This book is not what I expected! Not in a particularly good or bad way, but in a random-thoughts-translated-as-random-interwoven-plots kinda way, with each different conflict finishing in a subtle and unexpected fashion.
I guess I should explain. There’s a few conflicts within Ishiguro’s book, which I’ll list below:
- The married couple, Axl and Beatrice, were supposed to visit their son.
- There was a vicious dragon that warrior Winstan was supposed to kill.
- There was a vicious dragon that knight Gawain was also supposed to kill—no idea why the two men couldn’t help each other.
- Everyone kept recognizing husband Axl, no idea why—I secretly thought he was King Arthur lost among the people after the forgetful fog.
- There was the boy Edwin, whom was bit by some secret animal—I kept wondering if he was going to turn into a werewolf.
Any of those align with your expectations? No?
What do you expect to happen?
Now compare that to what actually happens:
- The married couple remember by the end of the book that their son had died earlier, and now they could only visit his grave, meaning all their travel was for nothing.
- Winstan killed the “vicious” dragon, who was actually really old and was going to die soon anyways, and he didn’t kill out out of the goodness of his heart (being that the dragon’s breath created a mist that made people forget) but because he wanted people to remember their vengeance in order to create disorder and chaos before the Saxons invade.
- Knight Gawain never wanted to kill the dragon; he was the dragon’s protector, protecting the beast so that Master Merlin’s spell of forgetfulness would make people heal and forget the past—the mass murder that King Arthur had commit.
- Axl turned out to be just some small peace-maker, one of the knights of Arthur’s round table.
- Edwin was bit by a dragon, whose pull could actually pull you toward it. No idea how this works considering the Dragon was so big it Should’ve just swallowed him, and was so old that it never left it’s nest. Feel like this plot was concluded since the Dragon died but was ultimately left unexplained.
Overall, even though this was a slow read, I thought this was a very interesting book. Because of its numerous conflicts, the way it interwove these numerous stories, it was very complex and it tied itself up at the end. I feel like it was so subtle that it was very thought provoking, and I like the fact it had no big reveal. I’ll have to think on this book some more.
Ishiguro, Kazuo. The Buried Giant. New York, NY: Vintage International, 2015. Print.