The Unconsoled

The Unconsoled

Book - 1995
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Baker & Taylor
Arriving in a European city with significant gaps in his memory, Ryder, a renowned pianist, is overwhelmed by an onslaught of strangers who seem to know him and of whom he has vague, dreamlike recollections

Blackwell North Amer
The Unconsoled is the story of a man named Ryder. He is a pianist of international renown who, as the novel opens, has arrived in a European city he cannot identify to give a concert he cannot remember agreeing to give. In the days before the concert, he is led in and out of the lives of seeming strangers, but his fleeting recollections of them and of his purpose among them are invariably overwhelmed by their inexplicable knowledge and expectations of him. What they want of him (what they may already have) may be revealed somewhere amid the physical and emotional landscapes he finds himself traversing: by turns eerie and comical and, always, strangely malleable - as a dream might be, or a nightmare, or the day-to-day reality of a man whose public self has taken on a life of its own.

& Taylor

Arriving in an European city with significant gaps in his memory, Ryder, a renowned pianist, is overwhelmed by an onslaught of strangers who seem to know him and of whom he has vague, dreamlike recollections. 75,000 first printing. BOMC & QPB Alt. Tour.

Publisher: New York : A.A. Knopf, c1995
ISBN: 9780679404255
Branch Call Number: FICTION ISHIGURO
Characteristics: 535 p


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Jan 11, 2017

This book is full of Ishiguro's typical beautiful and tight prose, and although the plot is certainly meandering at times I think it is entirely intentional and very much a strength of this novel. It contains plenty of touching vignettes and had me laughing out loud at several points. I didn't think it was a hard read, although perhaps it does require a bit of patience.

theorbys Jan 30, 2015

If this book had been 200 pages shorter it would have perhaps been a masterpiece. Don't be put off by its oniric quality, it's not that hard to understand, but you may well be put off by its endless meandering prose.

Don27 Oct 01, 2013

I almost stopped reading this a couple of times, but I continued on till the end and I was glad I did. It is a very difficult book to read, but at the same time it moves along, thereby perhaps reflecting the dreamlike quality of this book. Real but unreal, fast but yet slow. There is really not much of a plot, except for one man's difficult journey through a few days time, leading up to a scheduled piano recital. A very, very odd book, but full of the high's and lows of the human condition. Glad I stuck with it and finished it.

Feb 10, 2012

Reads like a writing experiment gone horribly wrong. The story is aimless; the point of view is muddled; and the characters don't act human. An incredibly dense and meaningless word overdose.

alleycat Oct 03, 2008

Ishiguro's ability to assume such different (and perfect) narrative voices from novel to novel suggests (to me, at least) that he is truly brilliant ... The Unconsoled is not an easy read, but it's absolutely astounding. Wow! The style of the prose, and the dream-like quality of the story, reminded me of two of my favourite writers (both of whom incidentally are German: namely, Franz Kafka and Thomas Mann).


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Feb 10, 2012

"...After all, we get older and parts of us start to die. Perhaps we start to die emotionally too. Do you think that's possible, Mr Ryder?"


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