake of such things.

So this collection of stories is deep and, at times, deeply moving. The first few had a haunting like effect. They played on my minds for days, as I imagined what I would do in
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
I have a problem with Kazuo Ishiguro. And my problem with Nocturnes is the same one I had with his last novel, Never Let Me Go: I can't figure out why I didn't like it more.
Despite his deceivingly simple prose I am very aware of his tremendous skill. I find many of his themes fascinating. I am sufficiently interested in his characters to keep on reading. I admire his resistance against easy resolutions or explicative characterizations. I marvel at his ability to create moments that are truly fu
Jr Bacdayan
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Life's disappointments have never been chronicled in a more elegant manner. The stories feel like dreams. You close your eyes and take the journey, but just when you're about to see the summit, suddenly you're jolted awake to reality filled with a sense of disillusionment and regret. Simple, devastating, lingering, it's a pity that some stories pale in comparison to others.
K.D. Absolutely
A nocturne is a “composition of a dreamy character, expressive of sentiment appropriate to evening or night”. Traditionally such nocturnal sentiments include regret, chagrin, melancholy, perhaps a dash of ennui – the pastel twilight tones at the lighter end of the spectrum that darken to gloom, rage and black despair.
Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall is the first collection of short stories by the Japanese-English novelist, Kazuo Ishiguro. As the subtitle indicates, it is composed
I’ve always associated the word Nocturne with sadness, sublime sadness, deeply felt sadness, but sadness, none the less.
I think that Kazuo Ishiguro may share this feeling, even though, given that the term Nocturne when it started out simply meant a piece of music in several movements played by an ensemble at an evening party and that several of these stories revolve around ensembles playing music in the evenings, he may intend a simpler meaning. But I don’t think so. A character in one of the st
Jason Koivu
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, short-story
Wow! That first short story was fantastic! Too bad the rest of this story-cycle collection of five didn't maintain that same high standard in my first foray in reading Kazuo Ishiguro's work.

In case you're interested, here is Wikipedia's synopsis of each story:

"Crooner" - Set in Venice, a fading American singer co-opts a Polish cafe musician into accompanying him while he serenades his wife (whose relationship is disintegrating) from a gondola.

"Come Rain or Come Shine" - In London, an expatriate
Daniel Clausen
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-of-2017
I think if you look at my ratings on Goodreads you'll see that I'm much more sympathetic to short story collections. A good short story collection often shows an author's commitment to craft. You can see how much care the author takes with every word, you can get a sense of his or her range when dealing with subject matter and characters. You can get a sense of how their style carries from one kind of story to another.

There is another reason -- there is very little money in short stories, even f
Ahmad Sharabiani
Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall, Kazuo Ishiguro
Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall is a 2009 collection of short fiction by Kazuo Ishiguro. After six novels, it is Ishiguro first collection of short stories, though described by the publisher as a "story cycle". As the subtitle suggests, each of the five stories focuses on music and musicians, and the close of day. The hardback was published by Faber and Faber in the United Kingdom on 7 May 2009 and in the United States
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Τόσο όμορφα και λυρικά διηγήματα που διαβάζονται μονορούφι - άσχετο αν εμένα λόγω εργασίας με πήρε κοντά 20 ημέρες.
Ιστορίες μουσικής και νύχτας, ο, τι πιο όμορφο για να διαβάσεις με κατάλληλη ατμόσφαιρα!
Ιστορίες νοσταλγίας, με επίκεντρο τον άνθρωπο που προσπαθεί να μείνει αναλλοίωτος μέσα από τη μουσική του, να βρει αυτό το μοναδικό κίνητρο της ζωής, να βρει τον εαυτό του.
Πρώτη επαφή με τον Ισιγκουρο και σίγουρα θα υπάρξουν κι άλλες συναντήσεις!
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This was the first I read by Kazuo Ishiguro and I remember thinking "how did this guy win a Booker?" but then I read The Remains of the Day immediately thereafter, which I loved. But I found this collection of short stories very weak -- there's a couple of good scenes and clever ideas but by and large it's readable but really quite ordinary.

