An Artist of the Floating World

An Artist of the Floating World

by Kazuo Ishiguro


$14.40 $16.00 Save 10% Current price is $14.4, Original price is $16. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, October 24


In the face of the misery in his homeland, the artist Masuji Ono was unwilling to devote his art solely to the celebration of physical beauty. Instead, he put his work in the service of the imperialist movement that led Japan into World War II.

Now, as the mature Ono struggles through the aftermath of that war, his memories of his youth and of the “floating world”—the nocturnal world of pleasure, entertainment, and drink—offer him both escape and redemption, even as they punish him for betraying his early promise. Indicted by society for its defeat and reviled for his past aesthetics, he relives the passage through his personal history that makes him both a hero and a coward but, above all, a human being.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679722663
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/01/1989
Series: Vintage International Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 132,626
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: 1060L (what's this?)

About the Author

Kazuo Ishiguro's eight books have won him world-wide renown and many honours, including the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Booker Prize. His work has been translated into over forty languages. The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go have each sold in excess of one million copies in Faber editions alone, and both were adapted into highly acclaimed films. His most recent novel, The Buried Giant, was published in 2015, debuting at number 1 on the Sunday Times bestseller list.

Read an Excerpt

If on a sunny day you climb the steep path leading up from the little wooden bridge still referred to around here as ‘the Bridge of Hesitation’, you will not have to walk far before the roof of my house becomes visible between the tops of two gingko trees. Even if it did not occupy such a commanding position on the hill, the house would still stand out from all others nearby, so that as you come up the path, you may find yourself wondering what sort of wealthy man owns it.
But then I am not, nor have I ever been, a wealthy man. The imposing air of the house will be accounted for, perhaps, if I inform you that it was built by my predecessor, and that he was none other than Akira Sugimura. Of course, you may be new to this city, in which case the name of Akira Sugimura may not be familiar to you. But mention it to anyone who lived here before the war and you will learn that for thirty years or so, Sugimura was unquestionably amongst the city’s most respected and influential men.
If I tell you this, and when arriving at the top of the hill you stand and look at the fine cedar gateway, the large area bound by the garden wall, the roof with its elegant tiles and its stylishly carved ridgepole pointing out over the view, you may well wonder how I came to acquire such a property, being as I claim a man of only moderate means. The truth is, I bought the house for a nominal sum—a figure probably not even half the property’s true value at that time. This was made possible owing to a most curious—some may say foolish—procedure instigated by the Sugimura family during the sale.
It is now already a thing of some fifteen years ago. In those days, when my circumstances seemed to improve with each month, my wife had begun to press me to find a new house. With her usual foresight, she had argued the importance of our having a house in keeping with our status—not out of vanity, but for the sake of our children’s marriage prospects. I saw the sense in this, but since Setsuko, our eldest, was still only fourteen or fifteen, I did not go about the matter with any urgency. Nevertheless, for a year or so, whenever I heard of a suitable house for sale, I would remember to make enquiries. It was one of my pupils who first brought it to my attention that Akira Sugimura’s house, a year after his death, was to be sold off. That I should buy such a house seemed absurd, and I put the suggestion down to the exaggerated respect my pupils always had for me. But I made enquiries all the same, and gained an unexpected response.
I received a visit one afternoon from two haughty, grey-haired ladies, who turned out to be the daughters of Akira Sugimura. When I expressed my surprise at receiving such personal attention from a family of such distinction, the elder of the sisters told me coldly that they had not come simply out of courtesy. Over the previous months, a fair number of enquiries had been received for their late father’s house, but the family had in the end decided to refuse all but four of the applications. These four applicants had been selected care­fully by family members on grounds purely of good character and achievement.
‘It is of the first importance to us’, she went on, ‘that the house our father built should pass to one he would have approved of and deemed worthy of it. Of course, circum­stances oblige us to consider the financial aspect, but this is strictly secondary. We have therefore set a price.’
At this point, the younger sister, who had barely spoken, presented me with an envelope, and they watched me sternly as I opened it. Inside was a single sheet of paper, blank but for a figure written elegantly with an ink brush. I was about to express my astonishment at the low price, but then saw from the faces before me that further discussion of finances would be considered distasteful. The elder sister said simply: ‘It will not be in the interests of any of you to try to outbid one another. We are not interested in receiving anything beyond the quoted price. What we mean to do from here on is to conduct an auction of prestige.’
They had come in person, she explained, to ask formally on behalf of the Sugimura family that I submit myself—along, of course, with the other three applicants—to a closer investiga­tion of my background and credentials. A suitable buyer could thus be chosen.
