A hauntingly strange book, yet quietly attractive.
More than once, I felt that the narrative seems to be detailing a bad dream which the protagonist cannot wake up from. There is his uncanny ability to subtly read the minds of the people around him, and the multiple scenes in which he steps through familiar doorways only to find himself in unfamiliar spaces, and vice versa. Overall, the journey was disturbing and comforting at the same time, if such a combination is ever possible. Best experienced when surrounded by quiet and tranquility, with the slight rustling of trees, or the undertones of distant, unintrusive chatter.
Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel is centered around his seemingly favourite theme – Japan and her role in the War.
As I read on, however, I found that the plot had some sinister undertones, and it was not until I read this review when these undertones were affirmed: http://thefrenchexit.blogspot.sg/2011/06/what-hell-is-up-with-pale-view-of-hills.html
Masterful plot and imagery, as usual, from one of the writers I am feeling increasingly close with.
5 short stories, delicately interwoven into a fine fabric of jazz-like smoothness (I have a feeling Mr Ishiguro is into jazz too, like Mr Murakami!).
Short stories usually make me feel incomplete, either because the author has chosen to leave the plot unfinished, hanging, in suspense, or because the story is simply, too short. Hence I’ve always gone for full-length novels when given a choice. Unless the author is someone I adore (like Mr Murakami, and now, Mr Ishiguro).
I got this book only because the theme was Musical (I believe I’ve also mentioned that I tend to judge books by their covers and titles).
The stories, although separate, have very strong and similar undertones, which provided an undercurrent and the momentum to carry the reader through. It actually made me want to continue to the next short story, to find out where this undercurrent would take me next. Needless to say, the theme of music resonated rather strongly with my innermost being as well.
In conclusion, Mr Ishiguro has composed a seemingly fragmented, yet subtly interlinked, piece of music, with words.