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The Unconsoled

Ishiguro, Kazuo, 1954-

(Book - 1996)
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
The Unconsoled
Random House, Inc.
The Unconsoled 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 his control. The setting is a nameless Central European city where Ryder, a renowned pianist, has come to give the most important performance of his life. Instead, he finds himself diverted on a series of cryptic and infuriating errands that nevertheless provide him with vital clues to his own past. In The Unconsoled Ishiguro creates a work that is itself a virtuoso performance, strange, haunting, and resonant with humanity and wit.

"A work of great interest and originality.... Ishiguro has mapped out an aesthetic territory that is all his own...frankly fantastic [and] fiercer and funnier than before."--The New Yorker
The questions, discussion topics, author biography, and  bibliography that follow are meant to enhance your group's reading of Kazuo Ishiguro's The Unconsoled . We hope that they will provide you with new ways of looking at- and talking about- this mysterious and infinitely provocative new novel from the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day .

Baker & Taylor
Arriving in a European city with significant gaps in his memory, Ryder, a renowned pianist, is overwhelmed by an onslaught of strangers who seem to know him and of whom he experiences vague, dreamlike recollections. Reprint. 75,000 first printing.

& Taylor

Arriving in a European city with significant gaps in his memory, Ryder, a renowned pianist, is overwhelmed by an onslaught of strangers who seem to know him and of whom he has vague, dreamlike recollections

Publisher: New York : Vintage International, 1996, c1995
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed
ISBN: 0679735879
Branch Call Number: FIC I
Characteristics: 535 p. ; 21 cm.


From the critics

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Oct 01, 2013
  • Don27 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I almost stopped reading this a couple of times, but I continued on till the end and I was glad I did. It is a very difficult book to read, but at the same time it moves along, thereby perhaps reflecting the dreamlike quality of this book. Real but unreal, fast but yet slow. There is really not much of a plot, except for one man's difficult journey through a few days time, leading up to a scheduled piano recital. A very, very odd book, but full of the high's and lows of the human condition. Glad I stuck with it and finished it.

Dec 17, 2012
  • LazyNeko rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Reads like a writing experiment gone horribly wrong. The story is aimless; the point of view is muddled; and the characters don't act human. An incredibly dense and meaningless word overdose.

Mar 05, 2009
  • alleycat rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Ishiguro's ability to assume such different (and perfect) narrative voices from novel to novel suggests (to me, at least) that he is truly brilliant ... The Unconsoled is not an easy read, but it's absolutely astounding. Wow! The style of the prose, and the dream-like quality of the story, reminded me of two of my favourite writers (both of whom incidentally are German: namely, Franz Kafka and Thomas Mann).


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Dec 17, 2012
  • LazyNeko rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

"...After all, we get older and parts of us start to die. Perhaps we start to die emotionally too. Do you think that's possible, Mr Ryder?"


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