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When We Were Orphans

By

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

3.6
(317)

Language:English | Number of Pages: 352 | Format: Hardcover | In other languages: (other languages) Japanese , Portuguese , Spanish , French , Italian , Korean , German , Catalan , Polish , Swedish

Isbn-10: 0375410546 | Isbn-13: 9780375410543 | Publish date:  | Edition 1st American ed

Also available as: Paperback , Audio CD , eBook , Audio Cassette , Library Binding , Others

Category: Fiction & Literature , Mystery & Thrillers

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Book Description
The maze of human memory--the ways in which we accommodate and alter it, deceive and deliver ourselves with it--is territory that Kazuo Ishiguro has made his own. In his previous novels, he has explored this inner world and its manifestations in the lives of his characters with rare inventiveness and subtlety, shrewd humor and insight. In When We Were Orphans, his first novel in five years, he returns to this terrain in a brilliantly realized story that illuminates the power of one's past to determine the present.

Christopher Banks, an English boy born in early-twentieth-century Shanghai, is orphaned at age nine when his mother and father both vanish under suspicious circumstances. Sent to live in England, he grows up to become a renowned detective and, more than twenty years later, returns to Shanghai, where the Sino-Japanese War is raging, to solve the mystery of the disappearances.

The story is straightforward. Its telling is remarkable. Christopher's voice is controlled, detailed, and detached, its precision unsurprising in someone who has devoted his life to the examination of details and the rigors of objective thought. But within the layers of his narrative is slowly revealed what he can't, or won't, see: that his memory, despite what he wants to believe, is not unaffected by his childhood tragedies; that his powers of perception, the heralded clarity of his vision, can be blinding as well as enlightening; and that the simplest desires--a child's for his parents, a man's for understanding--may give rise to the most complicated truths.

A masterful combination of narrative control and soaring imagination, When We Were Orphans is Kazuo Ishiguro at his best.
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  • 2

    Hay muchos puntos de la novela que han pesado en mi valoración. En primer lugar la falta de entidad de los personajes, en especial del principal, un detective muy famoso del que no se aporta ni la más mínima prueba de su sagacidad, más bien todo lo contrario, pues no suponer lo más lógico en unas ...continue

    Hay muchos puntos de la novela que han pesado en mi valoración. En primer lugar la falta de entidad de los personajes, en especial del principal, un detective muy famoso del que no se aporta ni la más mínima prueba de su sagacidad, más bien todo lo contrario, pues no suponer lo más lógico en unas desapariciones tan duraderas como las que conforman el trasfondo de la historia no dice mucho de su supuesto inteligencia. Por no hablar de algunas presunciones nada obvias, sobre todo en su encuentro con "Akira". Tampoco creo acertado el tratamiento de la dama en cuestión, que pasa de ser una mujer inaccesible a arrastrada, para más tarde convertirse en una abnegada esposa, todo sin la menor explicación por parte del autor, y sin ofrecer (salvo en la última etapa quizás) ningún hecho en el que puedan basarse dichos cambios. Me parece muy lejana la descripción de la sociedad en las que se desenvuelven, tal vez quizas sea ese el motivo de mi incomprensión; no acierto a comprender la reacción de los personajes ante lo que les sucede, no la encuentro lógica. Por último, la trama, la historia en sí, pudiendo ser atractiva, se pierde entre la actuación de los personajes,y no consigue guiarlos por buen camino; antes al contrario, es ella, la que se pliega ante las a veces absurdas maneras de ellos.

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  • 2

    Anche no

    Non c'è che dire. Scritto bene è scritto bene. Ma è tutto qui. Per il resto... storia deludente, intreccio confuso, finale grottesco.

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  • 4

    Lectura agradable y relajante

    La lectura es muy relajante, es fácil dejarse llevar y disfrutar del libro, aunque el autor crea una atmósfera algo inquietante. Para mí ha habido partes que me han resultado desconcertantes pero creo que es el sello del autor.

