Matthew Snyder's Reviews > A Pale View of Hills

A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
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's review
Mar 26, 2008

it was ok

This book did nothing for me. There was no pathos, no intense reaction like I had to Never Let Me Go, and frankly I'm not even entirely sure I figured out what was going on in the book. I guess currently I'm leaning towards the idea that the whole memories-of-the-weird-girl-and-her-psycho-mom part of the book was actually a sort of repressed memory-of-self bubbling to the surface, an invented character made up of the protagonist's own actions she's now denied. Which is a nice device, but I'm not sure it really adds anything to the book. It reads like an early novel, which I suppose it is. Ishiguro invested some emotional energy in the story and just sort of assumed that the reader would as well. I didn't.
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Jesseehenthorn Yeah, I'm not so sure I understand either. It seems on the purest level that Etsuku kidnapped Mariko and moved her to the new world. Although, the scenes with her holding rope, and the explanation of the children being murdered were odd. Did Etsuku commit these murders? That doesn't seem reasonable to the story, and I'm not even sure repression makes sense.

I guess you're right, it has to be the fact that Etsuku and Sachiko were the same person. When Sachiko disappeared it must have been Etsuku murdering the children. Mariko hated the father - their terse relationship is explained previous to her suicide. Etsuku must have been having an affair with the American, Frank. I still don't understand Ogata-san's relationship to the story. The narrator never comes off this cold either. I just don't know.

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