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Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Kazuo Ishiguro

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1,183606,798 (3.55)109
Member:crimson-tide
Title:Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall
Authors:Kazuo Ishiguro
Info:Faber and Faber (2009), Edition: Export ed., Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Borrowed
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, short stories, relationships, nostalgia, music, loan, wgs, R14

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Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro (2009)

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English (54)  Spanish (3)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (60)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Mr Ishiguro's writing is the best I have ever come across, he is simply the best, he won Booker's prize for 'the remains of the day' and he deserves the Nobel and the Pulitzer too, I hope he wins it. The book, as the title suggests, is made up of five short stories. All the heros are musicians, they are nostalgic about the past. Also the others characters talk about their lost love and ended marriages. There some humour mixed with sadness. As usual, there is pcshycological depth in the stories. For those who loved "Remains of the Day", you will not be disappointed. In my opinion, starting from Ishiguro's second part of his literary life, he is more mature, talking about universal topics and not limited to Japan like in the first books. He is really wonderful and sublime. ( )
  nohahamed | Mar 9, 2014 |
While the collection started out strong I found that it lacked in all the pieces I normally find in short story collections to keep me engaged and wanting more. Compared to other short story collections I've read, this one didn't meet my expectations.

I enjoyed the first short story, Crooner, the most. It was the story that had the most development in plot and for its characters, and it was the story that I connected with the most. It wasn't a story I could say I loved, but it was the one I enjoyed the most. Nocturne was another story that stood out, it was unusual and like with Crooner, I'm not sure it's a story I could say I loved , but it also stood out from the collection on what the actual story was about. For both of these stories, I found myself reading more attentively than with the others and I think they were the strongest of the collection.

I found for the most part the collection lacked to keep my attention. The writing was average and didn't do much to keep me invested in the story's plot. The majority of the collection lacked development in the characters and I was hoping the plot would make up for that, but all except Crooner and Nocturnes, seemed to lack in a strong plot as well.

Overall an okay read, but not a strong one as far as short story collection go.

Also found on my book review blog Jules' Book Reviews - Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall ( )
  bookwormjules | Jan 1, 2014 |
While not bad, this book of short stories wasn't memorable or interesting enough to highly recommend. I bought this collection because I had so enjoyed Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go but these stories, although well written, didn't offer much. ( )
  castironskillet | Aug 13, 2013 |
Fairly light by Ishiguro standards, but still has that appealing narrative flavor. These stories definitely don't rank with Remains or Never Let You Go, but were entertaining enough. ( )
  Carl_Hayes | Mar 30, 2013 |
I read this short story collection after completing his two very popular novels, Never Let Me Go, and Remains of the Day. Like other readers, I had high hopes. His novels looked at broad social themes--like the unswerving loyalty of British help in the early twentieth century, our own dehumanization of people for the sake of medical care for the majority (a utilitarianism gone awry, perhaps? an allusion to stem cell research, or just a concern about the future?)--and personalize them. You live through these sweeping movements through the lives of individual characters, and so you're touched. It's like a fictionalized version of Anne Frank's diary.

I will acknowledge that these stories fell a little bit flat in comparison to what his novels accomplished--but that's not to say they aren't good. Ishiguro has set high standards for himself. Of particular interest is the story, "Cellists," which explores the relationship between a budding talent and a never-was--a woman whose talent was too great to instantiate in reality, who, in her forties, was still waiting for the right instructor to tease out her talent without damaging it. This is a story I still come back to months later when my mind wanders. ( )
  lrosenof | Dec 9, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Novellen ”Schlagersångaren” är suverän, men även de andra är speciella och mycket läsvärda. Samtliga har temat musik och uppbrott eller slut. En sorgesång över något som människan fabricerat åt helsicke. Musik ur ”Gudfadern” är kongenialt ledmotiv i boken.
 
Unfortunately for the reader, these stories do not share the exquisite narrative command, the carefully modulated irony or the elliptical subtlety of Mr. Ishiguro’s strongest works like “Remains of the Day” and “Never Let Me Go.” Instead they read like heavy-handed O. Henry-esque exercises; they are psychologically obtuse, clumsily plotted and implausibly contrived.
 
Ishiguro's battery of talents are applied in Nocturnes to one goal—the scrubbing away of false romance, of clichéd resolutions, in life and in his writing. The result is a pitch-perfect riff on the sheer quirkiness of reality.
 
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Book description
In Nocturnes, a sublime story cycle, Kazuo Ishiguro explores ideas of love, music and the passing of time. From the piazzas of Italy to the Malvern Hills, a London flat to the ‘hush-hush floor’ of an exclusive Hollywood hotel, the characters we encounter range from young dreamers to cafe musicians to faded stars, all of them at some moment of reckoning.

Gentle, intimate and witty, this quintet is marked by a haunting theme: the struggle to keep alive a sense of life’s romance, even as one gets older, relationships flounder and youthful hopes recede.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307455785, Paperback)

From the award-winning author of Remains of the Day comes an inspired sequence of stories, which is as affecting as it is beautiful.
 
With the clarity and precision that have become his trademarks, Kazuo Ishiguro interlocks five short pieces of fiction to create a world that resonates with emotion, heartbreak, and humor. Here is a fragile, once famous singer, turning his back on the one thing he loves; a music junky with little else to offer his friends but opinion; a songwriter who inadvertently breaks up a marriage; a jazz musician who thinks the answer to his career lies in changing his physical appearance; and a young cellist whose tutor has devised a remarkable way to foster his talent. For each, music is a central part of their lives and, in one way or another, delivers them to an epiphany.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:35 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

One of the most celebrated writers of our time gives us his first cycle of short fiction: five brilliantly etched, interconnected stories in which music is a vivid and essential character.

(summary from another edition)

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