Culture Street

Books

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

On March 25, 2015

By Sophia Whitfield
The Buried Giant is Kazuo Ishiguro’s seventh book and first book in a decade. In his latest he has delved into the world of fantasy.

The Buried Giant begins as an elderly couple set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen in years. Never wishing to be separated Axl and Beatrice interact with each other in a formal and respectful manner that reminds the reader of long ago. Axl calls his wife princess and Beatrice refers to Axl as husband.

It is a time of change in England, some 1,500 years ago when the Saxons and Britons were at war but now live side by side. Ogres pixies and dragons are familiar fantastical creatures that roam the land.

As Axl and Beatrice journey on seeking hospitality where they can they meet Wistan, a Saxon warrior, who returns to his village having set free Edwin, a captured young boy. Wistan has been given the task of tracking down the she-dragon Querig whose breath has cast a mist over the land wiping memories.

The village fear Edwin as Wistan has returned him with a bite from a monster. Concerned for his safety Wistan takes Edwin under his wing as they flee the village with Axl and Beatrice by their side.

There are hints throughout the book of lost memories beginning to return. The implication is that perhaps remembering the past will not set these people free.

Ishiguro’s writing is vivid as he describes a middle earth. The most moving part of the book is undoubtedly the relationship between the elderly couple Axl and Beatrice whose deep love the reader hopes will not be undone when memory returns.

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