Sunday, 24 December 2017

Review of 'The Buried Giant' by Kazuo Ishiguro

Review of 'The Buried Giant' by Kazuo Ishiguro

This is a book that I SO wanted to like. It's the first book I read as part of the book club at my new job and I was keen to make a good impression, as quite a few of the others really enjoyed it, but I just could not fully get into it. I appreciate that it's an allegorical story with a meaning behind it, but the meaning was so obscured at times that I found it really hard to get on board with.

The Buried Giant is set in Roman Britain. A mist covers the land, breathed out by Querig, a dragon that lives in the mountains. Axl and Beatrice can't remember much of their life at all, but they know that they love each other. As they journey to their son's village, they encounter a series of dramatic situations, and they become convinced that they want to help slay Querig so that the mist lifts from the land.

I kept waiting and waiting for the volta in this novel, but there was just no dramatic peak. Even the killing of Querig was completely underwhelming, and the skirmishes that went on throughout the novel fell a little flat. The fantasy level of the novel worked well, blending in with reality. However, when the author introduced Sir Gawain to the story, I really hoped that it would connect up with Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, an original Medieval story that I read a few years ago. It didn't, and I was a little disappointed. 

All in all, I'm not sure why there was so much hype surrounding this book. It was well written and the story was fine, but it's not something I would read again, or really recommend to anyone else.

Have you read it? What did you think? 

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