- フォーマット： Kindle版
- ファイルサイズ： 522 KB
- 推定ページ数： 354 ページ
- 出版社: Faber & Faber; 01版 (2015/3/3)
- 販売： Amazon Services International, Inc.
- 言語: 英語
- ASIN: B00R0K7VF0
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The Buried Giant (English Edition) Kindle版
Literature & Fiction
You would have searched a long time for the sort of winding lane or tranquil meadow for which England later became celebrated. There were instead miles of desolate, uncultivated land; here and there rough-hewn paths over craggy hills or bleak moorland. Most of the roads left by the Romans would by then have become broken or overgrown, often fading into wilderness. Icy fogs hung over rivers and marshes, serving all too well the ogres that were then still native to this land. The people who lived nearby—one wonders what desperation led them to settle in such gloomy spots—might well have feared these creatures, whose panting breaths could be heard long before their deformed figures emerged from the mist. But such monsters were not cause for astonishment. People then would have regarded them as everyday hazards, and in those days there was so much else to worry about. How to get food out of the hard ground; how not to run out of firewood; how to stop the sickness that could kill a dozen pigs in a single day and produce green rashes on the cheeks of children.
In any case, ogres were not so bad provided one did not provoke them. One had to accept that every so often, perhaps following some obscure dispute in their ranks, a creature would come blundering into a village in a terrible rage, and despite shouts and brandishings of weapons, rampage about injuring anyone slow to move out of its path. Or that every so often, an ogre might carry off a child into the mist. The people of the day had to be philosophical about such outrages.
In one such area on the edge of a vast bog, in the shadow of some jagged hills, lived an elderly couple, Axl and Beatrice. Perhaps these were not their exact or full names, but for ease, this is how we will refer to them. I would say this couple lived an isolated life, but in those days few were “isolated” in any sense we would understand. For warmth and protection, the villagers lived in shelters, many of them dug deep into the hillside, connecting one to the other by underground passages and covered corridors. Our elderly couple lived within one such sprawling warren—“building” would be too grand a word—with roughly sixty other villagers. If you came out of their warren and walked for twenty minutes around the hill, you would have reached the next settlement, and to your eyes, this one would have seemed identical to the first. But to the inhabitants themselves, there would have been many distinguishing details of which they would have been proud or ashamed.
I have no wish to give the impression that this was all there was to the Britain of those days; that at a time when magnificent civilisations flourished elsewhere in the world, we were here not much beyond the Iron Age. Had you been able to roam the countryside at will, you might well have discovered castles containing music, fine food, athletic excellence; or monasteries with inhabitants steeped in learning. But there is no getting around it. Even on a strong horse, in good weather, you could have ridden for days without spotting any castle or monastery looming out of the greenery. Mostly you would have found communities like the one I have just described, and unless you had with you gifts of food or clothing, or were ferociously armed, you would not have been sure of a welcome. I am sorry to paint such a picture of our country at that time, but there you are.
To return to Axl and Beatrice. As I said, this elderly couple lived on the outer fringes of the warren, where their shelter was less protected from the elements and hardly benefited from the fire in the Great Chamber where everyone congregated at night. Perhaps there had been a time when they had lived closer to the fire; a time when they had lived with their children. In fact, it was just such an idea that would drift into Axl’s mind as he lay in his bed during the empty hours before dawn, his wife soundly asleep beside him, and then a sense of some unnamed loss would gnaw at his heart, preventing him from returning to sleep.
Perhaps that was why, on this particular morning, Axl had abandoned his bed altogether and slipped quietly outside to sit on the old warped bench beside the entrance to the warren in wait for the first signs of daylight. It was spring, but the air still felt bitter, even with Beatrice’s cloak, which he had taken on his way out and wrapped around himself. Yet he had become so absorbed in his thoughts that by the time he realised how cold he was, the stars had all but gone, a glow was spreading on the horizon, and the first notes of birdsong were emerging from the dimness.
He rose slowly to his feet, regretting having stayed out so long. He was in good health, but it had taken a while to shake off his last fever and he did not wish it to return. Now he could feel the damp in his legs, but as he turned to go back inside, he was well satisfied: for he had this morning succeeded in remembering a number of things that had eluded him for some time. Moreover, he now sensed he was about to come to some momentous decision—one that had been put off far too long—and felt an excitement within him which he was eager to share with his wife.