It was an eccentric procedure, but I saw nothing objection­able about it; it was, after all, much the same as being involved in a marriage negotiation. Indeed, I felt somewhat flattered to be considered by this old and hidebound family as a worthy candidate. When I gave my consent to the investiga­tion, and expressed my gratitude to them, the younger sister addressed me for the first time, saying: ‘Our father was a cultured man, Mr Ono. He had much respect for artists. Indeed, he knew of your work.’
In the days which followed, I made enquiries of my own, and discovered the truth of the younger sister’s words; Akira Sugimura had indeed been something of an art enthusiast who on numerous occasions had supported exhibitions with his money. I also came across certain interesting rumours: a significant section of the Sugimura family, it seemed, had been against selling the house at all, and there had been some bitter arguments. In the end, financial pressures meant a sale was inevitable, and the odd procedures around the transac­tion represented the compromise reached with those who had not wished the house to pass out of the family. That there was something high-handed about these arrangements there was no denying; but for my part, I was prepared to sympathize with the sentiments of a family with such a distinguished history. My wife, however, did not take kindly to the idea of an investigation.
‘Who do they think they are?’ she protested. ‘We should tell them we want nothing further to do with them.
‘But where’s the harm?’ I pointed out. ‘We have nothing we wouldn’t want them to discover. True, I don’t have a wealthy background, but no doubt the Sugimuras know that already, and they still think us worthy candidates. Let them inves­tigate, they can only find things that will be to our advantage.’ And I made a point of adding: In any case, they’re doing no more than they would if we were negotiating a marriage with them. We’ll have to get used to this sort of thing.’
Besides, there was surely much to admire in the idea of ‘an auction of prestige’, as the elder daughter called it. One wonders why things are not settled more often by such means. How so much more honourable is such a contest, in which one’s moral conduct and achievement are brought as witnesses rather than the size of one’s purse. I can still recall the deep satisfaction I felt when I learnt the Sugimuras—after the most thorough investigation—had deemed me the most worthy of the house they so prized. And certainly, the house is one worth having suffered a few inconveniences for; des­pite its impressive and imposing exterior, it is inside a place of soft, natural woods selected for the beauty of their grains, and all of us who lived in it came to find it most conducive to relaxation and calm.
For all that, the Sugimuras’ high-handedness was apparent everywhere during the transactions, some family members making no attempts to hide their hostility towards us, and a less understanding buyer might well have taken offence and abandoned the whole matter. Even in later years I would sometimes encounter by chance some member of the family who, instead of exchanging the usual kind of polite talk, would stand there in the street interrogating me as to the state of the house and any alterations I had made.
These days, I hardly ever hear of the Sugimuras. I did, though, receive a visit shortly after the surrender from the younger of the two sisters who had approached me at the time of the sale. The war years had turned her into a thin, ailing old woman. In the way characteristic of the family, she made scant effort to hide the fact that her concern lay with how the house—rather than its inhabitants—had fared during the war; she gave only the briefest of commiserations on hearing about my wife and about Kenji, before embarking on questions concerning the bomb damage. This made me bitter towards her at first; but then I began to notice how her eyes would roam involuntarily around the room, and how she would occasionally pause abruptly in the midst of one of her measured and formal sentences, and I realized she was experiencing waves of emotion at finding herself back in this house once more. Then, when I surmised that most of her family members from the time of the sale were now dead, I began to feel pity for her and offered to show her around.
The house had received its share of the war damage. Akira Sugimura had built an eastern wing to the house, comprising three large rooms, connected to the main body of the house by a long corridor running down one side of the garden. This corridor was so extravagant in its length that some people have suggested Sugimura built it—together with the east wing—for his parents, whom he wished to keep at a distance. The corridor was, in any case, one of the most appealing features of the house; in the afternoon, its entire length would be crossed by the lights and shades of the foliage outside, so that one felt one was walking through a garden tunnel. The bulk of the bomb damage had been to this section of the house, and as we surveyed it from the garden I could see Miss Sugimura was close to tears. By this point, I had lost all my earlier sense of irritation with the old woman and I reassured her as best I could that the damage would be repaired at the first opportunity, and the house would be once more as her father had built it.
I had no idea when I promised her this that supplies would remain so scarce. For a long time after the surrender one could wait weeks just for a particular piece of wood or a supply of nails. What work I could do under such circumstances had to be done to the main body of the house—which had by no means entirely escaped damage—and progress on the garden corridor and the east wing has been slow. I have done what I can to prevent any serious deterioration, but we are still far from being able to open that part of the house again. Besides, now with only Noriko and myself left here, there seems less urgency to be extending our living space.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Winner of the 2012 Fifty Books/Fifty Covers show, organized by Design Observer in association with AIGA and Designers & Books

