Review: Kazuo Ishiguro’s “When We Were Orphans”

by writereaderly

kazuo ishiguro when we were orphansI felt like I’d read this Ishiguro novel before (cf. The Remains of the Day, An Artist of the Floating World). The structure and principle is the same in all three: a deeply repressed, slightly-to-hideously pompous man contemplates his earlier (self-)delusions and the error of his ways, with his story revealed by the ellipses in his own narrative. Ba-doom ching. This one was well written but quickly revealed that it was true to mould, so I only persevered because of the high regard I’d developed for KI as a writer – let’s not forget Never Let Me Go. This one, however, just got frigging ridiculous: the hero’s delusions of self-importance in investigating his parents’ disappearances 20 years previously lead him to drag assorted strangers into *live combat* in search of a random building where, he is convinced, his parents have been languishing for decades. Farcical. No empathy. Just wanted to slap ass of a hero across the face. Infuriating. Disappointing. Don’t bother.

Where it came from: Opshop
Time and manner of reading:
Bedtime sample and utterly irritating lie-in
Where it went: UPB
Reminds me of/that:
Who I’d recommend it to:

Also reading: Being Alive edited by Neil Astley