Inside, the passageways of the warren were still in complete darkness, and he was obliged to feel his way the short distance back to the door of his chamber. Many of the “doorways” within the warren were simple archways to mark the threshold to a chamber. The open nature of this arrangement would not have struck the villagers as compromising their privacy, but allowed rooms to benefit from any warmth coming down the corridors from the great fire or the smaller fires permitted within the warren. Axl and Beatrice’s room, however, being too far from any fire had something we might recognise as an actual door; a large wooden frame criss-crossed with small branches, vines and thistles which someone going in and out would each time have to lift to one side, but which shut out the chilly draughts. Axl would happily have done without this door, but it had over time become an object of considerable pride to Beatrice. He had often returned to find his wife pulling off withered pieces from the construct and replacing them with fresh cuttings she had gathered during the day.
This morning, Axl moved the barrier just enough to let himself in, taking care to make as little noise as possible. Here, the early dawn light was leaking into the room through the small chinks of their outer wall. He could see his hand dimly before him, and on the turf bed, Beatrice’s form still sound asleep under the thick blankets.
He was tempted to wake his wife. For a part of him felt sure that if, at this moment, she were awake and talking to him, whatever last barriers remained between him and his decision would finally crumble. But it was some time yet until the community roused itself and the day’s work began, so he settled himself on the low stool in the corner of the chamber, his wife’s cloak still tight around him.
He wondered how thick the mist would be that morning, and if, as the dark faded, he would see it had seeped through the cracks right into their chamber. But then his thoughts drifted away from such matters, back to what had been preoccupying him. Had they always lived like this, just the two of them, at the periphery of the community? Or had things once been quite different? Earlier, outside, some fragments of a remembrance had come back to him: a small moment when he was walking down the long central corridor of the warren, his arm around one of his own children, his gait a little crouched not on account of age as it might be now, but simply because he wished to avoid hitting his head on the beams in the murky light. Possibly the child had just been speaking to him, saying something amusing, and they were both of them laughing. But now, as earlier outside, nothing would quite settle in his mind, and the more he concentrated, the fainter the fragments seemed to grow. Perhaps these were just an elderly fool’s imaginings. Perhaps it was that God had never given them children.
You may wonder why Axl did not turn to his fellow villagers for assistance in recalling the past, but this was not as easy as you might suppose. For in this community the past was rarely discussed. I do not mean that it was taboo. I mean that it had somehow faded into a mist as dense as that which hung over the marshes. It simply did not occur to these villagers to think about the past—even the recent one.
To take an instance, one that had bothered Axl for some time: He was sure that not so long ago, there had been in their midst a woman with long red hair—a woman regarded as crucial to their village. Whenever anyone injured themselves or fell sick, it had been this red-haired woman, so skilled at healing, who was immediately sent for. Yet now this same woman was no longer to be found anywhere, and no one seemed to wonder what had occurred, or even to express regret at her absence. When one morning Axl had mentioned the matter to three neighbours while working with them to break up the frosted field, their response told him that they genuinely had no idea what he was talking about. One of them had even paused in his work in an effort to remember, but had ended by shaking his head. “Must have been a long time ago,” he had said.
