Review: Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro

This book is a textbook lesson in how to structure a themed collection of fiction. Find a fuzzy link, one that gives you space to breathe. As you get into your stride, appear not to follow this link too slavishly: throw in a little white where you had black, day for night – allow yourself contrast. Then, as you’re winding down, go back and join the dots a little, so that a reader will know what to say when asked what the book is about.

In this case the reader may say, ‘Oh I don’t know, it’s about lots of things. Music and musicians. Jazz. Success and failure. Love, Venice, gondolas. It’s about piazzas where underpaid cellists play the same old songs; weary couples in Italy or the Malvern hills, arguing their way across whole continents. People who haven’t yet got where they aim to be, but who somehow keep trying.’


4 thoughts on “Review: Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro

  1. I’ve just watched your snowfall over Tara and started wandering around your site. Love this review. I read Nocturnes from cover to cover on a trip I took to Santa Barbara last February. It’s a coastal town that is fairly deserted in the winter, and I spent a lot of time alone, walking long distances in the rain, stopping to eat and drink and read here and there. Nocturnes kept me company in a way that surprised me. The American cover is so different–all indigo, a watercolor if I remember, and the rain made it bleed even more. This cover is so appealing.


    • Thanks Jill. Taking a brief wander round Lane7 myself recently I wondered whether to bin half of it. Nice to know some bits are worth keeping. Have you any current holiday reading to recommend yourself?


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