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Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  18,435 ratings  ·  1,975 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 September 22nd 2009 by Knopf Publishing Group (first published May 5th 2009)
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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.
Great question. While I enjoyed them all, I liked Crooner best. It gave me pause, because it took a direction I didn't expect.

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Amalia Gkavea
‘’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
I´ve 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.
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sean Barrs
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
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
خمس قصص تجمع الموسيقى بين أحداثها وشخصياتها
الموهبة والأحلام والخسارة والبحث عن الفرص الممكنة
الحب والحزن ومرور الزمن والعلاقات المنتهية
سرد يدخل عالم الموسيقى ويصل لنهايات مفتوحة

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
Jr Bacdayan
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
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
Jason Koivu
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 la definirei una lettura imprescindibile, ma la delicatezza e la sensibili
Greta G

Based on the title, you'd expect something like this :

Actually though, it's more like this :
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
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!
Sam Quixote
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
Cláudia Azevedo
Ishiguro é tão, mas tão melhor do que mostra neste livro de contos! Em todos eles achei que era preciso mais tempo - um romance inteiro - para entender as personagens, sempre demasiado simples e planas. Pareceram-me histórias incompletas, momentos circunstanciais de verdadeiras histórias.
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.
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
Maziar MHK
ایشی گورو، برنده نوبل 2017، ژاپنی الاصلی بزرگ شده یِ انگلستان، مهاجرزاده و علاقمند موسیقیه. نگاهِ داستان ساز و روایت پرداز به محیطِ پیرامونش داره، با این شرح که، از صبحِ طالع تا شامِ آخر دنبالِ سوژه های نابه

کتابی که تمومش کردم، داستانِ اهالیِ جغرافیایِ موسیقییه، گشت و گذاراشون، کاراشون تو میادین و خیابونا، غریبانه نواختنِشون میونِ غریبه ها، آرزوهای باطل و گاها اما، لباسِ واقعیت پوشیدَشون، رازهایِ مگوشون که با زبونِ نُتا بیان میشن، بِزنگاه هایی برای خودابرازی از کانال موسیقی. روایتِ رفتن، ترک شد
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 redee
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
Ardavan Bayat
تنها شنیدن داستان کوتاه نوازندگان ویلینسل (از پادکست در قرنطینه)
Edward Lorn
May 20, 2015 rated it liked it
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 piec
Emer (A Little Haze)
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
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Aslıhan Çelik Tufan
İshiguro dan öyküler okumak oldukça keyifli, öyküleri okurken sanki bir arkadaştan başka bir arkadaş ya da ahbabın hallerini dinliyor hissi gittikçe artıyor.
Kitapla ilgili tek uyarım, baya müzik ve şarkı bilgisi istiyor, bilmediğiniz hiç duymadığınız bişe hakkında okumak biraz zor.
En çok Aşk şarkıcısı öyküsünü sevdiğimi de belirtmeden edemeyeceğim.
Keyifli okumalar!
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Apr 29, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
Like any collection of short fiction, some stories are better than others. My favorites were the first "Crooner" and fourth "Nocture" which are slightly connected.
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May 07, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
each time I got to the end it was like i wanted more to happen - but i see that these stories are told in an instant by the narator. yes, i was mistaken most of the times considering that the story was about one character, the obvious one, but insteaad it was all about the other.
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May 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Subtle, an oddly British bunch of stories for one born in Japan - gentle, thoughtful, observant on human nature...and not always about nice people!
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May 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, let me say that I'm a bit of an Ishiguro fan. I've read all but one of his novels, and love his understated writing style and knack of dealing with big themes while appearing to do no more than tell a story. So I was excited when I heard he had a new book out, and anticipated it more than any other for quite a while.

So if my review contains a note of disappointment, it could be because my expectations were so high to begin with. After all, I did enjoy these stories. They were as we
May 19, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Five short stories..all linked by music and fraught relationships
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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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