Fridays are for Readers: Nocturnes

I must confess. Though it’s an internationally acclaimed writer, I have just recently discovered Kazuo Ishiguro’s books.

I had bought one during my last trip to London in October, at Gatwick Airport while waiting to embark on the plane taking me back home. I love buying books while travelling, whether at local bookshops (better if with a peculiar charm) or at the airport. They are my personal souvenirs, and when I read them not only I am captured by the story but they also make me remember that particular trip, with all its memories and feelings.

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall is the book that made me discover Ishiguro, and the first one I read in 2012. I wanted to start the new year with one that brought good and funny memories to my mind, one recalling me the importance of solid and honest friendships and of our passions.

Specifically, Nocturnes is a collection of five short stories, each one about music, love and the passing of time. At times melancholic and heartbreaking, at times fun and witty, this quintet is only apparently simple to read. Each story deals with the intimate struggles the characters are facing: getting older, holding on youthful hope and dreams, keeping alive a sense of life’s romance. All of them are experiencing a moment of reckoning, almost a moment of being, and find themselves at some crucial point in their lives.

The writing is superb. Simple yet delicately intimate and precise. Ishiguro’s writing somewhat recalled me Flaubert’s, with its precision and attention to details, yet never diverting from the very essence of the story. It harmoniously digs down into the human soul, and the stories quietly speak to you, but they resonate in your heart long after the book is back on your library shelf.

When Lindy was about to go, I said: ‘I love you,’ in that fast, routine way you say it at the end of a call with a spouse. There was a silence of a few seconds, then she said it back, in the same routine way. Then she was gone. God knows what  that meant. There’s nothing to do now, I guess, but wait for these bandages to come off.  And then what? Maybe Lindy’s right. Maybe, like she says, I need some perspective, and life really is much bigger than loving a person. Maybe this really is a turning point for me, and the big league’s waiting. Maybe she’s right.


About Marta Favro

Full time employee in an online marketing agency, photographer and traveller (not necessary in that order). Graduated in English Literature. Passionate of long walks in the Nature, cats, books, music.
This entry was posted in Fridays are for readers, Literature and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Fridays are for Readers: Nocturnes

  1. Me too, Marta! I have a shelf of battered books that have travelled with me, or come home with me that remind me, not just of the story, but the journey. Love this post! Looking forward to discovering Ishiguro. 🙂

    • Marta Favro says:

      When I travel I need to have at least a book with me, and I love how the stories (fictional and real) melt in our memories. And how good to see that library with all those books, each one reminding you of your journeys! 🙂

  2. ceciliag says:

    i was travelling home (to NZ) through Fiji one year. When I travel I always start with a book I call The Leaver (as i will leave it wherever i finish it) and a book for the second leg , i am a fast reader plus NZ is very far away. Anyway this year I left my Leaver book on a lovely little table in the ladies bathroom in the fiji airport. When i went back to the loo before embarking i saw that My book was gone and another one was in its place. Cool I thought running to my plane. Two weeks later i was back in the same airport, and in the exact same place, on the exact same table in that ladies loo were three books. Excellent I thought as i exchanged my current leaver for one of them! Books! c

  3. ramaink says:

    I simply love his ‘Remains of the Day’. His writing is so quiet and so rich in detail. One can ‘see’ the whole thing unfold.
    Thank you for this recommendation! I must grab it from the library. 🙂

    • Marta Favro says:

      “Remains of the day” is the novel I am reading right now. 🙂 I have just begun it and have read only a few chapters, but I absolutely love it. His writing is superb.
      Thank you for your comment!

  4. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

    I do this LOls…
    and usually who I with does not understand
    and I always wait for the white jacket with never-ending
    arms to pop out..but I still do it…
    @Cecliag…what a wonderful ideal,
    i think my next trip into ManchesterAirport I will do this!
    a new tradion has been born!

    and now to go find this series,
    *sigh* and it is too late to go out tonight…
    theres always tomorrow!
    Great Read…
    Thank You LonelyWalker!
    Take Care…..
    You Matter…..

  5. I have loved Ishiguro for years, but hadn’t realized this one was out. Thanks for a great review!

    • Marta Favro says:

      I think Ishiguro has just become one of my favourite authors, I have bought some of his books and am now reading them one after the other!
      Thank you for leaving your lovely comments!

  6. Cathy says:

    I have read a couple of his books: loved one but found the second (Never Let Me Go) a little strange! Will try the short stories though. Thanks for the review!

  7. Marta Favro says:

    I stil have to read Never Let Me Go and have not watched the movie, but I know a bit of the plot and it does seem quite strange. I am curious to read it though!
    Hope you like the short stories better!
    Thanks for you words!

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