Like many of Kazuo Ishiguro's widely-acclaimed novels, Nocturnes charts the nature of shifting relationships, the passage of time, real and perceived failures, the consequences of deferred dreams, feelings of estrangement, and the quiet but destructive erosion that occurs when truth is denied for too long, yet it does so with more attenuated gestures and less reflection.
In "Crooner" and "Nocturne" a singer and a saxophone player attempt to revitalize their careers by changing their lives. Though we may expect a certain degree of typecasting, these characters never entirely move beyond our preconceptions of Hollywood "has-beens" to become empathetic figures, nor do they push towards the extreme edge of the grotesquely satirical, as Gloria Swanson does in the role of Norma Desmond (Sunset Boulevard, 1950). While plots about careers in decline could be made more resonant by either a ...
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