England, 1930s: Christopher Banks has become the country's most celebrated detective, his cases the talk of London society. Yet one unsolved crime has always haunted him: the mysterious disappearance of his parents, in old Shanghai, when he was a small boy.
Moving between London and Shanghai of the inter-war years, When We Were Orphans is a remarkable story of memory, intrigue, and the need to return.
©2000 Kazuo Ishiguro (P)2014 Canongate Books in partnership with Faber & Faber Ltd
May not be everyone's cup of tea but I found the psychological characterisation fascinating. Good internal dialogue as opposed to superfluous unnecessary description of periphery characters, places or things, found in so many of today's writers. . Excellent narration. I'm sad to leave the atmosphere created in this novel.
Great narrator, beautifully poignant story. It will stay with me for a long time!
Ishiguro always captures the essence of 'Britishness' in his stories so effortlessly.
The writing and narration are both excellent and give the characters reality. The narration of Uncle Phillip is particularly good and rather chilling - Puffin! It's an evocative story which builds slowly and builds in pace. I enjoyed it immensely and struggled to hold back the tears towards the climax.
Christopher for his genuine innocence. It is possible to see why he is as he is in adulthood from his childhood. His background makes him believable as an adult.Christopher's mother is also a haunting character. What I like about the characters in this book is how well they convey the era and surroundings in which they are set. Ishiguro doesn't need many descriptive passages because his characters paint the scenery for him. It's very well written and very much my type of book and story. The slow speed with which it unravels and gradually gains momentum is both fluid and hypnotic. I enjoyed it immensely and found myself wishing it were much longer as I neared the end.
Nothing. He is excellent in all respects and gives just the right levels of depth and intonation.
Living in rural tranquility in France. I read everything except readers' l o n g reviews of books.
Rather a struggle to finish and had it not been by such a renowned author I suspect I would have give up on it.
My main problem was the inability to empathize with any of the characters. Indeed the main character was not only difficult to like but was also exasperating coming across as having an 84 IQ .
Nope, not for me. Good writing does not always mean a good book
This is a beautiful reading of a book I found nostalgic, haunting and sad. All the characters are troubled and the lead is enigmatic, driven, unreliable and often, delusional. That said it really got under my skin like 'Never Let Me Go'.
I was gripped all through but really needed some fresh air and a good laugh afterwards. The sad and horrific era it depicted with its many lost and wasted lives is rendered with great artistry but still I felt hollowed out at the end. A great but troubling book.
Likes whodunits (especially historical ones), history (especially European), genealogy and really well written English wherever I find it.
Once again Kazuo Ishiguro unfolds the complex story - a sort of verbal origami. Michael Maloney gives a fittingly nuanced reading. The sort of book that I listen to in one go. Very highly recommended.
Orpington, United Kingdom As a reader prefer being moved over being entertained.
There is something gripping in Ishiguro's writing. Always a wanted trip to an unknown destination.
"Nostalgic and alluring!"
Nostalgic, journey, contentment.
The depth in the Narrator. The narrative, shows that he is merely, human. confused, most and sometimes wrong.
His use of accents and dialects develops the other characters but mostly his voice as Christopher shows a vulnerability and arrogance, which helps in developing his character.
Jenny, the other orphan, who plays a minor yet vital role.
This book is a must read or listen. It is exquisitely written. Kazou Ishiguro is becoming one of my favourite authors.
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