13 April 2010

Nocturnes (Kazuo Ishiguro)


I reject this book.

I reject the short story form Ishiguro decided to use. I reject the admission of any of the characters to the Syd Barrett Memorial Room. And I most certainly reject the assumption Ishiguro made that just because he feels he is past his prime as a writer he can churn out any old thing and we won't profess ourselves disappointed.

I have waited a few days to post this, as I needed time for the book to simmer in my subconsciousness for awhile. I knew I was disappointed with the collection when I ventured to compare it to his other works. But, if I took this as a new author, someone I had no preconceived notions of, what would I think then?

I would think that it was as boring as watching a game of darts being played in a pub where the only thing on tap is lemonade. Slow-burning is one thing and then there's wrapping a potato in foil, sticking it on the ground in the English sun and waiting for it to cook. If this were the only book of Ishiguro's I had read I would never be tempted to pick up another of his books again.

The writing, inarguably, was beautiful. But there was no soul behind it. Ishiguro tried to tap into the depressing and selfish psyche of the struggling musical artist, but this exploration felt forced and insubstantial.

This is, I suppose, an obstacle that a writer must overcome when writing short stories. With a limited space to foster the reader's connection to both plot and characters every sentence needs to resonate with everything the author wants to say. The best short stories I have read seem to be bursting at their seams, DYING to say more and pummelling the bars of the cage that is the short story format. With these stories, Ishiguro almost seemed to have structured them in this way because he didn't have enough material to turn this into a novel.

I think Ishiguro is a highly intelligent, lyrical and lovely writer. Unfortunately, I kept getting distracted from reading Nocturnes because Tom and Jerry were gallivanting on the television. So I choose to just pretend I never read this book and wait with eager anticipation for his next.

Rating 6/10.
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