Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I have just finished reading a brilliant but disturbing book;  'A Pale View of Hills' by Kazuo Ishiguro. This came to my attention via s the Avid Reader newsletter from Abe Booksellers, under review of horror stories.  I loved 'The Remains of the Day' and have 'Never Let Me Go' to read after seeing the film, so thought that I would give this a go  So is it a horror story?  Well, I think there is an element of horror in the book, which centres on a woman who was in Nagasaki when it was bombed during World War II and whose elder daughter has just committed suicide, but this simmers below the surface.  You know that all of the characters have experienced losses that are only alluded to, but nothing is explained and the twist at the end leaves you wondering if the narrator is actually the mysterious, so called friend Sashiko, who is prominent in her memory of the time after the war when she was expecting her first child.  While 'The Remains of the Day' is a quiet, sad story and the film of 'Never Let Me Go' has the same undercurrent, there is no mystery about the identity of the characters, their history and the sacrifices they have made, which really differentiates them from this story.  A wonderful, if puzzling read.

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