My main gripe would be that all the stories are too similar. As well as the motifs of music and nightfall flagged by the title, there's several common theme
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inglesi, racconti, owned
…and I slip just like the stars into obscurity

Cinque racconti che parlano di amori patetici o al capolinea, di amicizie fugaci o durature, di musica o di passione per la musica, del crepuscolo quando si trasforma in notte. Un po’ grotteschi, un po’ malinconici, un po’ ironici (con punte di comicità vera e propria). Racconti dal finale aperto (quattro su cinque), che Ishiguro lascia all’immaginazione del lettore.
Non sarà un libro imprescindibile, ma la delicatezza e la sensibilità (la grazia) del
Sam Quixote
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
A crooner and his wife take a sad holiday together; an old friend is drafted in to help out a failing marriage – with hilarious results; a budding songwriter meets an elderly married pair of Swiss musicians on holiday in the English countryside; an unsuccessful musician resorts to plastic surgery in a desperate bid for fame; a young cellist meets an older woman who claims to be a virtuoso cellist herself – except she can’t play the instrument! These are the five stories that make up Kazuo Ishigu ...more
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
An exquisite collection of five short stories that deals with complex issues such as the passage of time, lost dreams, second chances and unpredictable encounters. Always with the presence of music, night and potential romance.

Like a good symphony, every story is like a movement, which seems independent but which is in fact part of a greater whole.
Apparently simple melodies that actually hide sad, haunting stories of lonely and dissatisfied people and the opportunities life gives them to redeem
Murat S. Dural
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2017 Nobel Edebiyat Ödülü sahibi Kazuo Ishiguro'nun Yapı Kredi Yayınları'ndan çıkan, Zeynep Erkut'un çevirdiği, yazarın en önemli kitaplarından "Noktürnler; Müziğe ve Günbatımına Dair Öyküler" adından da anlaşılacağı üzere gerçek zamanlı, sokak müzisyenlerine, onların dünyasına dair samimi beş öykü barındırıyor. Kitaba ismini veren "Noktürnler" ve "Aşk Şarkıcısı" öykülerini özellikle beğendim. Uslubu ve kelime, cümle seçimleri son derece aylın. bu bir anlamda anlatıyı gerçekten hikayeyi anlatan ...more
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm not a big fan of short stories, but read these because after the emotion and length of Perdido Street Station, I wanted a total change, and I'd been meaning to try another Ishiguro (I enjoyed Remains of the Day in my twenties, but more recently, gave Never Let me Go only 2*)

They were certainly a contrast, and they were perfectly competent, and had a connecting theme (music), but... That is all. I won't be rushing to read any more Ishiguro.

2.5* rounded down to 2*, because Ishiguro is supposed
Barry Pierce
I quite enjoyed this small selection of stories. I'd read a lot of bad reviews for this collection but I really can't fault it that much. Of course this isn't Carver or Shirley Jackson but I think all of these stories are perfectly good. If you enjoy slow, atmospheric stories in which nothing much happens then you'll like this collection.
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
Let’s start with the obvious, I love this guy’s writing. I mean, he could write a book about the problems associated with the Estonian public transport system as a legacy of Soviet era planning and I think it is just possible I would still be utterly enthralled. I’m saying this because it is pretty important you understand that this isn’t really going to be an ‘objective’ review – whatever that might mean.

This one was nothing like any of the other books of his I have read. That might seem fairly
A beautiful collection of short stories that have whetted my appetite for reading more of Kazuo Ishiguro's writing in 2018. I found the writing to be quietly melancholic, disarmingly beautiful and perfectly bittersweet. I loved how in many of the stories the concepts of what both falling in love and staying in love truly meant were explored. My favourite story was "Crooner" but I very much enjoyed them all and was moved by each in different ways.

As music is so integral to these stories, instead
Edward Lorn
I'm drunk. Not going to try and pretend like I'm not. If you'd like to be drunk, too, I suggest buying a six pack of NOT YOUR FATHER'S ROOT BEER. Cheers.

Chicago commercial photographers

On to the review.

I was impressed two times out of five with this collection. The first and third stories are damn good. Good enough that I want to try one of this guy's novels. The first story, "Crooner", was, by far, my favorite. Ishiguro put me in Venice, and I enjoyed my trip. The third story, "Malvern Hills", was another exceptional piece.
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, music
It is unseasonably warm for a February Saturday in Pittsburgh. I am on the fifth and final story in Ishiguro's Nocturnes, trying to understand what it all means. Some music would be appropriate to go with this book, subtitled Five Stories of Music and Nightfall.

"This is what we will hear tonight," I say, as the first barely audible notes of Sebelius' Violin Concerto fill the room like a Scandinavian wind.

"I got some blood oranges for a salad. Would you like one?"

"No, thank you," picking up the b
Sep 05, 2010 rated it did not like it
Wow, I’ve never read so many stories in which nothing happened. And that all involved musicians/people who loved music who were spectacularly unsuccessful and apparently often quite unlikeable (at least, they didn’t have many friends). Here is the plot of the stories:

Crooner: Some guy meets a famous singer from back in the day, helps him serenade his wife and finds out they’re going to divorce so the singer can make a come-back.

