The Unconsoled The Unconsoled discussion


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unreadability

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message 1: by Judy (new)

Judy How did anyone get through this book? I have given up after 90 pages. It is so boring and has really nothing to say. Ishiguro is normally so readable and interesting.


Cornelis Broekhof I totally agree. I love Ishiguro, but reading this one was really a struggle. I forced myself to read all of it, so I would be able to say: I finished it! I did like the surrealist setting of the city and the hotel though and the scene where the one-legged Brodsky conducts the orchestra using an ironing board as a crutch is one of the most hilarious scenes I have ever read.


Glenn Actually I found this to be one of my favorite reads - definitely in my top 100 list. It had the elements of a dream. - he would be sitting in his car yet hear what people are talking about in the house, etc. How about the walking through town following the woman getting frustratingly behind and unable to catch up.

I know it was completely different but I loved it.


William2 The novel is expressionistic in its approach. It is Ishiguro's least traditional novel. If you can latch on to its sense of playfulness you're in for a delightful ride. But try not to expect too much coherence. Linear narrative it is not. It is my second favorite Ishiguro novel, next only to When We Were Orphans, where some of the techniques explored in Unconsoled were perfected.


Alex What William says is totally true. If you go for the dreamlike experience, this book will be incredible. Otherwise, it will be a total nightmare.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree with Glenn. Its one of my favourite reads and I've read it six or seven times and keep coming back to it.


Lobstergirl I thoroughly enjoyed it. Even though it was basically one long nightmare, I found it soothing and hard to put down. I'll wait a few years and reread it (and I'm not big on rereading, at all).


Verena I too loved this book. It took me ten days to plow through it, but it was well worth it.


T.D. Whittle Glenn wrote: "Actually I found this to be one of my favorite reads - definitely in my top 100 list. It had the elements of a dream. - he would be sitting in his car yet hear what people are talking about in the ..."

Yes, me, too. I love this book and read it in one marathon reading session.


message 10: by K.J. (new) - rated it 5 stars

K.J. Bishop I enjoyed it as a dreamlike read, but also found it to be a real page-turner, due I think to the constant sense of anxiety. For me, there was something very 'real' about it that I can't easily pinpoint -- maybe a realism of emotion and thought process.


Aisling It left me in serious need of consolation - might not have been too bad if he'd edited out about two thirds of it, the amount of repetition just got so tedious. But I did finish it but that's just the kind of reader I am, if I start a book I always finish it ... silly but that's me. It wouldn't be a book I'd recommend to anyone.


Guillermo García-pimentel ruiz Glenn wrote: "Actually I found this to be one of my favorite reads - definitely in my top 100 list. It had the elements of a dream. - he would be sitting in his car yet hear what people are talking about in the ..."
I completely agree. One of my favorite books by Ishiguro. Completely delicious. I might say that this is a masterpiece about "phenomenology of dreaming" (I do not know if Ishiguro himself would agree).


message 13: by Jeff (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jeff I loved The Unconsoled. It's my favorite of Ishiguro's work. Dreamlike and twisting, with fascinating turns -- like a character meeting himself at a younger age -- that can only happen in a different state of mind. It's also arguably the deepest of his books for analysis.

Having said that, I can understand why someone wouldn't like it. It's essentially a 500-page character portrait. If you're more into plot than character, I would think this book would be torture.


Christian Kiefer I'm right with Jeff & Glenn on this. I've read all of Ishiguro and this is my favorite is his by a huge margin.


Lobstergirl It was such a poignant book - which you don't realize for several hundred pages really, it dawns on you slowly.

I can't wait to forget most of it so I can re-read it.


Patricia I'm 150 pages into this book and I'm going to put it down. I have a stack of other reading waiting for me and I'm finding this one just too frustrating. I respect what I've read in other reviews by people who loved it, so I will just shelve it for now, not get rid of it. As hard as it is to go back to a book that has defeated you, sometimes it is possible to rediscover a book at another point in your life, and really enjoy it. The polarization of the reviews and comments on this book is fascinating though. I love Ishiguro's other books, so I will give this one another try at a later date.


message 17: by Kaj (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kaj Peters Definitely my favorite novel. It's surreal yet so intimate and close to my own emotions. You do need to accept the somewhat slow pace in which time goes by into an unrealistic manner.


Jaksen I know we all have diff. tastes, etc., and I've read some very experimental fiction, some fiction that wanders as to POV or has an unreliable narrator. I even loved House of Leaves, and Alice in Wonderland is my fav. book, but I could not finish The Unconsoled. It's as though I could not find an anchor, a place to hook my interest, whether it be in a situation, a plot, a storyline, a character, a time frame. Nothing. So I applaud anyone who could finish this book. Bravo!


Lobstergirl Interesting.


Carson I've read Calvino's "If On a Winter's Night A Traveler" and enjoyed it, so am no stranger to the delights of non-linear narrative. However I had to force myself to finish this one and was quite irritated by it right to the end. It's just possible that being an Ishiguro fan made me have certain expectations of style which were disappointed, I'm not sure. I like my surrealism served with a large dollop of whimsy and this is lacking in whimsy-instead I found it rather turgid in style.


message 21: by Emma (new) - rated it 4 stars

Emma I found it frustrating as well. In fact, most of the time I absolutely hated it. But for some reason I couldn't put it down. I imagine I was waiting for it to all come together and make sense - it taught me something about expectations at the very least.


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