Description: David Suchet reads The Buried Giant, the powerful new novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, author of Never Let Me Go and Remains of the Day.
“It’s queer the way the world’s forgetting people and things from only yesterday and the day before that. Like a sickness come over us all.”
The Romans have long since departed and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. In this desolate, uncultivated land of mist and rain, people find that their memories are slipping away from them. They live in an uneasy peace but memories of the wars that once ravaged the country are stirring.
Ishiguro’s first new novel in a decade is a moving, mysterious and deeply philosophical book about how societies remember and forget.
Read by David Suchet
Abridged by Sara Davies
Produced by Mair Bosworth.
Episode 1/10 In this time of forgetting, one elderly couple – Axl and Beatrice – are determined to hold onto memories of their life together.
2/10: In this time of forgetting, one elderly couple – Axl and Beatrice – are determined to hold onto memories of their life together and have set out to find their long-lost son. Their memory of him is hazy, as it is of many things. They know their journey may be a long one.
3/10: Beatrice has guided them to a Saxon village where they can shelter for the night and where she hopes to consult a medicine woman about the pain that has been troubling her. On reaching the village, they find a community in turmoil.
4/10: A Saxon warrior named Wistan, a stranger from a distant country to the East, frees a village boy named Edwin from the ogres, only to see his own people turn on him in fear. The villagers say the boy has been bitten by an ogre and claim he will turn fiend himself with disastrous consequences.
5/10: In this time of forgetting, one elderly couple – Axl and Beatrice – are determined to hold onto memories of their life together and have set out to find their long-lost son. They have been joined on their quest by Wistan, a mysterious Saxon warrior from the East, and Edwin, a young boy in peril. After their encounter with Sir Gawain, the group journey on to reach an isolated monastery where the monks give them a reluctant welcome.
6/10: The group take shelter at an isolated monastery, where they learn the cause of the mist of forgetting that has fallen over the land. Pursued by foes, can the group trust their hosts?
7/10: After an attack on the monastery where they were sheltering, the group have been separated. Wistan is still fighting off Lord Brennus’s soldiers and Edwin slips back to find him.
8/10: They have learned that the source of the mist of forgetting is the dragon Querig, and Wistan has vowed to slay the beast. The journey is taking its toll on Beatrice and Axl is afraid of losing her.
9/10: Axl and Beatrice hope to kill the dragon but begin to fear a time when the mist lifts, and memory returns.
10/10: With the she-dragon Querig slain and memory restored, the land faces a dark future as old wounds are laid bare. With Beatrice weakening, the couple continue their journey to find their son but buried memories of their own lives are also stirring.
The resounding overthought in my noddle is The Divine Comedy done Arthurian style, with added she-dragon. Fully allowing for splinters in the bottom, I shall sit on the fence until after the paper read.
4.5* Never Let Me Go
5* The Remains of the Day
1.5* When We Were Orphans
3* An Artist of the Floating World
3* The Unconsoled
3* A Village After Dark
4* A Pale View of Hills
3* The Buried Giant