“The Unconsoled” is one of Kazuo Ishiguro’s most peculiar novels. Reading it may feel like navigating that dream where you suddenly recall that the deadline to submit your thesis is tomorrow, and you have not even started working on it. At once ridiculous, funny, and biting, this is a book about lost opportunities, wasted time and striving for a future that never arrives. Ishiguro masterfully shows that all our fears and anxieties live on regardless of the status or success we may achieve. Indeed, such achievements actually fail to substitute what really matters in life. This book will likely stick with you more than you expect and will urge you to reconsider our incessant need to strive, only to witness our lives slipping between our fingers.
Ryder, a renowned pianist, arrives in a Central European city he cannot identify for a concert he cannot remember agreeing to give . . .
On first publication in 1995, The Unconsoled was met in some quarters with bewilderment and vilification, in others with the highest praise. One commentator asked, ‘Has Ishiguro gone for greatness or has he gone mad?’ Over the years, this uniquely strange and extraordinary novel about a man whose life has accelerated beyond his control has come to be seen by many as being the key work and a turning point in his career.
Praise and awards
‘A masterpiece. It is above all a book devoted to the human heart.’ Rachel Cusk, The Times
‘The most original and remarkable book he has so far produced.’ New York Times Book Review
‘One of the strangest books in memory.’ TLS
‘I’ve never read a book like it. I think it is a masterpiece.’ John Carey, The Late Show
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