Excerpted from THE BURIED GIANT by Kazuo Ishiguro. Copyright © 2015 by Kazuo Ishiguro. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.--このテキストは、kindle_edition版に関連付けられています。
Longlisted for the 2017 Yasnaya Polyana Literary Award
Finalist for the 2016 World Fantasy Award—Novels
Shortlisted for the 2016 British Book Industry Award for Fiction
Longlisted for the 2015 Kirkus Prize
“It’s highly satisfying to read re-imaginings of myths you’ve encountered from childhood through university. I was completely charmed and lost in the mixed genre world of The Buried Giant.” —Emily Bossé, author of Last Animal Standing on Gentleman’s Farm
“[Ishiguro is] perhaps not as prolific as his peers, but always on top of his game. . . . [The Buried Giant] gives us one of his most stirring stories yet. . . . The story takes place about a thousand years ago, but the reflections on ‘lost memories, love, revenge and war’ are all too touchingly familiar.” —Carli Whitwell, HELLO! Canada
“It’s striking to find a novel that makes us feel ambivalent about the removal of a dictator, and about the very process of uncovering information about its characters—something all novels do. And where The Buried Giant truly moves Ishiguro into new territory isn’t so much in its fantasy elements—which are downplayed—but in a wider sweep . . . [to] explore the role of shared memories.” —Mike Doherty, Maclean’s
“The Buried Giant is remarkably different from anything he’s written before, a ‘western-cum-samurai-cum-fantasy novel,’ as he puts it, that is at once an exploration of memory and the way it deceives, a comment on religion and the way it divides, and a study of how personal and societal resentment is passed down from one generation to the next—a topic with modern-day resonance.” —Mark Medley, The Globe and Mail
“The highly inventive novelist has returned with a wondrous tale set in the sixth century. . . . [T]his new novel transcends its genre to ask larger questions that deal with the frailty of humankind, and the strength of emotional bonds that tie us. . . . [T]hrough his strong cast of characters, he offers deep insight.” —Safa Jinje, National Post
“This is a sad, complex, haunting novel. . . . [F]rightening and disturbing at many levels. . . . Perhaps the most sinister aspect of the novel is the way it reflects ourselves back at us. . . . I’ve never quite encountered such a well-written fictional account of cognitive bias. . . . This alone makes this a precious book indeed. The spike in anti-migrant and anti-Muslim hate crime in a post-Brexit Britain, not to mention the rise of Donald Trump in the US or the far right in Europe, has been a salutary reminder of the need to always avoid ‘othering’ human beings; this book is full of such compassion for humanity it must surely be a worthy antidote.” —The Guardian
“Set just after the time of King Arthur’s reign, The Buried Giant explores myth and legend in an innovative way. Ishiguro succeeds in making readers feel like they are part of this magical era. There are surprises galore in this book and a very sobering ending.” —Newsday
“The Buried Giant . . . resonates long after the final pages. . . . This elegantly fantastical tale featuring knights, ogres and fairy-tale castles, is a profound exploration of memory, guilt and trauma.” —The National
“I would venture to say that it’s one of [Ishiguro's] most complex and heartbreaking portraits of how memory and trauma are intertwined with forgetfulness. . . . Get the tissues for this one.” —Bustle
“It’s a book that people will read in the decades and centuries to come and will, eventually, be recognised for the masterpiece it is.” —Alex Preston, The Observer
“I was mesmerized. I have been in some measure spellbound by everything Ishiguro has written, but this new book was like a doorway into a magical world, half strange and half familiar. . . . The magical and the real coexist disconcertingly. The achievement is remarkable.” —Niall Ferguson, The Guardian
“Months later I’m still thinking about The Buried Giant: its unsettling set pieces, its looping narrative, its eerie and beautiful images, how remarkably and totally it enchants and discomfits.” —Hanya Yanagihara, The Guardian
“No novelist around today beats Ishiguro when it comes to writing about loss; and, almost every time he tackles his signature subject, he does so in a different genre: His breakthrough book, The Remains of the Day, is a ‘straight’ literary novel in diary form; When We Were Orphans is a detective tale and Never Let Me Go is a sci-fi story. Here, Ishiguro serves up a masterful blend of fantasy, and Arthurian romance and postmodern absurdity. In The Buried Giant, an exhausted group of medieval travelers cross a blasted landscape straight out of the plays and novels of Samuel Beckett. They ‘can’t go on,” but they “go on” and so, too, do Ishiguro’s readers, through scenes infused with menace and magical beauty.” —NPR
“One book published early this year continues to haunt me: Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant. A sidelong and compelling engagement with Arthurian legend, it hooks itself to myth and yet is completely original, its clean language full of depth, full of hope and sorrow.” —Erica Wagner, author of Ariel’s Gift and Seizure
“An astonishing masterpiece.” —Le Monde (France)
“[A] modern masterpiece that I am certain people will be reading for decades to come.” —Jamie Byng, The Independent
