The Buried Giant

The Buried Giant

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
33
2
Rate this:
"The Romans have long since departed, and the Britian is steadily declining into ruin. But, at least, the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased. Axl and Beatrice, a couple of elderly Britons, decide that now is the time, finally, for them set off across this troubled land of mist and rain to find the son they have not seen for years, the son they can scarcely remember"--Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2015
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780571315048
0571315046
9780307271037
030727103X
Branch Call Number: F ISHIG-K
Characteristics: 317 pages ; 25 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

z
zbielke
May 15, 2017

So many have commented on the dialogue in this book being simplistic and repetitive. Do not let this scare you off, as the style of writing in these conversations absolutely serves the larger themes of the book and the relationships of the characters. If you are looking for dialogue which has the sole purpose of moving forward a "plot" then there are probably better choices out there for you. The dialogue here is just a small part of a much larger (and lovely) picture the author has created.

t
tgaddo
Feb 16, 2017

The writing is unique. It's worth reading for that. But I found myself skimming through pages of dialog and introspection to get back to the story.

AL_LESLEY Nov 10, 2016

Though beautiful and lyrical and full of meaningful symbolism and allusions this well crafted story filled with the subtlety expected from Ishiguro didn't capture me and many of the great things about this book just weren't great enough for me. I honestly think many things flew straight over my head and a dedicated reader would have gotten more from it.

s
sparisien
Oct 03, 2016

Though I found it frustrating to read at times, this book stayed in my mind and made me reflect. I rarely read a book which I want to discuss but the layers created in the story is fascinating. I agree with some of the readers that the writing style is challenging. Perhaps a metaphor for life?

r
rodraglin
Sep 10, 2016

Great theme, diminished by poor presentation

George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Kazuo Ishiguro explores that notion in his novel The Buried Giant, set medieval Britain.

Axl and Beatrice are an elderly couple who decide, quite inexplicably, to visit their son who lives in a village a short, but dangerous journey away - they think.

The problem is everyone, the entire population, is suffering from loss of memory. They can hardly remember what transpired even a few weeks ago. Axl and Beatrice don't remember why their son left, exactly where the village he lives in is, or if they'll be welcomed when they arrive?

On their way they take up with a wandering Saxon warrior, Wistan, and also come across Sir Gawain, an aging knight who served King Arthur.

Glimpses of the past intrigue and befuddle all the characters. Have their paths crossed before? Were they friend or foe? And what has caused this loss of memory?

The story is sprinkled with myth and legend and a good thing because this reader had to apply magic to make sense of Ishiguro's plot.

At some point Beatrice becomes convinced that the pervasive memory loss is caused by the breath of the legendary dragon, Querig, who lives high in the mountains. And wouldn't you know it, Wistan is on a mission to kill that very same dragon.

Beatrice now decides her goal is to help dispatch the dragon first. Just how an aged woman in failing health can help is never explained. Once everyone's memory is restored she and Axl will then proceed to visit their son. Sir Gawain also joins in the quest to kill the dragon or so the reader is led to believe.

Ironically, most of the partial memories that continue to be evoked are far from pleasant - turmoil in relationships and war and slaughter of innocent women and children. Axl's worries what the future will hold if memories are restored.

Though the theme of the story is compelling this reader had to wonder why Ishiguro chose such a odd narrative vehicle to present it. The significance of whether knowing history, personal or societal, helps us avoid the same mistakes or encourages us to double-down on them was lost because the story was set in the distant past, muddled in myth and supernatural creatures, and burdened by the archaic dialogue style the author created.

m
michgree
Jul 26, 2016

A bit slow going for me but glad I finished it. Very allegorical with many "dream truths" A book that I would read again to try and understand its many hidden meanings.

m
MathMage
Jul 05, 2016

A rich tapestry woven of rough fabric. Ishiguro crafts a fine story, but the style of prose and dialogue moves beyond somber into soporific. I appreciated this book; I could not bring myself to enjoy it.

s
starsabove
Jul 04, 2016

I'm awestruck by this book.

r
rebmartin31
Jun 01, 2016

This was a spectacular failure for Ishiguro in exploring other genres, of historical fiction and myth.

I was SO disappointed. I love Ishiguro's other works (predominately Never Let Me Go), and this was just so unrecognizable as a work of Ishiguro fiction.

My biggest issue with this book is that the dialogue was terrible. Very wooden and boring. I don't know if that's because of the time setting (people didn't speak very eloquently in 6th century England?), or what, but it was a pain to read.

And the "fog of forgetting" or whatever just made the two heroes, who are already older individuals, just seem like they were like King Lear wandering through the landscape with dementia. Quite pitiful, really.

A complete miss for me. I'll be waiting for the real Kazuo Ishiguro to return with his next book...whenever that is.

l
Laurelcorbiere
Apr 12, 2016

I loved this novel and I was a bit surprised that I loved it because it is so surreal. It evokes such strong emotions if you let yourself enjoy the fantasy and mystery of the journey as it unfolds. Its power lies in the emotions of love, loss, and loyalty. The message is complex but it seems this is also part of the mystery. I enjoyed this more than Never Let Me Go.

View All Comments

Quotes

Add a Quote

r
rebmartin31
Jun 02, 2016

"In one such area on the edge of a vast bog, in the shadow of some jagged hills, lived an elderly couple, Axl and Beatrice. Perhaps these were not their exact names, but for ease, this is how we will refer to them."

a
ApollosRaven
Jul 23, 2015

"Lovely: a fairy tale for grown-ups, both partaking in and departing from a rich literary tradition. - Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2015

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at TPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top