The Buried Giant is a book that reads like a movie. The eighth novel by Japanese-born, British writer and Booker Prize winner, Kazuo Ishiguro is a vivid labyrinth of complex imagery. It’s also an interesting fable detailing the journey that an elderly Briton couple embark on in order to reunite with their lost son.
The story is set in the sixth century, shortly after the death of King Arthur. The couple are a sweet and devoted one with the strong-willed and determined Beatrice and her dotting husband, Axl (who refers to his wife as, “Princess”). The pair are an engaging, if forgetful pair who are affected by a mysterious mist that overpowers the area. They embark on an epic journey that sees the two meet with pixies, knights, warriors, ogres and dragons.
Ishiguro is like a master craftsmen as he conjures up excellent and visceral images. These things stay with you- like an old woman holding a rabbit she is preparing to slaughter or a basket being completely overrun with pixies. While the pacing of the story itself can be rather slow or at best nuanced, the overall novel itself is redeemed by these rich visuals and the attention to detail given to the characters where deep characterisation is achieved. The points of view of these different players are offered at times thanks to a detached, third person writing style but the reader is also immersed in the tale through a direct style of address which is very engaging too.
The writing by Ishiguro is often quite formal yet beneath the surface there is a flood of emotions that linger. It all combines to make the perfect storm of tension, melancholy and wistful quiet. Ultimately, The Buried Giant is a dreamy, fantasy tale that is a revealing look at human nature and relationships from the past that will resonate today. This historic wonderland is an easy read offered by an original storyteller and one that you can easily lose yourself in and enjoy.
***Please note: a free copy of this book was given to the writer through a The Reading Room giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit: https://www.thereadingroom.com/book/buried-giant/9093283