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The Buried Giant: Book summary and reviews of The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Buried Giant

by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro X
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
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Book Summary

An extraordinary new novel from the author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day

"You've long set your heart against it, Axl, I know. But it's time now to think on it anew. There's a journey we must go on, and no more delay . . ."

The Buried Giant begins as a couple set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen in years.

Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in nearly a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge, and war.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Lovely: a fairy tale for grown-ups, both partaking in and departing from a rich literary tradition." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. The Buried Giant is a slow, patient novel, decidedly unshowy but deliberate and precise - easy to read but difficult to forget." - Publishers Weekly

"Ishiguro's career spans over 30 years, highlighted by Booker winner The Remains of the Day and Whitbread winner An Artist of the Floating World, yet this quasifantasy falls short as the medium to deliver the author's lofty message." - Library Journal

"In Ishiguro's first novel since 2006 (Never Let Me Go), the award-winning author reinvents himself once again." - Booklist

This information about The Buried Giant was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Cloggie Downunder

Quite unexpected.
“…for if we’re mortal let us at least shine handsomely in God’s eyes while we walk this earth!”

The Buried Giant is the seventh novel by award-winning Japanese author, Kazuo Ishiguro. Set in post-Arthurian Britain, it follows the journey of a Briton couple, Axl and Beatrice, as they travel some distance to a village where their son, whom they have not seen for quite some years, now waits for them. Along the way, they are drawn into dramas and conflicts involving the people they encounter. The couple are convinced the land is plagued by a mist of forgetfulness, and determined to learn the cause, trusting their love will withstand any memories that are revealed.

Having already met a ferryman and a resentful widow, they are eventually accompanied by a Saxon warrior, a boy with a strange wound and an Arthurian knight with his faithful steed. At a monastery they seek and find wisdom and healing, but are also met with betrayal, monsters, and soldiers. And while one monk asserts “…we must uncover what’s hidden and face the past”, they have difficulty discerning truths from the half-truths and lies they are told. And if they achieve their goal and clear the mist? “Who knows what will come when quick-tongued men make ancient grievances rhyme with fresh desire for land and conquest?”

Ishiguro fills his tale with creatures, characters, objects and happenings from myth and legend: a she-dragon, pixies, a ferry crossing, ogres, instruments of torture, secret tunnels and sword battles. He touches on hate and tolerance, enmity and allegiance, honour and duty, love, loyalty and revenge, war and peace. An Arthurian form of censorship also features. Ishiguro treats the reader to some beautiful prose, but readers of his earlier work will remark on how different this one is. Quite unexpected.

With thanks to The Reading Room and Allen and Unwin for this copy to read and review.

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Author Information

Kazuo Ishiguro Author Biography

Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan, on November, 8 1954. He came to Britain in 1960 when his father began research at the National Institute of Oceanography, and was educated at a grammar school for boys in Surrey.

Afterwards he worked as a grouse-beater for the Queen Mother at Balmoral before enrolling at the University of Kent, Canterbury, where he read English and Philosophy. He was also employed as a community worker in Glasgow (1976), and after graduating, worked as a residential social worker in London. He studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia where he met Angela Carter, who became an early mentor. He has been writing full-time since 1982. In 1983, shortly after the publication of his first novel, Ishiguro was nominated by Granta magazine as one of the 20...

... Full Biography
Author Interview

Name Pronunciation
Kazuo Ishiguro: KAH-zoo-oh ish-ih-GUHR-oh

Other books by Kazuo Ishiguro at BookBrowse
  • When We Were Orphans jacket
  • Nocturnes jacket
  • Never Let Me Go jacket

5 more...

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