Monday, November 21, 2016

The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Buried Giant is another nominee for the World Fantasy Award.  I would say it belongs more to the sad and introspective side of fantasy literature rather than horror or adventure.  I will say this, it's a completely different take on Arthurian fantasy than I have ever read before.

The protagonists are Axl and Beatrice, an elderly couple living in what sounds like a connected hobbit warren in Britain, a few centuries after the Romans left.  They and their whole village live in an eternal present, unable to remember most of their lives.  But they do remember enough to leave their village and go looking for their son.

The book's message is on aging and what it takes away.  The fact that this elegiac book is set in Arthur's world is a powerful twist, for we see an elderly Sir Gawain conspiring on how to kill an aged dragon, both of them aging gracefully together.  The author's style readily conveys the message--the book moves slowly and gently like the protagonists do.

I'll give it three stars for literary effort.  One doesn't enjoy it as much as appreciate it.

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