‘The Buried Giant’ stands tall

The novel of ideas can be a tedious thing. An intellectual writer who uses fiction as a conduit for Great Thoughts can be hard-pressed to find that delicate balance between story and theme, character and mouthpiece.

Even an author as sly as Kazuo Ishiguro, the prodigiously gifted Anglo-Japanese master best known for The Remains of the Day (1989), can’t always avoid this pitfall, tumbling into it headlong in 1995 in his heavy-handed slog of a book, The Unconsoled.

Happily, The Buried Giant, Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade, is an engrossing narrative, implacable in its exploration of the same thematic territory (memory, guilt, love and war) that has always preoccupied him.

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