Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall

Kazuo Ishiguro, Author . Knopf $25 (221p) ISBN 978-0-307-27102-0

This suite of five stories hits all of Ishiguro's signature notes, but the shorter form mutes their impact. In “Crooner,” Tony Gardner, a washed-up American singer, goes sloshing through the canals of Venice to serenade his trophy wife, Lindy. The narrator, Jan, is a hired guitar player whose mother was a huge fan of Tony, but Jan's experience playing for Tony fractures his romantic ideals. Lindy returns in the title story, which finds her in a luxury hotel reserved for celebrity patients recovering from cosmetic surgery. The narrator this time is Steve, a saxophonist who could never get a break because of his “loser ugly” looks. Lindy idly strikes up a friendship with Steve as they wait for their bandages to come off and their new lives to begin. In the final story, “Cellists,” an unnamed saxophonist narrator who, like Jan, plays in Venice's San Marco square, observes the evolving relationship of a Hungarian cello prodigy after he meets an American woman. The stories are superbly crafted, though they lack the gravity of Ishiguro's longer works (Never Let Me Go ; Remains of the Day ), which may leave readers anticipating a crescendo that never hits. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/27/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
Paperback - 221 pages - 978-0-571-24500-0
Compact Disc - 1 pages - 978-0-571-25235-0
Ebook - 978-0-307-37348-9
Hardcover - 221 pages - 978-0-307-39787-4
Open Ebook - 120 pages - 978-0-307-27308-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-8176-2
Paperback - 221 pages - 978-0-307-45578-9
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-307-39788-1
Hardcover - 221 pages - 978-0-571-24498-0
Paperback - 978-2-07-044216-4
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Paperback - 221 pages - 978-0-571-25493-4
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-2-84893-192-0
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