Sunday, July 17, 2016
When I first read it, I had already seen the movie with Anthony Hopkins, and Emma Thompson (two of my most favourite actors!), and I already loved it. This is unfortunate, because the movie predisposed me to see things that aren't too apparent with the book (unless you already know what to look for).
Remains is a departure from the first two books, a story that is heavily steeped in a British culture that is almost extinct now (or the book would have you believe so), it was extremely interesting to read about the life of a servant in a large country estate, and about the measures he took to be an excellent butler. I am in awe of how Ishiguro has taken me from Japan in the first two books to England in the third and has immersed me in the distinct cultural experience of each country. I am very excited to see where he will take me next!
Thursday, July 14, 2016
I have been slowly rationing out the reading of them over a few months, but I plan on reading the lot this year, and I am alright with that, because these are books that I will come back to again and again.
A Pale View of Hills is Ishiguro's first novel, and the first of two books known as his Japanese novels. I should admit that a few years ago I had read An Artist of the Floating World, and that when I had finished I was embarrassed because I didn't know much about that time (post World War II). So I have made a point of getting informed about Japan. I have studied customs, food, history and geography. I really wanted to understand these novels, get the cultural references etc. It is still not an easy job to do, and Ishiguro is the first to say that he did not write in the Japanese style (what ever that is), but just about characters in Japan. I want to understand and to know more about the Japanese art of storytelling, but I have barely begun reading Japanese authors (I have a list of who I would like to read next!)
This time around, I felt I had a better grasp of what Japan is about (but still a very small understanding of such a rich and beautiful culture!). So reading this book, I was happy to see that I had a better awareness of it's content (there was a lot of "Oh, I know what this is!" instead of "Huh?").