The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber and Faber, 2015)
Set in a post-Arthurian Britain, The Buried Giant is the tale of an elderly couple, Axl and Beatrice, who set off on a journey to find their missing son. Their journey is complicated by the fact that many people, including the couple themselves, have fallen under the spell of a strange mist which seems to cause amnesia.
I was so excited to read this after so much praise and quite a few recommendations from friends and various groups I’m in.
I began to read it and…sad to say…I can’t finish it!
For me, it was just such hard going that I groaned inwardly every time I picked up the book. I knew that this was not a good sign and that I should just give up. I very rarely abandon a book without finishing it, but this was one of those occasions where I just couldn’t keep going. If a book is making you feel like reading is a chore then, in my opinion, you need to stop reading it.
That’s not to say The Buried Giant is a bad book. It has many brilliant reviews and was a Sunday Times Best Seller. It’s just that, it’s not for me. Kazuo Ishiguro is a fantastic writer. I absolutely loved Never Let Me Go. I just didn’t get along with this one.
I felt no connection with the characters. They talked to each other so strangely that I couldn’t really relax into the book. And the action moved slower than a snail. This isn’t always a problem but when the characters are stilted in their conversations too, it makes for a very slow read.
So, in conclusion, I can’t give The Buried Giant a star rating because I feel that would be unfair as I didn’t finish it.
I didn’t like it, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t give it a go, especially if you’ve loved some of Ishiguro’s previous work.
Great for people who like a slow melancholic reflection on love and death. Not so great for those who like a well-paced novel.