The one-sentence book
The "sleeping giant" is a subtle and melancholy reflection on memory and forgetfulness, and on the role they play not only in the lives of individuals, but also in that of countries and peoples.
General information about the book
"Sleeping Giant" is a fantasy novel by writer Kazuo Ishiguro, winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize. For writing this book, Ishiguro took inspiration from Dark Ages in Britain. He sought to write a book on collective memory and how war societies coexist with traumatic events, forgetting.
He ruled out modern history because events would be too realistic and would be interpreted literally. Whereas that unknown England of the post-Arthur period provided the material needed for its subject.
After the death of King Arthur, the Saxons and Britons lived in harmony with each other. Like all members of their community, Axel and Beatrice, a pair of nurses, suffer from deep collective amnesia, which they have called "fog."
Though barely able to remember the snippets of the past, they feel they once had a son. The two elders set out in search of their son on a journey through lands covered by thick fog, confusing and erasing memories. In the land of the Britons and Saxons, where peace has long reigned for King Arthur, both elders encounter fantastic creatures along the way, face miracles, and escape deadly dangers: a Carontonian-like boatman who leads couples like them to one. The "island of special qualities", often leaving poor people on land; villages attacked by monsters and prey to cruel superstitions; elves, elves, dragons, healers and treacherous monks, a knight, Sir Gavin, Arthur's elder nephew, with knightly and donkeyish behavior, a brave warrior and a defenseless young boy ... Throughout the journey, Axel and Beatrice strive to remember the lives they spent together. On the surface are fond memories and deep sorrows, a love that has overcome every difficulty, though sprinkled with well-hidden and deep-seated griefs, that neither of the two protagonists can speak clearly. This journey will move them to think and discover something about the world around them and their deep and inextricable connection.
At times outrageous, at times overwhelming, Ishiguro's novel speaks of lost memories, of love, of war, and of revenge.
When you focus only on first reading this story with fogs, monsters, swords and magicians, it seems like you are shrinking the book into a fairy tale; but that book gives you more than that. It is a profound examination of memory and guilt, of how we remember past collective traumas.
On the other hand, there is a suggestive atmosphere that drives you to not leave the book out of hand. "Sleeping Giant" is "Throne Hunt" but with a conscience, the "Sword in the Rock" of the trauma industry era; a beautiful and touching book about the task of remembering and the need to forget.
Alex Preston - The Guardian
An in-depth investigation of memory and guilt, but also a story filled with extraordinary atmosphere, a story that is so readable and breath-taking.
The "sleeping giant" does what the big books do: to stay long in mind after reading it, refuses to leave, forcing you to come back more often.
The New York Times
[...] Ishiguro treats literary narratives by allegory and allusion. People and their mistakes are at the heart of this tale.
Sir Kazuo Ishiguro is a British writer of Japanese origin and a 2017 Nobel Prize-winning Laureate.
Ishiguro is regarded today as one of the most lauded contemporary writers in the English-speaking world: he has been nominated four times for the Man Booker Prize, winning the 1989 Prize-winning novel Remainder Day.
Another of his novels "Don't Let Me Go", reprinted by Pegi Publications in 2017, was announced by Time magazine as the best novel of 2005 and included in the list of the 100 best English language novels ( from 1923 to 2005).
Ishiguro is the author of seven novels. The Swedish academy honored Ishiguro with a Nobel Prize in literature in 2017, describing him as a writer "who, in novels with a great emotional force, has discovered the abyss that lies beneath our false sense of connection to the world. "
Publishing Pegi has so far published three of his books "Don't Let Me Go", "Remaining Day" and "Sleeping Giant".
Excerpts from the book
1) The giant, once well buried, is now waking up. When it gets up, what will happen soon, the social bonds between us will be as fragile as the knots that make up the young flower beds with the flower blossoms.
2) [..] we, the boatmen, have seen so many people over the years that we can easily tell the lie. In addition, when travelers confess their fondest memories, they cannot hide the truth. A couple
it may mean that there is a strong bond of love, but we, the barkers, are able to discern anger, anger, even hatred or a deep boredom. Sometimes, fear of loneliness and nothing else.
Long-lasting loves that stand up for years: these yes, which we rarely encounter.
3) ... what if what we keep today in our hearts resembles these drops of rain falling on our heads from the leaves of the tree, even though the sky itself has long been clear and not rainy. What if, without these memories, our love is destined to die, slowly fading away?
4) How can old wounds heal when worms swallow them? How can peace reign over the slaughter or ploy of a magician forever reign? I understand how earnestly you want your old horrors to be dusted off. But they wait beneath the soil layer, like white bones for people to exhume.
Title: Sleeping Giant
Original title: The buried giant
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Translated by Renato Kalemi
Publication Date: September, 2019
Number Of Pages: 350
Price: 1000 ALL