Nocturnes, by Kazuo Ishiguro. Book report #14 (2020)

Nocturnes, by Kazuo Ishiguro. Pub 2009

I picked this book up right after I read Never Let Me Go, as I was so taken with the story telling and Ishiguro‘s deftness with female characters. That must have been in 2013, because I found the Port Townsend ferry ticket (shown in the picture) marking just 25 pages to go. 25 pages! I must have lost the book in my vast sea of books, and it didn’t float to the top until a few days ago.

I went back to the beginning. I didn’t remember much about the first four stories, but I recognized them as they progressed and realized that some of the stories had stuck with me – I just didn’t remember from where.

The stories are loosely connected by the themes of music – characters are either musicians or music lovers – and evening or night. My favourites were

  • “Crooner”, an aging baritone serenades his soon-to-be-ex-wife from a Venetian gondola on a cool Italian evening.
  • “Nocturne”, where the now-ex-wife of the Crooner buddies up with a saxophone player while they are each recovering in a swanky hotel after plastic surgery. Hijinks ensue.
  • “Cellists”, a young cellist in Amalfi (I think) is swept away by a mysterious American with an uncanny musical sensibility, even though she’s not a cellist herself.

While I liked it, I did not enjoy this book as much as the previous (or the next, The Buried Giant). Perhaps the short story format is not sufficient to develop characters as well as the novels.

Fate: charity shop.

17 – a book of short stories
19 – a book with a one-word title
28 – a book you have previously left unfinished

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