One of the best things to do is to read a book without knowing anything about it or its author. So, was the case with The Buried Giant, which I had noted down from a 2015 book list. The story turns out to be set in a fictional period after King Arthur, in an England of knights, ogres and dragons. There is an old couple, who, like the couple in Up, have an impossibly pure love for each other. A strange malaise of forgetfulness has afflicted the lands for many years and this couple finally gather courage to set out on a journey to meet their long estranged son. These are the travelers who keep us company through the pages, as they face grave dangers and become embroiled in a knight's quest to kill a she-dragon that has been harassing the country.
The actual tale though is wrapped in layers of mystery. The author Kazuo Ishiguro, whose works I've never read before, reveals himself to be a master storyteller. His tale is gripping from the beginning, surrounded as it is by so many questions in the reader's mind. As he spun his yarn, I was drawn more and more into his web of intrigue. The more we learn, the more we realize that there are more secrets, lies and conceit. I fail to recall another book or author who has so expertly put the jigsaw pieces together as Ishiguro does here.
As many of the grand reveals start to happen towards the end of the book, we realize that the scope of this story was much larger that we could have ever imagined. The reprieve that we so egged for throughout the book brings little joy as it forebodes new suffering for the people of the land. As for the couple, author gives them a beautiful but ambiguous ending too. All in all, a gem of a journey to undertake. So good, that the book was unputdownable and I read it in one long sitting. Now that's rare!