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