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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
A Pale View of the Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro 
10th-Aug-2006 11:59 pm
Figure I'll read at least two more of Ishiguro's six total novels this month. ^_^

Ishiguro, Kazuo. A Pale View of the Hills. 1982. New York: Vintage International, 1990.
Summary: In the wake of her elder daughter's suicide, Etsuko, now living in England and receiving a visit from her biracial younger daughter, remembers her youth in Nagasaki and a mother who sacrifices her daughter's happiness for her own.
Comments: I suppose I could chalk it up to the Japanese setting, but Ishiguro's first novel strikes me as a bit more "Japanese" than his other endeavors. Certain conversations seemed at times briefly to be awkward Japanese-English translations, though the rest of the time his residents of Nagasaki were speaking impressively proper British English. Fans of classic Japanese lit may see shades of Kawabata in the novel's penchant for understatement and inference, but I'm also seeing a Proustian obsession with memory and a typically Western obsession with explaining everything. And, indeed, it all ties together beautifully--from Keiko's death by self-hanging, to the child murderer who hangs a child from a tree, to Etsuko holding a piece of rope when confronting Mariko for the last time and seeing the girl's terrible fear. Suffice to say that there is are deliciously gothic touches here as well.
Notes: trade paperback
Rating: 7/10 - Everything that makes Ishiguro's writing great is firmly in evidence here in his debut novel, but this time around, you start to understand where it was all coming from.
1st-Sep-2006 05:23 am (UTC)
Review archived.
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