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This book was dreamy and magical, with a light, deliberate pace. I don't think I understood all of the story's elements and themes, but I enjoyed it very much. It's really a love story.
A masterful performance of a skillfully crafted story, rich in purpose and imagery. There is a compelling beauty in this universal theme of remembering and forgetting, of a personal quest and the soul's essential journey.
A strange beautiful book, that hides within a medieval fantasy, themes that reverberate with today's dilemmas of forgotten wars, deceiving clergy, and the very nature of heroism and love surviving the truth. At no point is this book blunt or gory, nor is it sweetly romantic or full of magical spells just a dream within a dream, that envelops even the reader, and creates images that are hard to dispel.
King Arthur is dead, some of his Knights are alive but are now old men, Britons and Saxons live in relative peace, a mist of forgetfulness cover the county where ogres and dragons still exist, this mist envelops the very story with all kinds of insinuations and perils, the main characters a couple that travel looking for their lost memories and a son that they claim awaits them, she is an old woman, named Beatrice a name laden with meaning and possibility in literature, for she is the guide in Paradiso and Purgatory In the Divine Comedy, her name means beatific vision, that means seeing God finally face to face and not imperfectly through faith. With her travels her husband and older man Axl his name is more distant in meaning, but for a small give-away he refers to Beatrice as princes, Axël is a drama by Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam about a Byronic hero with a Germanic princes, they speak of the amazing journeys never completed unlike in this story.
By now you begin to see that this book is reach and allegorical, full of hidden and and palpable minings. That develop in a dream like state, you meet a hero and within a few pages he reveals a side to himself that is tainted and dark; even the forgetfulness is a double sided blade; and the narrative voice hides mystery and meaning.
It will probably take me a long time to digest this book properly, and I will more than likely change my mind about some of these conclusions, but that is half the fun.
The reader of the story in perfect and maintains a cadence that to my ears is complementary to the story.
41 of 50 people found this review helpful
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
I'm still mulling over what I feel having finished The Buried Giant. While I was listening to it, I quite enjoyed certain parts, particular themes, it had some momentum, but I felt disappointed and frustrated by the story in the end. It promised but, for me anyway, failed to deliver on those promises. Maybe it's a book to be read in print, so one can conjure up one's own cast of characters.Ishiguro featured dragons and ogres but he failed to use them in an interesting way, almost as if he were ashamed of including them in the story in the first place. I'm not suggesting he took Tolkein's approach at all, but to ignore them as he did felt clumsy. Presumably if one lives in a land where ogres, pixies and dragons roam freely then I would imagine that one lives in a constant state of fear and people may have developed strategies to deal with said dangers. I didn't get this sense at all, the couple just meandered along, speaking in their strange stilted way to one another.I think my expectations were way too high.
What will your next listen be?
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
What three words best describe David Horovitch’s voice?
Versatile, downbeat, droning
Could you see The Buried Giant being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?
I can't imagine this book, as it stands, being a good movie. But maybe if it had a director with a good imagination a new genre of meta-fantasy film making might emerge.
Any additional comments?
If you're expecting literary fantasy then this book isn't for you. It has a lot of fans, I don't want to do it down, I guess it just wasn't my thing. I read the last 50 pages to see if I might enjoy it more than listening, but by that stage I just wanted to finish it and move on.
24 of 29 people found this review helpful
I found this tedious, repetitive and obscure. A case of the emperor's new clothes - no-one else could get this book published. What a pity.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
This book is just wonderful. One needs to pretend you are being read a fairytale and let it seep into your soul. Let go of any expectations and allowed the words wash over you. Brilliant narration.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful