13. The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro (April 13)
I know, I know, this book got finished about a day after the one before it, but that’s what happens when you spend 10+ hours driving from the Grampians National Park (near Melbourne) up and east to the Blue Mountains (near Sydney). So we spent an entire day and all of the sunlight driving across a very small corner of Australia, listening to The Buried Giant. I finished reading the first part of 1Q84 in bed the night before, and we listened to the Hundred Year Old Man along an earlier long drive.
You might wonder how a couple so totally in love with each other could manage to be silent for 11 hours of storytime, and the answer to that question would be: as we’ve been together for quite some time now, we’re pretty good at being in each other’s company without always having to fill the air with words. We did actually stop the book many times in order to talk about something else, or have a conversation totally unrelated to the story. Adulthood.
This is only my second Ishiguro story, and I definitely feel the need to read more after this one. After two of his books, I can say that regardless of the genre he’s trying on, he can rip your heart out whenever he wants to. What a great story. What a sad story. What a well-written story.
I love the entire idea of a country (or part of a country) being overcome by a bout of amnesia, and all of the things that could mean. I love that he explored the question of whether we’d WANT to remember. If ignorance is bliss, this book explores the idea fully.
It was a nice change after the Hundred Year Old Man, and not at all full of itself.
At the end of the story, Mark and I stopped the recording and (I’m pretty sure both of us) fought back tears. That doesn’t happen for me very often.
Definitely, definitely read this one.