Adventures in Bookland: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro


Well, that didn’t work, did it.

It must have been his agent. Maybe it went something like this.

“Hey, Kaz, you keep telling me it’s all very well getting all the literary prizes and stuff, but where’s the dosh – and then you go and write A Pale View of Hills. I mean, that’s not exactly going to get them running to the bookshops, is it?”

“It should have, Pete, it should have.” Kaz puts his head in his hands, long fingers reaching over his scalp. “I need the money, I really do. You can’t eat the Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa International Literary Prize.”

“Hist fic!”

Kaz, without looking up, wishes his agent, “Bless you.”

“No, I didn’t sneeze. Hist fic. It’s what everyone’s reading today – and it’s got literary balls too: I mean, Hilary Mantel won the Booker and she’s made a shed load of money from TV and theatre. That’s the way to go, Kaz.”

Kaz looks up, peering through the slats of his fingers. “You think so?”

“I know so. Get some Tudors and doublets in your next book and you’ll be quids in.”

“Hm. No, that’s been done. But what about… Anglo-Saxons and Britons?”

“Nah. That won’t work. How about Romans?”

“What if I put in a dragon, and a giant, and a meditation on the meaning of love and loss.”

“Maybe lose the last.”

“No, no, I can see it now. The mythological shall be a commentary on the actual, and the potential of love and the failure of imagination.”

“Right, Kaz. If you say so. Just make sure you get the dragon in. And the giant.”

“Will do. But the giant is metaphorical, of course.”




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