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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

The Buried Giant

“The Buried Giant” by Kazuo Ishiguro is set in post-Arthurian times, after a war between Saxons and Britons. They are at peace, a fragile one which King Arthur and his army achieved through vicious slaughter. In order to keep the peace, Arthur had Merlin cast a spell over the land to cloud everyone's memory. An elderly British couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off on a journey to visit their son who they barely remember because they too are afflicted with the collective amnesia they call "the mist". They meet many people along the way: Wistan, a Saxon warrior, Edwin, an ogre-bitten child, and Sir Gawain, an elderly nephew of King Arthur. They also encounter ogres, a dragon and a swarm of pixies. They discover that "the mist” is actually the breath of a she-dragon named Querig and the country’s memory will only be restored when Querig is slain. If the memory of the violence and slaughter is restored will the Britons and Saxons resume their war?
I don't care for fantasies, allegories or historical fiction so I found excuses not to read and it took me a month to wade through to the end. I can't recommend this novel although the premise of a collective amnesia imposed by rulers to make the populace forget political malfeasance was thought provoking.

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