Winner of the 2014 Type Directors Club Communication Design Award

Praise for Penguin Drop Caps:

"[Penguin Drop Caps] convey a sense of nostalgia for the tactility and aesthetic power of a physical book and for a centuries-old tradition of beautiful lettering."
Fast Company

“Vibrant, minimalist new typographic covers…. Bonus points for the heartening gender balance of the initial selections.”
—Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

"The Penguin Drop Caps series is a great example of the power of design. Why buy these particular classics when there are less expensive, even free editions of Great Expectations? Because they’re beautiful objects. Paul Buckley and Jessica Hische’s fresh approach to the literary classics reduces the design down to typography and color. Each cover is foil-stamped with a cleverly illustrated letterform that reveals an element of the story. Jane Austen’s A (Pride and Prejudice) is formed by opulent peacock feathers and Charlotte Bronte’s B (Jane Eyre) is surrounded by flames. The complete set forms a rainbow spectrum prettier than anything else on your bookshelf."
—Rex Bonomelli, The New York Times


"Classic reads in stunning covers—your book club will be dying."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Artist of the Floating World 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
CR-Buell More than 1 year ago
To read the blurb on the back of this novel you'd think this was a book about a man coming to terms with his past. And it is. But that's not all it is, nor is it even the main thrust of the novel. Ono is an artist who once employed his talents toward a vision of a stronger Japan. A vision which would eventually lead Japan into WWII. Now, some years after the war, Ono reminisces about his younger days, and while he is able to admit his vision was ultimately wrong for Japan, he is still proud of the will which drove him. Even if his vision was a mistake, he takes pride in standing for, and working toward, a goal he believed in; which is more than most people ever do. Framing this history is the story of Ono's current negotiations to arrange a marriage for his younger daughter, Noriko. Noriko however belongs to the emerging generation which is looking to cast off the old ways of traditional Japan. Caught somewhere in the middle is Ono's elder daughter, Setsuko, who although still acts the subservient daughter, clearly shares her sister's outlook. Ono is a man clinging desperately to outmoded traditions, while the world around him rapidly modernizes. Willfully blind to his own failings, both past and present, he is at once both pathetic and sympathetic. This really isn't a novel about a man coming to terms with his past, but more a novel about a man coming to terms with the future.
Dierckx More than 1 year ago
The early novels by Kazuo Ishiguro deal with loneliness, isolation ('A Pale View of Hills', 'An artist of the Floating World') and the inability to respond to the feelings of others (The Remains of the Day). Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954 and moved to Britain at the age of five. It is 1948. Japan is rebuilding her cities after the calamity of World War II, her people putting defeat behind them and looking to the future. The celebrated painter, Masuji Ono, fills his days attending to his garden, his house repairs, his two grown daughters and his grandson; his evenings drinking with old associates in quiet lantern-lit bars. He should have a tranquil retirement. But as his memories continually return to the past - to a life and career deeply touched by the rise of Japanese militarism - a dark shadow begins to grow over his serenity... It's the tragedy of a man who supported the wrong political ideas and somehow hasn't come to terms with his wrong judgement.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have rather mixed feelings about this novel. The main character is constantly trying to reconcile his conflicted feelings during the entire novel. As a young artist in 1940's Japan, he gives up studying the "floating world" of pleasure and uses his talents to create propoganda for Imperialist Japan. After the war is over and Japan has npw taken on a more westernized mentality, he is now looked on as a traitor. Though he now admits he has made mistakes, he is still proud of the work he has done and does not understand why some treat him as an outcast. Interesting novel. I enjoyed learning more about the Japanese mindset than the actual storyline. Still, I would give this one a try.
Mindsetter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have read this book four times and enjoyed it more each time. Delicate, haunting, beautifully realized. About reputation, honor and memory. The realization that one has devoted every ounce of one's talents to a cause that turns out to be wrong.
