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One move to America, one surprise pregnancy and a lot of fun later.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro

A Pale View of Hills

In his highly acclaimed debut, A Pale View of Hills, Kazuo Ishiguro tells the story of Etsuko, a Japanese woman now living alone in England, dwelling on the recent suicide of her daughter. Retreating into the past, she finds herself reliving one particular hot summer in Nagasaki, when she and her friends struggled to rebuild their lives after the war. But then as she recalls her strange friendship with Sachiko - a wealthy woman reduced to vagrancy - the memories take on a disturbing cast.

I normally praise this authors writing very highly, particularly that the books do not read like they have been written in English as a second language.  This usually impresses me as my language abilities are non-existent.  I can not say the same, sadly, about this debut novel.  It read like it had been written in a second language (which it was) and was just too formal in it's casual conversations.  At first I thought this was due to the Japanese formality of the characters, but over time it became apparent that this was not the intention.

The story itself was ok but not of the highly entertaining standard I have come to expect from this author.  I think I, somehow, missed an important point of the novel.  I am glad I did not read this debut novel as a first book of this author or I may not have gone onto read some of his other, great books, like "Never Let me go".  

If you have read every other book by this author ad want to complete the collection, then it is not a complete waste of time but, otherwise, don't bother.  2 out of 5 from me.

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