July 28th, 2014


A Pale View Of Hills: Kazuo Ishiguro

A few pages before the end a mask drops- at least I think that's what happens - and we are required to reinterpret everything we've been told thus far. This sort of thing happens a lot in contemporary novels. I think it's a cheap trick.

Otherwise this is a fascinating and rather creepy story about life in post-war Japan. We're in Nagasaki; people talk about life as it was before and after but they never say before and after what.

P.S. Since I wrote the above I've looked at an interview with Ishiguro and it seems he agrees with me about the end of the novel. This is what he says...

I’m very fond of it, but I do think it’s too baffling. The ending is almost like a puzzle. I see nothing artistically to be gained by puzzling people to that extent. That was just inexperience—misjudging what is too obvious and what is subtle. Even at the time the ending felt unsatisfactory.

 So I'll let him off.