phebj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the second book I've read by Kazuo Ishiguro. The first was "The Remains of the Day", which is one of my favorite books. There are similarities between the books. Both tell the stories, in first person, of "older" (50 or 60-ish) male narrators as they look back over their lives and are forced to re-evaluate some of their actions. Both books also take place after the Second World War, one in Britain, the other in Japan, as those countries struggle to adjust to their new, diminished positions in the world order. What I love about Ishiguro's writing style is how he gets inside his character's heads. You immediately become sympathetic to them and it's only as the books go on that you start to realize (often along with the narrators) that they may not be seeing things the way everyone else does. His narrators are proud men and their accomplishments are important to them. In "An Artist of the Floating World", Masuji Ono wanted to be an artist since he was a boy despite his father's belittling of the profession. He becomes one of the successful artists of the floating world--"the night-time world of pleasure, entertainment and drink"--of an unnamed city in Japan (Wikipedia says its Nagasaki--where Ishiguro was born). Eventually, Ono decides to leave the floating world and begins working for the Japanese government creating propaganda paintings in the lead-up to Japan's entry in the Second World War. The book takes place in the late 1940s and early 1950s, after the "surrender", when public opinion has changed drastically about the wisdom of Japan's actions in the War. One of Ono's current worries is that he played such a vital role in pre-war Imperial Japan that he is jeopardizing his daughter's chances of finding a suitable marriage partner. His pride prevents him from seeing his role the way others do. As a colleague of his during those days says to him: "Army officers, politicians, businessmen . . . They've all been blamed for what happened to this country. But as for the likes of us, Ono, our contribution was always marginal. No one cares now what the likes of you and me once did. They look at us and see only two old men with their sticks. . . . We're the only ones who care now. The likes of you and me, Ono, when we look back over our lives and see they were flawed, we're the only ones who care now." This is a beautifully written, compelling story and I'm giving it 4 1/2 stars.
thiagop on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An Artist of the Floating World tells the story of Masuji Ono, an old japanese retired painter, that was once famous during the World War II. While trying to help his younger daughter to get married, he starts to remember his past, his time as an aprentice, and other passages of his professional and personal life.The story is very light, frivolous. It doesn't inspire you to keep on reading for cover to cover, but it is so simple and the main character so captivating, that it can keep you to the end. Although the story is not quite appealing, neither it has major failures. The passages of his memories close to the end of the book come to be a little more interesting.The main story is ordered chronologically, but the meories of the main character keep going forward and backward all the time, but the author manages to get through it without making the book too confusing. I stopped reading for a few weeks and it kind of disrupt a little bit my comprehension, cause some characters come and go with his memories, and I couldn't remeber all of them.The annoying part of it is the way the old man's daughters treat him, but this may be a good point of the book, cause it shows how plausible it is. It feels like mr. Ono is telling his story personally.Summarizing, this is a story about changing, about giving all you can when you believe you are right and don't deny what you have done.
montymike on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Told in the form of a memoir, we are given an insight into the life of a renowned Japanese artist just after the end of WWII. He drifts between the present (late-1940's) and the past (pre-WWII), often looking back over periods of his life in a very nostaligiac mood. It is beautifully written and takes you deep into the heart of the Japanese culture and psyche at the time. Although bitter at times (Japan have just surrendered the war), it is fundamentally a story full of optimism and warmth for the future and its generations. A very warming and positive read. I think one that probably will linger in the mind for years to come. Highly recommended, painful to put down.
bibliobibuli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I haven't read this up for 20 years or so, but the first time round it blew me away. It's one of Ishiguro's strongest novels, second only I think to Remains of the Day.Now I have a new copy it's high time for a reread!
JimmyChanga on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While I admire something about Ishiguro, I also find his novels a bit too constructed. Reading them, I feel like everything has been carefully laid out, all the plot turns and events. Though there isn't an "exciting plot" at play in this novel, Ishiguro was able to reveal it in a way that hides critical info at just the right points to keep your interest. While traditionally that is seen as a good thing, showing the author's mastery of the novel, I feel it stifles the novel a bit. There isn't much room for spontaneity here, and the reader will not feel like he is discovering something, but merely being revealed to. I guess the devices he employs is distancing.He also uses other devices that seem totally unnecessary and distracting. Like he would often say something like "I met Mr. So-and-so yesterday. You no doubt have heard much about him..." where the