Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Unconsoled - Strange but very powerful

Kazuo Ishiguro's Unconsoled is probably the strangest book I have ever read. It was a remarkable experience. The impact of reading this book was similar to having a very vivid dream. I wake up and the dream is ridiculous and absurd. However, the emotional experience of the dream is profound and lingers.

This reading of a short story by Ishiguro can give a reasonable idea of the strangeness of the novel:

The impact of the book may have been greater as the environment in which I read it was abnormal. One of the threads of the book is the expectation of parents and children from each other. Here I was in a hospital room near my mother, who had had a severe stroke and was in a semi-conscious state. And I was frequently interrupting my reading, waiting and looking for little signs of recovery.

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