The Buried Giant
The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro, is a fantasy novel that covers the journey of Axl and Beatrice, a couple who set off on a journey to find their son, who they have not seen for some time, and actually do not remember very well. As the story moves along with their journey, we discover that there are in fact a lot of things that Axl and Beatrice, and other characters they meet, do not remember. There is a mysterious mist hanging over their post Arthurian England that has caused the inhabitants to lose memories. We feel part of the mist covered tale as the writing penetrates the scenes and the foggy remembrances of Beatrice and Axl.
Along their journey they meet an Arthurian knight, a warrior and a strange boy, all of whom are on a quest to slay a dragon that has supposedly caused the mist that sucks away the memories. As their paths cross and separate, it is sometimes difficult to tell who is on whose side, who can be trusted, and who is up to what. Many side characters that Beatrice and Axl encounter lead them astray and into danger, and even those who appear to lead them to safety may not be whom they at first appear. This all helps to give the feeling of lethargy and mystery that comes with the mist.
This is the first of Ishiguro’s books that I have read, his most famous being The Remains of the Day, and I must say it was an enjoyable read. The writing puts you right in the feelings of the characters, you feel like all is not as it appears and you wonder what is real and what is not, as do the characters. I had an ominous feeling about what the return of the memories would do to Axl and Beatrice, did they need to remember everything, what was it they were really forgetting?
The Buried Giant will appeal to readers who want to immerse themselves in alternate worlds as well as readers interested in the process of memory and how memories affect our lives.