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This book is my holiday reading for this Asian trip.  We bought it in Zurich in one of our binge of buying English language books.  In the beginning, I did not expect to have time in HK or Macau to sit down and read this book, but I brought it with me anyway.  The day after we returned from Macau, I suffered a three-day diarrhea which kept me home and not far from the toilet.  I lost 5 pounds – the quickest way to lose weight.  Since Sue, IT and I ate more or less the same food, the culprit by deduction was a KFC side dish which came with a bucket meal.  We were a bit deprived at the time since there is no KFC in Switzerland (as far as we know).

Back to the book, apparently, this is Ishiguro Kazuo’s (石黒一雄) first collection of short stories.  I know of him from his book that was made into a movie by Ivory and Merchant – The Remains of the Day – which also won him the Booker prize in 1989.  Didn’t read it.  As for Nocturnes, I agree with what some of the reviewers said that the five stories feel like movements of a piece of musical work – they all share a certain sense of melancholy and yet each has their rhythm, colors and personalities.  It is hard to describe any of the stories without giving something away  … so I won’t say anything other than I liked the 4th story – “Nocturne” – best.


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