peteg's blog - noise - books - 2013 08 21 Ishiguro WhenWeWereOrphans

Kazuo Ishiguro: When We Were Orphans

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Another Ishiguro from the UNSW Library. There is something of Great Expectations here; an invocation of the British Empire, stymied lives, vocationalism, living for others, and so forth. The author is a master of structure, effortlessly gliding amongst time and place while avoiding that of which he does not wish to speak. For instance, in a move that prefigures Never Let Me Go, he creates parental characters that never clash with the adolescent narrator due to the central mystery, which effects the transfer of the narrator to the mother country, where much of the narration occurs.

I found the suspense here used to good effect, with the elisions of fact sharpening and not distracting from the climax. It left me with less to think about than Never Let Me Go however.