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  • 4

    La prima parte del libro mi è piaciuta tantissimo e mi sono gustata ogni singola parola. Poi la storia perde un pò e mi dispiaceva proseguire per non rovinare l'ottimo parere che avevo del libro. Nel complesso comunque un bel libro; apprezzo molto la scrittura di Kazuo Ishiguro

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  • 3

    Coagulo

    Era l’ultimo libro di Ishiguro che mi mancava, e stavolta non mi ha convinto. Lo stile è sempre lo stesso, sottile, cauto mai immediato. Può non piacere. L’autore cerca il coagulo delle emozioni caricando a manetta le situazioni, ma non mi ha toccato.

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  • 3

    Descrizioni di una precisione maniacale non aiutano a calarsi nell'atmosfera. Deviano il pensiero, invece, in richiesta di soccorso verso la fine. L'editor avrebbe dovuto osare di più e sforbiciare molto. Ne perde l'intensità della storia, che meritava maggiore cura.

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  • 5

    He oído hablar mucho sobre este autor, Kazuo Ishiguro, pero no había leído nunca nada, y me anime a leer este, me ha gustado mucho, un investigador privado en los años 30 que tiene un misterio por resolver de su infancia.
    Narra la historia de tal manera que es como si estuvieras allí.
    En el momen ...continue

    He oído hablar mucho sobre este autor, Kazuo Ishiguro, pero no había leído nunca nada, y me anime a leer este, me ha gustado mucho, un investigador privado en los años 30 que tiene un misterio por resolver de su infancia. Narra la historia de tal manera que es como si estuvieras allí. En el momento que empiezas a leer no puedes parar hasta acabar.

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  • 3

    我覺得這本小說在探討記憶的真實及虛構。記憶就像書中的上海故事,隱隱約約的有些情節,私心的加油添醋,塑造出一個自己覺得理所當然的藍圖。但是當我們回到事發場所(上海)回溯既往,才發現不僅人事已非,甚至記憶和事實之間存有鴻溝。劇作家會根據個人喜好改編真人真事/小說,而我們面對記憶時,似乎也會這麼做。就另一方面來說,將回憶中的點點滴滴拼湊成一個完整的故事,也像是一個偵探的工作。
    書名叫做是When We Were Orphans,很有趣,因為一個人成為孤兒後,就一直是孤兒了,He became an orphan. He is an orphan. If you were an orphan, ...continue

    我覺得這本小說在探討記憶的真實及虛構。記憶就像書中的上海故事,隱隱約約的有些情節,私心的加油添醋,塑造出一個自己覺得理所當然的藍圖。但是當我們回到事發場所(上海)回溯既往,才發現不僅人事已非,甚至記憶和事實之間存有鴻溝。劇作家會根據個人喜好改編真人真事/小說,而我們面對記憶時,似乎也會這麼做。就另一方面來說,將回憶中的點點滴滴拼湊成一個完整的故事,也像是一個偵探的工作。 書名叫做是When We Were Orphans,很有趣,因為一個人成為孤兒後,就一直是孤兒了,He became an orphan. He is an orphan. If you were an orphan, what are you now? 書中有3個孤兒,主人翁、Sarah、主人翁收養的女孩。在故事的最後,技術上來說,主人翁已非孤兒,那對於其他兩個人來說呢? 本書敘事步調緩慢,且前半部鋪陳稍長,但後半部頗精彩,令人驚嚇的同時,也令人心碎。我自己非常喜歡主人翁和他誤認為當年好友的日本兵,在槍林彈雨中行走於斷瓦殘壁那段描寫。但是也很疑惑,主人翁怎麼會認為,經過那麼多年以後,他的父母還關在當年那棟房子裡?是心理上欺騙自己嗎?

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  • 4

    God I hate block outs

    I had a 500 wor reviw typed up and was pretty satisified with it, when due to unfortunate coincidence, our family electricity supply had to be shut down temporarily and I lost the 500-word reveiw. So it's with regret and sadness that I would just say this really quick and short: When we were Orph ...continue

    I had a 500 wor reviw typed up and was pretty satisified with it, when due to unfortunate coincidence, our family electricity supply had to be shut down temporarily and I lost the 500-word reveiw. So it's with regret and sadness that I would just say this really quick and short: When we were Orphans is a pretty good read; especially if you are always whining about how big and delicious McDonald's hambugers always seemed when you were young, how McDonald's seems to be getting stingier by the year; It's true, they are and the burgers are smaller. Ishiguro's story linked with hamburgers, God I must be hungry. Nostalgia is always the king when it comes to Ishiguro.

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