The Buried Giant

My experience with Kazuo Ishiguro has only been Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go.  The more I’ve read of Mr. Ishiguro’s, the more I enjoy his style.  He begins his narratives very subtly developing conflicts and characters and builds towards endings that pack a punch. The Buried Giant departs from his usual content, while he tackles re-imagining British mythology.

The world of the story is post-Arthurian where the Britons and the Saxons are living agiantmongst each other, slowly building the cultural milieu we now call, British.  Mr. Ishiguro alludes to Beowulf and King Arthur throughout the novel, and it’s understandable.  How can you not allude to the most famous British mythological tales?  With these foundational details taken care of, the plot becomes a quest narrative with Axl and Beatrice trying to make their way to their son’s village.  They are Britons and have to stop over at a Saxon village on their way.  They end up having two Saxons join them for the remainder of the trip.  Along the way they run into Sir Gawain (King Arthur’s nephew) who helps them complete their mission while also completely a secret mission of his own.

This was going to be a 3 star rating until I reached the ending. Such sharp, intense writing that leaves a strong impression on a reader. That deserves recognition. The plot doesn’t have much meaning to it which was why I was thinking it had earned 3 stars. I was excited by the “Beowulf” reference and the Sir Gawain character, but other than these allusions I’m still lost as to the what the point of the story is.

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