Humming a New Tune

Nocturnes: Five stories of music and nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro is a collection of music themed short stories. As a Ishiguro fan and music lover, this novel aroused my curiosity. I ended-up being surprised because it seemed so different from previous books of his I have read.

Each of the short stories have a musical element, however, not always the main theme. One story is about a former well-known vocalist encountered in Italy by a young guitar player whose mother owned bootlegged copies of his records. Another, centers on a single man visiting a couple whose marriage is on the rocks. There is a story about a struggling composer writing songs who meets and elderly couple who perform, a musician who has plastic surgery in effort to achieve success, and a cello player who encounters an elderly music mentor who cannot play a note.

Ishiguro has cleverly connected his short stories like notes on a musical staff. Each truth told here reflects his creative power to use an underlying theme to imagine many different scenarios. All of the tales are well-written and memorable. I read the book twice because my first reading didn’t fully absorb all that was here to learn. I liked it better the second time around, but I am not as keen on this novel as others I have read by Ishiguro.

As a musician myself, it brought back memories of times I spent writing, performing, and listening to music. For that I am grateful. I think most people would find something to relate to in these short stories. After all, isn’t music the universal language?

About dianeledet

Professional Writing Consultant, Graduate of DePaul University School for New Learning 2008
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1 Response to Humming a New Tune

  1. theartdive says:

    I read this book too, and enjoyed it greatly!:)

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