narrator is speaking to some imaginary Japanese person who knows certain things. It's kind of an annoying device when it's pretty obvious that we DON'T know. Then of course, he goes on and reveals what we need to know anyway.Another annoyance is when he says "then he said 'something something something'. But it is very likely that he didn't use these exact words, and in fact, that kind of phrase is more like something I would say, and have in fact said to my students all the time. Perhaps my memory is mixing up the two, but either way, he said something to the same effect". This kind of sentiment is also repeated throughout the novel in a most annoying way.Those quibbles out of the way, it seems the novel does achieve something: a kind of melancholy enquiry of post war Japan seen through the lens of an aging artist. I thought some of its observations and meditations were poignant, and kind of enjoyable in their unforceful way. By unforceful, I mean that they don't come across as very important revelations. Which is nice.
LynnB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the story of Mr. Ono, a retired artist in post- WWII Japan. As his younger daughter's wedding plans have fallen through, he is forced to look back on his political positions and actions prior to the War and how they may be haunting his family today. The book is beautifully written. Told from Ono's perspective, we are brought into his present life and, through his recollections, to his past. This is a fascinating exploration of a Japanese family trying to find its way in a society struggling to do the same in a time of powerful change.
Milda-TX on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Japan, 1948-50, and how the war affected the generations differently. Fantastic, amazing, couldn't put it down. Had to hold my breath while the background stories unfolded, wondering how badly the marriage negotiations would go.
sturlington on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like his later and more well known novels, Artist displays Ishiguro¿s lyric command of language that just draws you in. But in this case, I wanted a little more. I wished for more context, more background, more descriptions of what people looked like and how they moved, even more descriptions of the controversial art at the center of the story, so I could better understand the two worlds Ishiguro is painting for us: the artist¿s floating world and the contrite, beaten-down world of post-war Japan.
cestovatela on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I appreciate this book in retrospect more than I did while I was reading it. It's unique because it's the only book I've ever read that considers Japan in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Masuji Ono begins the book as a rebel, first against his father when he chooses a career as a painter, then against his teacher when he insists that art must chronicle real-world suffering and be a part of the fight for a better Japan. But without even realizing it, rebellious young Ono becomes a literal poster boy for the establishment, winning fame by painting war propaganda posters. An Artist of the Floating World is Ono's attempt to make sense of his part in encouraging a war that nearly destroyed his family and his country. But, as much as I appreciate the uniqueness and complexity of the novel, I found Ishiguro's storytelling skills uncharacteristically lacking. Although the prose itself is beautiful, something's wrong with the pacing. I spent too much time wondering where this story was going, only to have a spelled out a little too clearly in the final pages. The book needs a little more dramatic tension to be truly compelling, but it's still definitely worth a read.
lauralkeet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's 1948, and retired Japanese artist Masuji Ono is watching his country rebuild -- physically, emotionally, and politically -- after the damage wrought by the second World War. He lost loved ones and his home was damaged, as were some of his regular haunts. Now his life revolves around his two adult daughters Setsuko and Noriko, and his young grandson Ichiro. Setsuko and Ichiro live far away, but Noriko lives with her father. A marriage deal is in the works, but the sisters are nervous because a previous negotiation fell through. Ono is oblivious to the risk, and even more importantly fails to grasp that his own pre-war activities could be damaging Noriko's prospects.Ono provides the narrative, and while there's plenty of dialogue, a great deal is inside his head. Details drip out like water from a leaky faucet. He goes off on tangents, and sometimes references important events or conversations, but doesn't fill in the details until later. He often ends a long story by saying it may not have happened exactly as he remembered it. Kazuo Ishiguro uses Noriko and Setsuko to fill in the blanks through conversations with their father. And his portrayal of the Japanese father-daughter relationship is brilliant. When Ono's daughters challenge him, they do so in a very indirect way. They make suggestions instead of overt requests, even when the matter is of the utmost importance. As Noriko's marriage negotiations begin, Setsuko is clearly worried about something from their past, and wants Ono to clear things up with certain associates:

"I wonder how Mr Kuroda is these days. I can remember how he used to come here, and you would talk together for hours in the reception room."

"I've no idea about Kuroda these days."

"Forgive me, but I wonder if it may not be wise if Father were to visit Mr Kuroda soon."

"Visit him?"

"Mr. Kuroda. And perhaps certain other such acquaintances from the past."

"I'm not sure I follow what you're saying, Setsuko."

"Forgive me, I simply meant to suggest that Father may wish to speak to certain acquaintances from his past. That is to say, before the Saitos' detective does. After all, we do not wish any unnecessary misunderstandings to arise."

"No, I suppose we don't," I said, returning to my paper.

I believe we did not discuss the matter further after that. Neither did Setsuko raise it again for the remainder of her stay last month. (p. 85)

As Ono reminisces on his pre-war artistic career the reader comes to understand his daughters' concerns. But Ono is more savvy and self-aware than he lets on, and takes a personal risk at what he judges to be a critical point in the marriage negotiations.This is one of Ishiguro's early novels, and its style is much like The Remains of the Day, which is one of my all-time favorite books. An Artist of the Floating World is nearly as great, and highly recommended.
KLmesoftly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story of a Japanese Nationalist painter post-WWII as he adjusts to a Westernizing nation and attempts to help his youngest daughter marry despite his own now-distasteful background. I recently finished a course on twentieth century Japan, and I have to say, Ishiguro has done an amazing job of capturing the atmosphere and character of the time. The protagonist is imperfect but endearing; I felt for him, and found myself missing the (inevitably destructive) ideals that he felt that Japan had lost. Other reviewers have expressed annoyance at the way the main character's daughters treat him--I'll second that, but with a note that the situation does closely echo that faced by many Japanese adults in the mid-twentieth century. I want to recommend this to anyone interested in Japanese history, a different perspective on World War II and its cultural impact, or merely an engaging story told well.
RodneyWelch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like "Remains of the Day," this earlier Ishiguro novel is about a man who arrives rather late to the realization that his life has been wasted. The artist is a skillful painter whose art has been in service to Imperialist Japan, which makes him anathama to his family and society after the war.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Artist' stands alone as a gem in spite of the popularity of his other books. Ishuguro masterly blends character development with insights about the past and present life of our main character with such finess that many paragraphs have their own artistic value.If you are new to Kazuo or are an old fan this one is not to be overlooked. The story will also offer insight into the historical dilemma found within Japan. Ishuguru gives the world a new perspective of mankind and moral decision making. With prose as lovely as poetry and scenes painted with tender words and patience you will enter the artists floating world and realize you have experienced true human experience with all its insecurities and insights.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a very nice book, presenting a uniquely surreal and intriging view of Japanese life pre- and post-WW2. I was deeply troubled by this book, however, as it is far too similar to his previous work in 'The Remains of the Day' and 'A Pale View of the Hills.' Both previous works have a character trying to overcome denial through recounting tales of important espisodes from their past leading up to the second world war. Same with this one. The only major difference is that while the previous works take place in England, this one is set in Japan. If it wasn't for the saving grace of incorporating his cultural heritage so vividly into this book, I would have hated it for being almost EXACTLY like his previous two in character development and plot. On its own, it's an intriguing and deeply satisfying work, and worth reading even if you've read his older books. But please, can we move on to something new, Ishiguro?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book japan aritist was special because japan can use it a book or enything make you what ever make you feel better and i like all of your writing it was special to me because it you more writing to share i love to share my to who wrote this book was great i have so many books of your it special and i love your storyes
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ishiguro writes well, and it's curious because I know very few about Japanese people except his electronic goods and cars. From where come all this? I find the personnage of the painter Ono is very acquiescent while he tell us another japanese people killed themselves. For the occidental it seems it hasn't no place for intermediate gestures. Yet it's surprising a plastic artist should play so important place in the preparation of war with propagandistic pictures, draws, etc. I think in Spain, neither Picasso was considered so important about the civil war. Writers, I think are different. Ishiguro says this was so in Japan, but this is the case there was another people as ex- generals and military people affected by a kind of amnesia and directing the new entreprises of the post - war Japan. Curiously, Ono has a moment of doubt after a big success- the Sigheta prize- because inexplicably he doesn't attain to see to Mori- San, his old master in the Floating, ligth world of sake, sweet nigths and women. The author doesn't explain why he does so and after arrtiving by railway he only rests eating some oranges; indeed we are authorized to think Ono at last wasn't no so sure of his merits in getting close to war japanese politics of thirties.