Come Rain or Shine: Guy in a dead-end job who apparently is whiny a
Paul Secor
A short time ago, I made a decision to read several books with music as part of their themes. I decided to start by reading Nocturnes, and have since regretted that choice. I found nothing in the music recounted in any of the stories that I could relate to in the least, I found the characters uninteresting, and the writing seemed simplistic (and not in any positive sense of that word). Two of the stories, "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "Nocturne" could easily have served as the plotlines for chee ...more
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
moja prva ishigurova.. i možda je dobro da sam počela s ovom - relativno je jednostavna i nezahtjevna što se tiče radnje, likovi nisu prekompleksni i čita se s lakoćom. na temelju ove knjige teško je pretpostaviti da je ishiguro nobelovac (doduše, nagradu će dobiti 2017., osam godina nakon pisanja nokturna), ali svakako mu se treba priznati literarna vještina i tečnost. još nekoliko njegovih mi je na popisu za pročitati i, da.. veselim im se.
Biron Paşa
Noktürnler, Ishiguro'nun tek öykü kitabı. Ama umarım zamanla yeni öykülerini de okuruz, ben kitabı çok beğendim.

Ishiguro esasen bir romancı ve romancılığında giderek daha muğlak sınırlarda dolaşıyor. Hatta ona bir bilinçaltı gezgini desem, sanırım yanlış bir tanımlama yapmış olmam. Bu sebeple hikâyelerini de bu tarzda bekliyordum, ama daha basit, Ishiguro'nun biraz daha klasik tarzda kalem oynattığı hikâyeler bulunca şaşırdım.

Ishiguro eskiden müzisyen olmak istiyormuş. Orhan Pamuk'un resme, re
Aug 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
خیلی بد.کسل کننده...اصلا خوشم نیومد
از بین 5 داستان کوتاه، شبانه دیگه اوجش بود.. خیلی غیر واقعی بود....
بسیار بسیار ضعیف!!
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Congratulations on winning the Nobel prize, Mr. Ishiguro 💙
Never let us go!
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Страхотен Ишигуро!
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
کلمه <<شبانهها>> همیشه بار معنایی خاصی برام داشته. شبهایی که حس رازآلودی دارند و خبر از اتفاقات بزرگی میدن در عین ساکت بودنشون.
این مجموعه داستان نهچندان کوتاه، به شکل خوبی، اون احساسات شبانه آدم رو تحریک میکنه. شبی در ونیز،
شبی در هتل، شبی در یک کافه قدیمی.
شب و موسیقی در همه داستانهای این مجموعه تاثیر زیادی گذاشتن. موسیقی وجه اشتراک تمام داستانهای این مجموعه است.
موسیقیِ شب. نوازندگان. خوانندهها.
خوندنش لذتبخش بود.

بعد از تموم شدن هر داستان ممکنه از خودت بپرسی اتفاق زیادی که نیفتاد پس ن
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
How can a person write in such a relaxed way and yet generate such tension in his stories? I don't mean tension because of action and intrigue, but tension because of emotions and relationships. This is a collection of five short stories and they are told with masterful ease and yet they subliminally build tension, especially Come Rain and Come Shine: I had to read some of this quite quickly because I couldn't bear the tension between the characters. I guess Ishiguro is sort of the master of und ...more
موسیقی و شب، دو جزء انکار نشدنی زندگی من هستن، اما نقطهی اشتراکشون با این داستانها هم باعث نشد کمی جذب بشم. خوندم و رد شدم بی هیچ گیر کردن و یادداشت کردن جملهای. ...more
Tsvetelina Mareva
Като цяло разочароващ и неубедителен за мен сборник. От петте новели ми харесаха втората и последната, но явно разказът не е силен жанр за Ишигуро според моя вкус. Езикът е хубав, преводът - също, но самите истории и герои за мен бяха неавтентични и неубедително изградени.
ستایش  دشتی
نمیتوانم داستانهایش را دوست داشته باشم. یعنی حتّی داستانی مانند شبانه که خیلی خوب شروع شد و جذبم کرد هم در پایانبندی مرا ناامید برگرداند. به طورِ کلی پایانبندیهایش را اصلاً، اصلاً، اصلاً دوست نداشتم. مترجم در ابتدایِ کتاب گفته است داستانهای ایشیگورو داستانهایی هستند که برایِ فهمیده شدن به زمان و خوانش چندباره نیاز دارند. کمااینکه من به نظرم داستان کوتاه نباید این خصیصه را داشته باشد، داستانها اصلاً برایِ من جذابیتی نداشتند که بخواهم دوباره بخوانمشان. روابط انسانی درگیرکننده است اما فرم و نوشتارِ ...more
This is an interesting collection of stories all narrated by the same young male musician. Each of the stories is set in a different location and features rather quirky people in awkward short-term relationships. The stories very effectively portray the kind of insecure and stumbling interchanges which sometimes occur between people who don't know each other very well. This style of writing is new for me, and I found it sad, amusing, and realistic. The endings of the stories are mini-cliff-hange ...more
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Five relatively short stories, with music as binding theme, or at least at first glance. Because if you process them all, then it appears Ishiguro rather focussed on how people get stuck in the past and by an impression they once had of someone, years later they still draw totally wrong conclusions. In each of the stories it’s the story telling narrator that notices this and has to cope with it, powerless. Not all stories are successful; for me especially the first story, The Crooner, excelled: ...more
Jun 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Ishiguro is liquid. Can I say it like that? There is not a single thing in these stories where his writing isn't compatible with how a great beginning or the end of a story should look like. Or how a story should interestingly develop and how characters should be engaging and how... These nocturnes are almost perfect, and yet, they are somehow not.

