Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Unconsoled

The Unconsoled was a very puzzling read for starters, but when I gave up trying to make any sense of it, I found it easier to follow.  There has always been a pattern I have found throughout an Ishiguro book where you are always left feeling anxious for the protagonist.  What this anxiety is about is not always clear like in this book, but it is there nevertheless.  Is this a signature trait?  I think it must be.  
As with any book I read I assume that the protagonist is the only sane one in the room... but I believe that in this book he, Mr. Ryder,  was the one that had some problems.  A quote from the back of the book:

"From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go is an audacious novel that is at once a gripping psychological mystery, a wicked satire of the cult of art, and a poignant character study of a man whose public life has accelerated beyond control."

Frankly, I felt really daft while reading the book because while I saw these traits the quote spoke of, it didn't really explain to me why this book was so disjointed.  Why this town that Mr. Ryder was visiting was so freakingly full of odd, self-involved characters and inconsistencies.  Was this a town of nutballs?  It really seemed that way.  There is no help from beginning to end to give you a clue either except there is a part in the book close to the end when Mr. Ryder, is faced with an impenetrable wall and his feelings, his frustrations are expressed in a way that make you realize that it is he that is walled in and he cannot get out, and that the confusion of everything previous stems from him not from everyone else (they are still odd, self-involved characters which want something from Mr. Ryder and I got the mental picture of him being pulled in many different directions but not really being aware of it).
I think that when you understand that, it all clicks into place.    But that is all I think I can say about the book, except that when I read it again (and I will!) I will have a new perspective to help me see what was so baffling before.
So, even when it's not making sense, Kazuo Ishiguro's writing is a force to revel in, to embrace, because he reaches a level of consciousness inside me that nothing else does, not even myself.  After reading just four of his books I am amazed at how he draws me in and doesn't let me go until the end.

No comments:

Post a Comment