The main character in the second story of Kazuo Ishiguro’s book “Nocturnes, Five Stories of Music and Nightfall” is a British Council English Teacher, based mainly in Spain (some time in Italy and Portugal was spent too).
At first I found that fact quite amusing. I don’t see this profession mentioned often in stories! However, I wouldn’t suggest that my friends and acquatiances in the British Council teaching system begin recommending this story as a way for their family and friends to have more respect for their profession. Ray, the teacher, is invited to visit his friends back home in England because his presence makes them look better/more successful in comparison…
I LOVED Ishiguro’s books “The Remainder of the Day” and “Never Let Me Go” and enjoyed most of “When We Were Orphans”. I was disappointed by this one. Not by his style of writing – that did not disappoint at all. But the five stories followed a very pattern, like a mold. Perhaps if I had read each story on its own, with a few months between each one, I would have enjoyed them more.
As much as I do believe in the magical power of music, it is depressing to read FIVE stories in a row of loss and missed opportunities, even if music is presented as the one uniting bond. Music can be part of many of life’s experiences, I’d like to believe!