26 May, 2013

Book Review - Nocturnes

From Goodreads: In this sublime story cycle, Kazuo Ishiguro explores love, music and the passage of time. This quintet ranges from Italian piazzas to the Malvern Hills, a London flat to the “hush-hush floor” of an exclusive Hollywood hotel. Along the way we meet young dreamers, cafĂ© musicians and faded stars, all at some moment of reckoning.
Gentle, intimate and witty, Nocturnes is underscored by a haunting theme: the struggle to restoke life’s romance, even as relationships flounder and youthful hopes recede.

Thoughts: As I have said before, I love Ishiguro's writing, but I frequently feel out of my depth with it - like I am missing something. But what I do love is that I'm not intimidated by it - I'm happy to read the book, enjoy the language, the story and leave the in depth analysis to others. Once I had finished Nocturnes, I read some of the reviews on Goodreads by readers who do this analysis very well and in general I agree with them - I can now recognise how each story looks at the different stages of a musicians professional life and the effect it may have on their personal life, issues with denial and having to compromise your principles to go to the top of your chosen field.

What I really like about Ishiguro is how his stories don't end with a nicely tied bow of perfection. In fact there are times the don't really end at all - they just stop! While this can be annoying, it's also refreshing to be left with no idea what happens next. Does the character resolve their problem? Does it all work out or was this simply the beginning of the end? It's almost like you have been give permission to stop and observe a life for a short amount of time before moving on, left to wonder about the importance of what you have observed.