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

by Kazuo Ishiguro

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1,401785,408 (3.51)168
Member:lrosenof
Title:Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall
Authors:Kazuo Ishiguro
Info:Knopf (2009), Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro (2009)

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English (72)  Spanish (3)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All (78)
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
Just finished this. Now time to find another short story collection.

Review pending. Will do a proper one with my thoughts on the stories since there are only five. It is a bit hard for me to rate this - overall I enjoyed reading and would rec it to any Ishiguro fan. He has a way of weaving atmosphere that is subtle and almost not there.

Like makeup that is supposed to make you look like you're not wearing any? Probably not the best metaphor here. Haha.

Source: Bought used via Better World Books
First finished: 9jun17 ( )
  kephradyx | Jun 20, 2017 |
Nocturnes are short musical compositions that are meant to praise the beauty of the night. Most of the famous nocturnes were written in the romance era of classical music. Frédéric Chopin and Claude Debussy are my personal favorite nocturne composers. Now, I do not dare much to claim myself to be a classical music geek but yes, I am one of those fortunate people on earth who are tremendously touched by the beauty of it. My addiction towards classical music often forced me to rummage through the internet for getting more and more and more. Literature and music, according to my belief, complements each other. They are just identical twins who keep morphing into one another. Having said so, never did it occur to me that short stories could be compared with nocturnes, literally! And Kazuo Ishiguro introduced me with this crazy idea in this book. Like musical ones, Ishiguro's nocturnes are short, sweet, appealingly beautiful and of course 'melodic'. Indeed, when I picked up the book in my hand for the first time, it baffled me with its name. After reading it, I now know Ishiguro truly composed 5 nocturnes!

Japanese born Kazuo Ishiguro was brought to England at a very little age. That probably explains how he got this typical British sense of humor. His brilliant observations and portraits of the comedic scenes often reminded me of William Somerset Maugham! Not as wordy as Maugham, okay, but witty. All the five stories are written from a musician's (or maybe five musicians) perspective and his (or their) wit is quite sardonic too. I particularly liked 'Come Rain or Come Shine', 'Nocturne' and 'Cellists'. There's this belief goes by that one doesn't necessarily have to write poems to be a poet! It's just a matter of having a poetic mind. The final story of the collection, 'Cellists' reflects this idea. There's a very good chance that you won't want to buy this belief but then again, what does a film director do? A good director just knows which piece fits best where. Definitely it's a very argumentative issue but hey, I am only extolling Ishiguro! I literally laughed out loud while reading 'Come Rain or Come Shine', named after the famous song performed by even famous artist Ray Charles. After writing all these words about this book, now if I don't mention the short story 'Nocturne', it would be simply a crime! This story is weird, funny and strangely sad. Short yet dark, just like nightfall. 'Nocturne' is probably too literally a nocturne!

A Japanese brain and an English humor, what else do you need to see in a writer? It's a fast read and it's strange too. Not that everyone would appreciate it equally but if you're into music, specially classical ones, you might want to check this out. ( )
  Shaker07 | May 18, 2017 |
"Nocturnes" is a collection of five short stories featuring wholly unlikeable characters doing irritating things. Supposedly each story is connected to the other by music, but even that link was irritating as at least three of the stories feel so much like each other it was easy to confuse them. ( )
  tag_h | Apr 18, 2017 |
Great book. I always love reading Ishiguro's work. It's like sitting down with an old friend. His short stories are up their with Carvers. ( )
  bound2books | Feb 12, 2017 |
Just finished this on audio. I really enjoyed this collection, read by various narrators. Some reviewers here argue not much happens in these stories, but I disagree. Not every story is about action or events. Sometimes the insight into human behaviour, emotions and decisions can be fascinating in its own right. That is what these stories seem to be about to me. This is my first Ishiguro and as others point out he is a talented writer. I recommend it. ( )
  jldarden | Dec 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 72 (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.
 

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ishiguro, Kazuoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bützow, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bramhall, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heyborne, KirbyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoppe, LincolnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rabinovitch, AnneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The morning I spotted Tony Gardner sitting among the tourists, spring was just arriving here in Venice.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:05 -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)

» see all 5 descriptions

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