Nocturnes - Kazuo Ishiguro
BOOKER Prize-winner Kazuo Ishiguro has built his reputation on his understanding of relationships. The Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go and When We Were Orphans were all critically acclaimed novels and all very different from each other. Nocturnes (�14
BOOKER Prize-winner Kazuo Ishiguro has built his reputation on his understanding of relationships.
The Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go and When We Were Orphans were all critically acclaimed novels and all very different from each other.
Nocturnes (�14.99, Faber and Faber) is another original, beautifully written and highly readable book. This is a compilation of five short stories linked by the theme of music and focusing on people at a crucial moment of reckoning in their lives.
The first chapter, Crooner, is set in Venice and is told by a guitarist in one of the cafe orchestras in St Mark's Square, who meets legendary American Sinatra-type singer Tony Gardner and finds himself in a gondola accompanying Tony as he serenades his wife with some of his old songs.
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Come Rain or Come Shine is told by Ray, who is invited to stay with old university friends Charlie and Emily for a few days. But Charlie and Emily are going through a sticky patch in their marriage and Ray is caught in the middle.
Malvern Hills sees a young, struggling songwriter returning to the countryside where he grew up to help out in his sister's cafe and meeting a middle-aged Swiss couple, who are professional folk singers in their own country.
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In Nocturne, a jazz sax player is persuaded to undergo plastic surgery and convalesces in a posh hotel where he discovers the woman in bandages in the next room is Lindy Gardner, the former wife of American crooner Tony Gardner, who we met in the first story.
The fifth tale, Cellists, tells of the odd, professional relationship between young Hungarian musician Tibor and a wealthy American woman in Italy.
Ishiguro has composed his lyrical cycle of stories like a quality piece of classical music.
- LINDSAY JONES