Oct 20 2012
It’s Saturday! How To Discuss Books Read Long Ago – Kazuo Ishiguro
Our youngest son (18) just read “When We Were Orphans” by Kazuo Ishiguro. He simply pulled the Hebrew version off the shelf in our living room bookcase and read it. We have it in English as well. Back in 2001 I was so impressed with how pleased my husband was with the book and was still such a stickler for not reading books written in English in any other language, that I went out and bought it.
My husband just came back from the library with a copy of “The Remains of the Day” by Ishiguro. The movie came out in 1993 and despite having written on this blog that I had only seen the movie I believe I DID read the book though some years after seeing the movie. I have memories of comparing the versions.
All that was a very long time ago. The most recent book I read by Ishiguro was “Never Let Me Go” which was excellent and powerful all the way through. I remember it well. My main memory of the first book is of my feelings – I was fascinated by the beginning, utterly drawn in, and disappointed by way it ended. Regarding the plot, beyond the fact that the hero began his life in the Far East, went to England and then went back to the country where he was born, I could not remember a thing.
Being delighted that our son read the book, I wanted to discuss it with him. Luckily he is very open and talkative and was willing to supply basic details from the plot, which made me feel better. Also, I must admit to being a bit pleased by the fact that he wasn’t crazy about the ending either. But it raised a question in my mind:
If I want to discuss a book read long ago, should I read about it on the Internet? On the one hand that will supply me with details long forgotten, which sounds like a good thing. I had been trying to remember details from the book all week!
But won’t my personal feelings and memories of the book get lost when I read summaries and reviews by other people?
What do you do?