If you don’t like heartbreaking stories you should skip Kazuo Ishiguro’s newest novel, The Buried Giant. One Amazon reviewer said he broke trust with the reader at the end. Without telling any spoilers I can see that. It certainly surprised me, though it shouldn’t have. Not after Never Let Me Go, for instance. Even his Remains of The Day which made his name and fame was a cold downer of a novel.
Ishiguro says he’s following the literary trail blazed by so many before him, Faulkner for instance, illuminating the “human condition,” as they say, which is to say that life is a tragedy waiting to happen in case it’s not so obvious in the beginning and the middle of yours. I wonder if Ishiguro isn’t also getting even for Nagasaki, the atom-bombed town of his birth, though he was born long after the radiation had dissipated.
As he has one bitter character in The Buried Giant say: When rescue isn’t possible, there’s always revenge. So would I recommend the novel? Only if you like sad stories. Some people do. I’m not one of them, so why did I choose another one of his after Never Let Me Go? Maybe it’s because he casts a spell that makes you believe something good is coming and you’re only disappointed when you find, at the end, that, once again, it wasn’t.