Monday, June 30, 2008

The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro

Title: The Unconsoled
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
ISBN: 0571177182
Publisher: faber and faber/1995
Pages: 535
Rating: 3.5/5

I have owned this book for three years now. I only got around reading it this week. It has a small font and is a fat book. Maybe that put me off reading, despite it being written by Ishiguro.

The Unconsoled is an engrossing psychological mystery, a tongue in cheek satire on art, and a poignant character study of a man whose public life is no longer his own. It is set in a nameless Central European city where Ryder, a renowned pianist, has come to give the most important performance of his life. He cannot recall anything about himself. He has completely gone blank.

Ryder finds himself diverted on a series of weird and strange errands that nevertheless provide him with vital clues to his own past. He does have flashes of memory. This is a stream of consciousness book which is haunting and is filled with human quirks and wit.

In Ryder, we see a person who is completely removed from his surroundings. He lives in past and future, that too unknowingly. The people he meets are even more strange than him.

I skipped the long speeches and maybe someday I will get back to those. It is not a book for everyone. Read it only if you like Ishiguro. Otherwise safely give it a skip.