The extraordinary new novel from the author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize–winning The Remains of the Day
The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at least the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased.
The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards—some strange and other-worldly—but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.
Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.
Longlisted for the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award
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)
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