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The Unconsoled (1995)

by Kazuo Ishiguro

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,064653,304 (3.58)200
A surrealistic novel on a man who finds himself in a strange city, not knowing what he is doing there, but everyone seems to know him. What is more, he must be important because people ask him for favors. As he goes from encounter to encounter, the man discovers himself. By the author of The Remains of the Day.… (more)
  1. 32
    The Castle by Franz Kafka (chrisharpe)
  2. 00
    Ferdydurke by Witold Gombrowicz (slickdpdx)
    slickdpdx: Ishiguro's The Unconsoled may be the pinnacle of this peculiar genre.
  3. 00
    In the Country of Last Things by Paul Auster (Vonini)
    Vonini: Same surreal feeling
  4. 00
    The Thief of Time by John Boyne (Booksloth)
  5. 00
    2666 by Roberto BolaƱo (Dystopos)
  6. 01
    The Keep by Jennifer Egan (sturlington)
    sturlington: Surreal stories in unnamed Central European settings.
  7. 01
    The Feverhead by Wolfgang Bauer (slickdpdx)
    slickdpdx: Ishiguro's The Unconsoled may be the pinnacle of this peculiar genre.
  8. 12
    An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (Booksloth)
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» See also 200 mentions

English (57)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  All languages (65)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
Starts off sensibly but slowly devolves into a daydream with the narrative jumping around like episodes in a dream just barely linked together. Geography bends to accommodate the narrative, the characters appear in nonsensical places.
I'm sure you can read it differently but the way I understood it is this single visit to an anonymous European city compresses the whole life of the narrator into a few days. The characters he meets are his friends, family and others that he met throughout his career and also himself at different times of his life and the bizarre events are echoes of real life experiences distorted and exaggerated through time. ( )
  Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |
It is like experiencing a nightmare filled with frustration and anxiety. It's a interesting, impressionistic work, although I prefer traditional novels, and it does go on too long. ( )
  Misprint | Aug 31, 2020 |
I gave it 3 stars not because it was disappointing, but because it was so challenging. Characters go into ridiculously long monologues that make you want to throttle them. The passive-aggressiveness is so over the top that it is often hilarious. The absurdist tone keeps you on your toes as the plot moves tangentially forward. ( )
  billycongo | Jul 22, 2020 |
I'm baffled as to why I like this book so much. Maybe it's because I was trapped in Surfers Paradise and therefore had no choice. I feel it's his best book but I think it probably isn't.... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
DNF ( )
  Terrie2018 | Feb 21, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
The Unconsoled itself is beautifully controlled, even-paced, deadpan in spite of all extravagances. Its determined equanimity of tone makes you drowsy, and sometimes you wonder if you'd notice if you dropped off to sleep while you were reading. But there is finally something haunting, even alluring, about the proliferation of obstacles and stories in this book.
added by jburlinson | editNew York Review of Books, Michael Wood (pay site) (Dec 21, 1995)
 

» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kazuo Ishiguroprimary authorall editionscalculated
Case, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Lorna and Naomi
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The taxi driver seemed embarrassed to find there was no one - not even a clerk behind the reception desk - waiting to welcome me.
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A surrealistic novel on a man who finds himself in a strange city, not knowing what he is doing there, but everyone seems to know him. What is more, he must be important because people ask him for favors. As he goes from encounter to encounter, the man discovers himself. By the author of The Remains of the Day.

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