Reading “The Unconsoled” by Kazuo Ishiguro, prompted by Alice’s comments about Ian McEwan on the Dawkins “Selfish Gene 30 Years On” thread.
Strange book as the TLS review commented. Some weird situations. First person narrator following two third parties moving out of the first person view, and continuing the first person narrative. Shouting to be heard above the noise in a library (!) Long conversations in a cinema (!), watching 2001, but with Clint Eastwood in the Dave Bowman role. Anonymous mid-European location, with disproportionate number of old school friends from back in the UK ? Confusion compounded by long streams of digression (?) by characters unloading their problems, long preludes to scenes about to happen, with little narrative certainty that they actually do, mixed with historical flashbacks; characters moving along streets between locations in the one city adds to the Joycean feel.
The plot line is a “Clockwise” out-of-control time-pressure not-quite-farce, a concert pianist arriving in a foreign city for a recital, but being confounded by events – real and imagined. The general idea being what really matters in all the confusion? The underlying story is about personal relationships and communication as tacit (mis)-understanding – man who spends long periods away from wife and growing child, and the relationship with that child. Older broken couple(s) who’s “understanding” can allow serious rows and breakdowns within the ongoing loving continuity.
Two thirds through – mainly in two long sittings (one of those, another west-bound transatlantic flight). Enthralling, though not yet mind-blowing. Mind-bending certainly – no clues noticed yet as to the eventual outcomes, or the turn of events at the much heralded climax yet to materialise.