As if they need that jump from the springboard to make a perfect somersault and maybe end it with some surprisingly unexpected flip or something. I a
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
پنج داستان با وجه مشترک موسیقی، شب و تنش های زندگی یک زوج. بعضی از داستان ها ته مایه طنزی داشتن که درست وسط سیر جدی و تاثیرگذار قصه اتفاق میافتاد. روایت ها پر کشش و جذاب بود. ایشی گورو تلاش میکرد راههای رسیدن به موفقیت رو در بطن داستان ها امتحان و بررسی کنه و خواننده رو به عنوان تصمیم گیرنده تنها بذاره. داستانهای شبانه، خواننده و تپه های مالورن رو از بقیه بیشتر دوست داشتم. و باز هم از ایشی گورو خواهم خواند که قطعاً به یکی نویسندههای مورد علاقه ام از ادبیات لاتین تبدیل شده. ...more
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, short-story, free
This was a wonderful short story. It brought back story in an interesting way that didn't take away from the rest of the story and I appreciate that. Wonderfully written and I greatly enjoyed it.
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
تو قصه ترانه هاي شبانه هست كه ليندي ميگه : زندگي كوتاه تر از اونه كه يه نفر رو دوست داشته باشي
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
پنج داستان خیلی خیلی خوب ....
Domenico Fina
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Io il Nobel lo darei ad Antunes o Vila-Matas o Reza o Strout o Marìas o Magris o Kundera (che però ha 88 anni e non credo i suoi pensieri siano rivolti precipuamente al Premio). L'accademia ha deciso Ishiguro.

Questo è il mio unico commento ad Ishiguro ai tempi di Anobii. Lessi solo questo perché gli altri suoi libri, per un motivo o per un altro (forse eccesso di paranormale nei suoi testi), non mi attiravano.

I protagonisti sono coppie che attraversano un periodo di crisi; la musica è presente
Melika Khoshnezhad
داستان هایی روان و شیرین و کوتاه درباره ی جادوی موسیقی بر زندگی آدم های معمولی و موسیقیدان هایی که اندکی با آنچه تصور می کنیم متفاوتند. خواندنش لذتبخش بود. (:
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Dạ khúc, năm câu chuyện về âm nhạc và đêm buông” có bìa không nổi bật, nằm lẫn lộn trong những sạp sách lớn với vô số người chen chúc trong buổi Nhã Nam xả hàng kho sách. Tôi đã kiễng chân, vất vả lắm mới lấy được cuốn sách ra.

Tuy nhiên, dòng chữ ngay trang bìa dưới đây, đã quyết định cuốn sách phải thuộc về tôi, cho dù tôi chưa hề nghe nói về “Dạ khúc…” trước đó: “Một cuốn sách vô cùng thông minh về thời gian đang trôi qua cùng những khoảnh khắc thăng hoa khiến hành trình ấy trở nên đáng giá.”
Sep 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
I love Ishiguro so be prepared for some gushing. This book was a departure for Ish. The day I got the book I sat down and told myself I'd read the first story. It was short and entertaining so I began the second story. I read a few pages and found myself chuckling and thinking I must be misunderstanding. Ishiguro is usually so lush and evocative. He makes me think and feel new things or at least feel them and think them with a new depth and understanding. After a few more pages I was falling off ...more
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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 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.

His first novel, A Pale
“She might be a great person, but life's so much bigger than just loving someone.” 41 likes
“If I'm alone at home, I get increasingly restless, bothered by the idea that I'm missing some crucial encounter out there somewhere. But if I'm left by myself in someone else's place, I often find myself a nice sense of peace engulfing me. I love sinking into an unfamiliar sofa with whatever book happens to be lying nearby.” 14 likes
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