The Unconsoled – Kazuo Ishiguro


Chosen by Rachel

Ryder, a famous pianist, arrives in a European city to perform a concert. However, he appears to have lost most of his memory and finds his new environment surreal and dreamlike.

“Ryder is an accomplished artist, renowned concert pianist and respected public figure. But he may have wasted his life. In this book the hero/anti-hero wades through the pages and locations within in a dream like fashion. People appear and disappear, locations morph into one another, storylines up and change on you. Every page is a catalogue of lost opportunities and time-wasting.

“Although there is little sense of coherent logic, this is a heavy plotted book with well-structured characters and suitable outcomes. This balance ensures symmetry, a consistent flow to the story telling and always an incentive to read on.”

Your wound, your silly little wound! That’s your real love, Leo, that wound, the one true love of your life! I know how it will be, even if we tried, even if we managed to build something all over again. The music too, that would be no different. Even if they’d accepted you tonight, even if you became celebrated in this town, you’d destroy it all, you’d destroy everything, pull it all down around you just as you did before. And all because of that wound. Me, the music, we’re neither of us anything more to you than mistresses
you seek consolation from.

“While some may say this book was baffling, I found the confusion consistent. It made Ryder a believable character and heightened my sense of intrigue. Once I accepted things were not simple, nor offered in a succinct manner, I enjoyed the roller coaster ride. I was happy with the conclusion too, it suited the chaos of the narrative. To have everything spelled out and explained on the final pages would have been a disappointment.” – Rachel

“I didn’t really enjoy this book – I know a lot of it probably went over my head. Also, I couldn’t relate to the main character so I think it lost me there and then.” – Nadine

Published 1995
Faber & Faber
535 pages

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