I just finished another of Ishiguro’s novel , “The Buried Giant ” and I again get this compelling feeling to share it with you all .
This book was written during the times of King Arthur when author found out that there were historical voids so that author could fill those voids with his brush of imagination .
This book is a toil of ten years and was published in 2015.
I have shared with you his previous bestsellers on my blog and author Ishiguro needs no introductions . He is a British author of Japanese descent and is the Nobel Prize winner in Literature in 2017
As in his past books, we embark on another fabled journey but this time to the ancient world of post King Arthur’s rule where Britons and Saxons are at a never ending war. It’s a world of Kings , knights Ogres ,demons .People still live and die by swords .
In these times ,our protagonists, Axl and Beatrice , poor farmers, who live in a community and are not being treated very fairly by the other cohabitants of the community, decide to embark on a journey to meet their son who is a couple of days away from them .
But a bizarre amnesia has seemed to engulf the whole area and they have all forgotten their recent and remote pasts .This amnesia is to such an extent that Axl and Beatrice do not even remember their son’s face .
So as we travel through the country side ,the valleys ,through the forests and meet many interesting characters we cannot help but compare our present day world to the author’s world in the novel.
The Saxon village where Axl and Beatrice reach to counsel with the lady healer, they find out about the lad Edwin ,who had been rescued by a visiting Saxon warrior from the Ogres .He has a bite mark which the villagers think is from an Ogre and that would turn him against his own people .Superstitions, self centeredness takes over the villagers and they want to kill that small boy .
The warrior, Wistan, is on a secret mission, who has been chosen by his Saxon King to kill the She Dragon Querig ,who’s breath is causing the amnesic mist in the area. Sir Gawain , who is the nephew of King Arthur and is a Knight , has been the protector of the She Dragon .As per King’s wishes ,he wanted the mist to prevail so that foes could live as friends and the senseless war could be stopped .
Axl and Beatrice are an old couple in love with each other and profess their love for each other in every possible manner and would not be out of sight from each other even for a second but when they regain their memory after the She Dragon is killed and mist of amnesia is cleared Axl, remembers that theirs was not a perfect marriage and there were clinks in the armor which he needs to overlook to make his marriage going
As with Ishiguro’s novels there is always more than it meets the eyes and we cannot help but wonder that though we are reading a novel set in the past but we could very much be in a present .We still let illiteracy , superstition ,selfishness drive us
We know ,there is no such thing as infinite justice and we all need this mist of “Forget and Forgiveness for a peaceful coexistence but as in the novel, the strong warrior, Wistan not only kills Gawain but also sows the seeds of hatred ,disharmony ,violence for the next generation through the lad Edwin so that peace never gets a chance and War perpetuates.
Author again draws our attention that we need to keep the bigger picture in mind and let our love be the winner and not hate .
It is a full length novel some times it gets a little repetitive specially the interactions between the old couple and the story looses its emotional pull and pace at some points but all in all there still remains lots of questions unanswered during the read , so one would like to finish the book .
The setting of the story also does not change and we again get to revisit the United Kingdom
Master story teller as Ishiguro is , the language has its distinct flavor and though we are reading simple English we know we are at a different historical era.
Mankind is in the era of scientific boom but we have not changed our basic characteristics and the themes of our stories are ageless ,timeless and generation less . Unless we are ready to Bury the Giant , peace and prosperity would always elude us .Even when Sir Gawain tried to protect the mist of forgiveness we are still pretty much at the mercy of likes of Wistan who see their emancipation only by vengeance, violence and war and unfortunately they are still winning