“Are you still there, Axl?”
“Still here, princess.”
Oh my gosh, that quote gets me right in the feels.
This is only the second Ishiguro novel I have ever read, the first being Never Let Me Go, and this couldn’t be more different. Its a beautifully woven tale of love and loss, that sucked me in from the very beginning. I feel slightly distraught now that its over and I felt the need to hold my loved ones just a little bit closer. This feels like a distinctly British novel, because of the setting and the Arthurian legend throughout, but Ishiguro’s distinct style turns it into something so special that I am struggling to explain it.
Kazuo Ishiguro, has spent the majority of his life in the UK, but was originally from Nagasaki in Japan. When talking about his identity, he said…
‘People are not two-thirds one thing and the remainder something else. Temperament, personality, or outlook don’t divide quite like that. The bits don’t separate clearly. You end up a funny homogeneous mixture. This is something that will become more common in the latter part of the century—people with mixed cultural backgrounds, and mixed racial backgrounds. That’s the way the world is going’ Swift, Graham (Fall 1989). “Kazuo Ishiguro”. BOMB. Retrieved 12 January 2012, via Wikipedia.
And he quotes Japanese writers as a significant influence on his own writing. When talking to friends and colleagues about Ishiguro, many confused him with Haruki Murakami, until I reminded them of Never Let Me Go. Both offer that mythical, magical and very human journey, sometimes without resolution, so I can see where the confusion comes from.
So that’s my first review-ish on this little adventure. I can’t promise a ‘proper, literary review’ I’m afraid because that is not my bag and I have forgotten everything from A Level English Lit. So yes, I loved this book. It’s haunting and has invaded my dreams for the last few days. Has anyone else read this? Please talk to me about it! What did you think of the ending?