“Ishiguro, adept with his pen, takes up the sword of fantasy. . . . What is most impressive about The Buried Giant is Ishiguro’s ability to use the setting of a familiar genre to create an original world that feels authentic and with relevancy to the contemporary world. . . . [L]ike Ishiguro’s other novels, [The Buried Giant] is a memorable tale that speaks to the complexity within each of us.” —Yung-Hsiang Kao, The Japan News
“Kazuo Ishiguro has once again blown critics away with his beautiful, imaginative writing in his new novel, The Buried Giant. We loved it so much we chose it as our March First Editions Club pick!” —Parnassus Book Store, Tennessee
“It’s a sad, elegiac story . . . A dreamy journey . . . Easy to read but difficult to forget.” —Lydia Millet, Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Ishiguro works this fantastical material with the tools of a master realist. . . . [He] makes us feel its sheer grotesque monstrosity with a force and freshness that have been leached away by legions of computer-generated orcs. . . . He keeps a straight face, but Ishiguro has fun with the swords and sorcery: he’s a lifelong fan of samurai manga and westerns, and some of the action has the feel of a classic showdown scored by Ennio Morricone.” —Lev Grossman, TIME
“If forced at knife-point to choose my favourite Ishiguro novel, I’d opt for The Buried Giant.” —David Mitchell
“Kazuo Ishiguro is a remarkable novelist, both for the quality of his work—because his novels share a careful, precise approach to language and to character—and because he does not ever write the same novel, or even the same type of novel, twice. . . . Fantasy and historical fiction and myth here run together with the Matter of Britain, in a novel that’s easy to admire, to respect and to enjoy. . . . The Buried Giant does what important books do: It remains in the mind long after it has been read, refusing to leave, forcing one to turn it over and over. On a second reading, and on a third, its characters and events and motives are easier to understand, but even so, it guards its secrets and its world close. Ishiguro is not afraid to tackle huge, personal themes, nor to use myths, history and the fantastic as the tools to do it. The Buried Giant is an exceptional novel.” —Neil Gaiman, The New York Times Book Review
“A lyrical, allusive (and elusive) voyage into the mists of British folklore by renowned novelist Ishiguro. . . . Lovely: a fairly tale for grown-ups, both partaking in and departing from a rich literary tradition.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) --このテキストは、絶版本またはこのタイトルには設定されていない版型に関連付けられています。
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Battles between Saxons and Britons in the novel remind me of the second world war.
More than 70 years passed after the end of the World War II, but some issues are often discussed between Japan and neighboring countries such as China and Korea. It seems that some issues of war times will never be forgotten.
kindre版を購入したところ、fireではみられるものの、kindle for PCでなんど試みても、接続中マークのドーナツが回り続けるばかりで見らせません。いままで他のコンテンツでこのような問題が発生したことはありません。同じ問題が起きている人はおられないでしょうか。解決すればこのレビューは取り下げます。
ノーベル賞作家の中では、To Kill a Mockingbirdはお勧めです。
Never Let Me Goもそうでしたが、こちらのほうが設定により素直に入っていける分、石黒氏の
So I actually found it very difficult if not impossible to engage with the players. I say players because elements of it reminded me of those old computer games called something like ‘adventure quest’ , where you had to ask the right questions to get the right answers. Only it took the whole book for them to ask the right questions.
At the end I found myself admiring the quality of the writing, the construction of the plot but totally missing what the purpose of the book was. I was astonished by the rave reviews and wondered if there was another version of the book I had not been allowed to read.
Did I understand it? Was I missing something that other people could see? I don't know, I just know that I put it down for several days and when I did pick it up it was with a sigh and wondering what was going on outside my window.
I did persevere, however, and when I reached the end, waiting for the lights to switch on and make it all worth it, I gave my biggest sigh and returned to the window. An anti-climax to say the least.
Even the dragon didn't feature in the way I had hoped. So would I recommend this book? Probably not but maybe I just didn't get it.
Superficially, it is a fireside tale, initially narrated in the voice of a storyteller. Axl and Beatrice are a margialised, elderly couple whose community will not even allow them a candle. One day they decide to go on a journey to find a son they can only just remember. Along the way, they pass through a world that never was, apart from the fragments we retain today in old manuscripts and tales.
This soon becomes an exploration of an ancient Britain made from dreams, hardly defined at all. Even then, its landscapes and people could have been made more generic. By rooting the story in the Dark Ages and in Arthurian myth, Ishiguro weighs it down and it struggles to lift itself above its own references. Other reviewers have mentioned Tolkien as a possible influence, pointing to his essay 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.' It may be better to cite Tolkien's short allegorical story. 'Leaf by Niggle' where an insignificant artist goes on a different journey of his own. I suspect that tale, which combines the mundane with the metaphysical, is a better reference point.
