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The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Buried Giant

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

One of our Books of the Year 2015.

March 2015 Book of the Month.

Ishiguro's first novel in a decade is like nothing he's ever written before though many of the themes he likes to explore - memory, connections, how past, present and future interweave, are there. Axl and Beatrice live in a post-Roman Britain that owes more to Arthurian legend than anything else. Their community and it seems all those around them are suffering from memory loss and so they set off on a quest to find the son who they have only a vague memory of. On the way they meet knights and dragons and discover more about themselves and their lives than they knew even before they forgot. Haunting and unusual.

If you like Kazuo Ishiguro you might also like to read books by Michael Ondaatje, Justin Cartwright and Salman Rushdie.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade is unlike anything he has written before. An engaging allegory set in the Dark Ages, when Britons and Saxons were uneasily sharing the land that the Romans had deserted, it is a book full of myths and legends, ogres and pixies, told from the perspective of an aging couple, Axl and Beatrice, who set off in search of their lost son. They and those they meet on their journey, are bedevilled by an amnesia that they call ‘the mist’, a miasma that they discover is really the breath of Querig, an aging dragon. As long as Querig lives and breathes, the communal forgetfulness will keep the warring factions within Britain at bay, and Sir Gawain, an aging and quixotic nephew of king Arthur, is determined to maintain the peace. However, he faces the Saxon knight Wistan who is sworn to slay the dragon and begin a war that he believes his people can win.
~ Anthony Lafferty

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.  You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Ann Peet - 'a thought-provoking reading has only scraped the surface of this exploration of ideas and that there will be a lot more to discover when I read it again.'
  • Barbara Gaskell - 'Dreamlike. Thoughtful depiction of a journey that starts with hope and ends with a gentle sadness.'
  • Lee Mumbray - 'This is a book that you must explore, strange and beguiling as it is with its hauntingly beautiful language, its allegorical and complex themes.'
  • Julie Bertschin - 'A philosophical journey into the importance of memories and whether they define who we really are.
  • Edel Waugh - 'If you previously liked the Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings then I think you will enjoy this a lot. Not what I expected from having read his previous books but this was a very pleasant surprise.'
  • Sue Broom - 'Colourful characters and plenty of action, hugely atmospheric and the writing is a joy to read.  So much to think about here and the first book in ages that I am sure to read again.'
  • Angie Rhodes - 'Kazuo has written what is for me, the most beautiful story I have read in years.  Its dream like quality swept me away on a sea of mystery and harmony and not until the very end does the last piece of the puzzle fall into place.'
  • Manisha - 'Definitely should be read if you enjoy reading fantasy novels.'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'Not an easy book to read but I did enjoy the challenge of uncovering the message, even if there wasn’t one.  Recommend you read it and come up with your own answer.'


The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

'There's a journey we must go on, and no more delay...' This is 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.


Praise for Kazuo Ishiguro:

'Kazuo Ishiguro is an original and remarkable genius.' The New York Times

'A master craftsman.' Margaret Atwood, Slate

'The best and most original writer of his generation.' Susan Hill, Mail on Sunday

About the Author

Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan in 1954 and came to Britain at the age of five. He attended the University of Kent and studied English Literature and Philosophy, and later enrolled in an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. He is the author of the novels A Pale View of Hills (winner of the Winifred Holtby Prize), An Artist of the Floating World (winner of the 1986 Whitbread Book of the Year Award, Premio Scanno, and shortlisted for the 1986 Booker Prize), The Remains of the Day (winner of the 1989 Booker Prize) and When We Were Orphans (shortlisted for the 2000 Booker Prize and Whitbread Novel of the Year).

Kazuo Ishiguro's books have been translated into twenty-eight languages. The Remains of the Day became an international bestseller, with over a million copies sold in the English language alone, and was adapted into an award-winning film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.

In 1995 Ishiguro received an OBE for Services to Literature, and in 1998 the French decoration of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd March 2015


Kazuo Ishiguro

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Faber & Faber Fiction an imprint of Faber & Faber


352 pages


Literary Fiction
Books of the Month
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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