The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Buried Giant

The Buried Giant is a fantasy novel set in a post-Arthurian England, where a mysterious mist has caused collective amnesia among the inhabitants. The story follows an elderly Briton couple, Axl and Beatrice, who embark on a journey to find their long-lost son, whom they can barely remember due to the effects of the mist. Along the way, they encounter various characters, including a Saxon warrior named Wistan, a young boy named Edwin, and Sir Gawain, the last surviving knight of King Arthur’s Round Table.

The novel explores themes such as memory, love, and the consequences of forgetting the past. As Axl and Beatrice travel through the treacherous landscape, they begin to uncover the truth behind the mist and its connection to the she-dragon Querig, whose breath has cursed the land. The couple must grapple with the question of whether it is better to remember the past and face its painful truths or to continue living in blissful ignorance.

Throughout their journey, Axl and Beatrice’s love for each other is tested as they struggle to remember their shared history. The novel also delves into the political tensions between the Britons and Saxons, as well as the personal histories of the characters they meet along the way. Ultimately, The Buried Giant raises questions about the nature of memory, the importance of remembering one’s past, and the potential consequences of uncovering long-buried secrets.

What I Liked

The writing and pacing of this novel was beautiful. It’s lyrical and lovely and almost magical. I love that it’s set during the peak of Dark Age England with so much historical accuracy…but with enough scope for magic. It’s magical realism at its best.

I love that it pushes for answers to some of life’s biggest questions. How much of a good relationship is simply the ability to forget? And what happens when you can forget the bad…but also forget the good?

What I Didn’t Like

Not a whole lot. It gets a little confusing in the middle (especially in the dream scenes) but is otherwise solid all around.

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