Boxall's 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die discussion

A Pale View of Hills
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Specific List Books > A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro

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message 1: by Kim (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:01PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kim (kimbobo) After reading "Never let me Go" I was very disappointed. I felt like there was something missing from the story??

message 2: by Meghan (last edited Mar 12, 2008 07:33PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Meghan That was the same feeling I got when I read this book, after reading Remains of the Day. I'm going to have to say this was not his best one, which makes it interesting then that it made the list.

For me, I don't think it captured the essence of loss that is often conveyed in asian stories. I can't think of a Japanese title right now, but Raise the Red Lantern is a good example of what I mean.

message 3: by P. (new) - rated it 3 stars

P. (shimizusan) | 96 comments Interesting. I've just started this book and I'm enjoying it so far. I do admit, the main character seems very cold when it comes to the death of her daughter. But I do like the two parallel storylines. They complement each other very well so far.

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments I agree that "A Pale View of Hills" lacked the passion of "Never Let Me Go". I was a little disappointed in Ishiguro, who is one of my favorite authors. I did enjoy the novel (A Pale View...) and thought it creative and a very interesting character study.

Melissa Namba | 4 comments I actually preferred "A View of Hills" to "Never Let Me Go" because of the restraint in it. I love the fact that it is written in first person, which means that you have to determine for yourself how much you trust the narrator. Since the Japanese culture is one that emphasizes group identity over individual identity (see Hofstede's Seven Dimensions) the narrator can't actually go and point a finger at an individual, because it would reflect on the group (groups not necessarily being set in stone, but somewhat fluid). If you have ever spoken to a Japanese citizen about a serious event (i.e. the recent tsunami/earthquake) you know that individual loss is not something that is focused on.

Like others, I did expect something big to happen at the end and when it didn't happen, it gave me pause. After I had a chance to mull it over, I felt like I actually liked it better that way because the narrator is clearly struggling for closure that isn't there and that is clearly communicated/paralleled with the lack of closure that the reader feels.

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