I just discovered this site today, and loved this piece on the appeal of Kazuo Ishiguro.
An Ishiguro novel functions on missing information–information that both the reader and the narrator (and with Ishiguro it’s inevitably a first-person narrator) are missing. We’re both missing certain information–the information the reader lacks is different from the information the narrator lacks.
I’ve only read Never Let Me Go, but it’s one of those books that I was compelled to re-read just a few months after reading it for the first time. I’ve since given it out twice as a birthday present, and talk about it to anyone who will listen. I haven’t read any other Ishiguro, but he’s on my list.
I love the elliptical narration that the essay speaks about. It gives the sense that we’re participating in the story’s creation in a fundamental way, because the gap between what we know and what the narrator doesn’t know becomes a crucial story element. It’s not plot, it’s not character, it’s sort of structure but not really, sort of voice but not that either. Ishiguro’s writing is tightly controlled in a way that opens up this huge space for the reader to roll around in.
I am in some kind of work-reading frenzy. Call it masochism. Call it martyrdom. But I just finished another book today (a character-driven YA “problem” story), and I’m going to try to bust out 1 or 2 more (I have 2 that are only about a hundred pages) before my husband comes home from work.
I just added tags to my posts, and it’s sort of disturbing how often “good husband” and “im insane” appear together.