Where Ishiguro adds a modicum of detail to his story it often seems oddly drawn and tugs at the attention in a way that creates a feeling of misplaced strangeness. Axl and Beatrice's encounter with a boatman and an old woman in the rain-drenched ruins of a Roman villa is a good example. The meeting is frightening, but only partly explained and the effect is distracting. It reminded me of films like 'Spirited Away' where a character will suddenly make an oblique statement, or perform what appears to be a contextually meaningless act. The cultural reference behind the moment is lost on us and we feel uncomfortable. There's a disadvantage to creating these seeming discontinuities in the narrative, because as we parse the events and fail to make complete sense of them, the coherence of the tale suffers.
In itself, this would not be enough to spoil the book. However, taken with the Arthurian references which, for me, never seem completely right or mature enough; the way key information is delivered in oddly mannered speech by characters, and a plodding questing journey through forests, gloomy tunnels and sinister monasteries, the storyline sometimes feels contrived and clunky. At one point I imagined I was playing an old text-based adventure game. 'You are in the pit. The portcullis is raised: a hideous animal runs at you from the darkness.'
In contrast, the fight scenes are pure Kurosawa. Nothing much seems to happen and then, suddenly, there is bloody death. These economical moments are probably. - and frustratingly - the most convincing pieces of description in the novel.
The book comes alive right at the end, as the mist lifts from the minds of Axl and Beatrice. Everything suddenly seems so much clearer, more mundane and tragic. We are back in a recognisable world and it is a cynical one, full of predictability and sorrow. The final paragraphs hammer the point home and they are also very moving.
It is this ending that makes the book worth reading. Like a master caligrapher, Ishiguro sweeps his brush over a plain surface in order to create something that leaps into the mind in a wonderful moment of recognition. The errors I feel he commits are to leave us waiting too long and to make his paper too watermarked with a mixture of cultural references that lead our thoughts astray before his true artistry appears.
It is quite extraordinary that a significant number of readers and critics have rejected this book on the basis that it is a fantasy novel – fairly low Arthurian fantasy at that. How can you be snobby about Kazuo Ishiguro? The man is a genius!
Still, it is there loss, because The Buried Giant is both brilliantly written literary fiction and one hell of a story. This is one of the best portrayals of married love that I have ever read, and the central characters are utterly convincing. And, of course, this is Ishiguro, and nobody does heartbreak better than he.
This book takes you on an extraordinary adventure then brings you to somewhere you never expected but always should have. The end of the book kept me thinking for days and is deeply touching. You owe it to yourself to read this masterpiece.
The global amnesia that is at the heart of everything that happens, with fragmented trace flashbacks of dark events hidden in the past, helps give the book its very heavy atmosphere and sense of uneasy foreboding that is entrancing and draws in. Further aiding this effect is the plain weirdness of it, both in terms of how the characters all interact and the mystical setting of a dark-ages country beset with mythical creatures of malevolent intent.
Beneath the literal story lies a struggle of ideas: how best to deal with and move on from horrors past. Two camps are represented: one argues that the past is best forgotten - there is no other way to have a peaceful and content present; the other argues that it cannot be left unatoned - crimes must be remembered and avenged. Neither holds the moral upper ground: one calls for repression of memory and guilt, the other for renewed bloodshed. On a personal level this struggle exists within the elderly couple, and on a wider one it is represented in the tension between some of the other characters and communities. Clearly there is a moral commentary here just as relevant to many present-day conflicts.
The story is full of symbology representing aspects of this bigger question - some of the main characters' interaction is clearly the two opposing ideas wrestling with each other, both metaphorically and literally. The gradual build-up leading towards the final confrontation, accomplished by increasing flashback revelation and narrative from different character perspectives is satisfying even if it makes the mystery of the roles and connections of the main characters easier to predict. The hypnotic tone of the dialogue, the narration and the events themselves, magnified by the strangeness of the phenomena encountered by the protagonists, makes this book very compelling reading.
It tells the story of Arthur and the Matter of England from a very new and soulful perspective, full of simple gentle poetry, and every character heroic in their own way.
There are quite a few 5 star reviews. I will read them to see what they saw in the novel that I did not.
I am not sure how the author padded a relatively simple tale out to fill the book. The pace is slow to the point of stultifying. Partly this is down to the simplistic and longwinded language, I was reminded of reading Kipling's Just So stories.
Though the pace suggests depth and detail of character they are in fact cyphers for standard players and there is no sense of them being real people. I could care less about any of them.
There are threads, branches in the story, that start but are not resolved.
All in all a disappointment.