The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (2015): SPOILER Episode 48

November 8, 2018
00:0000:00

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“Is it not better some things remain hidden from our minds?”

This week, against Paul’s express wishes, the Spoiler team have accepted a listener request and are reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s philosophical fantasy novel ‘The Buried Giant’. This dense meditation on collective memory pretty much splits the team three ways, with professed fantasy fan Rachael wishing for more fantastical elements and Andy, who is ambivalent at best about the fantasy genre, pleased to find the emphasis more on themes and ideas than on ogres and pixies. Paul, meanwhile, is perplexed and frustrated by the slow pace, the lack of action and the fact that everyone is so unnecessarily courteous. It doesn’t help that certain elements of the book also remind him of Chris de Burgh! Regardless of their opinions on the text itself, the team use it as a jumping-off point for interesting discussions on our reaction as human beings to concepts and events that we struggle to process. And everyone agrees that the numerous critical comparisons with ‘Game of Thrones’ are as lazy as DJs who play The Bangles ‘Manic Monday’ on a Monday morning.

Elsewhere, Rachael takes a sublimely uplifting look at Kazuo Ishiguro’s lesser-known stint as a jazz lyricist, with plenty of lovely musical interludes to enjoy.

This week’s scale: A giant in the world of fiction or a book that should be buried deep, deep in the ground