Tuesday 11 March 2014

Nagasaki - Eric Faye


Nagasaki is an understated, unobtrusive little novel. It's unobtrusive tranquil nature mirrors that of it's two central characters Shimura Kobo and his uninvited house guest. Neither character is entirely comfortable in the modern world, and neither has made any real connections with society. That seems to be the main message of the novel; that loneliness and a lack of connections with society can creep up on you.
There are many ambiguities about this story, Shimura is upset by the intrusion into his life and private space, and yet is unwilling to condemn the woman when it comes to trial. He briefly feels enough of a connection towards his unknown intruder to want to warn her after he has called the police. He even imagines her as his wife for a short period. At the same time the woman understands that she is intruding into his home and yet feels she has a right to do so as it was her home as a child.
If you want a story with a clear message then, probably this is the wrong book to choose; but if you can savour the ambiguity and shifting nature of a strangely compelling little story try this one.

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