‘Nocturnes’ by Kazuo Ishiguro – Book Review

Blurb

‘It was our third time playing the Godfather theme since lunch…’

In a sublime short story collection, Kazuo Ishiguro explores ideas of love, music and the passing of time. From the piazzas of Italy to the Malvern Hills, a London flat to the ‘hush-hush floor’ of an exclusive Hollywood hotel, the characters we encounter range from young dreamers to cafe musicians to faded stars, all of them at some moment of reckoning.

Gentle, intimate and witty, this quintet is marked by a haunting theme: the struggle to keep alive a sense of life’s romance, even as one gets older, relationships flounder and youthful hopes recede.

Review

A beautiful collection of short stories that have whetted my appetite for reading more of Kazuo Ishiguro’s writing in 2018. I found the writing to be quietly melancholic, disarmingly beautiful and perfectly bittersweet. I loved how in many of the stories the concepts of what both falling in love and staying in love truly meant were explored. My favourite story was “Crooner” but I very much enjoyed them all and was moved by each in different ways.

As music is so integral to these stories, instead of writing a review for each one I wish to share links to pieces of music that I listened to while reading these beautiful shorts. Some were directly referenced within the pages of the book and others are ones that I personally love.

Crooner
Chet Baker: I Fall in Love Too Easily

Come Rain or Come Shine
Sarah Vaughan ft Hal Mooney & His Orchestra – It Never Entered My Mind

Malvern Hills
Sounds from Thursday afternoon

Nocturne
Sax and Piano Jazz Duo – ‘The Nearness of You’

Cellists
Rachmaninov: Cello Sonata 3rd movement performed by Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax

four stars

3 thoughts on “‘Nocturnes’ by Kazuo Ishiguro – Book Review

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