Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro - review by D J Taylor

D J Taylor

Bridge Passage

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall


Faber & Faber 221pp £14.99

You sometimes feel that a guitar must be as vital a part of the hand luggage of the senior British novelist as a laptop. Ian McEwan’s Saturday (2005) fairly groaned under the weight of recherché fretboard detail that its author had pillaged from specialist magazines like Blues Guitarist; Graham Swift’s recent collection Making an Elephant has a piece about buying a guitar with ‘Ish’; and now comes Ish himself with a quintet of short stories, the first offering of which features an Eastern European migrant chosen to accompany a veteran American singer as he serenades his wife from the prow of a Venetian gondola.

Tony Gardner, the sub-Sinatra balladeer of ‘Crooner’, turns out to be celebrating his twenty-seventh wedding anniversary. This being showbiz, on the other hand, the end in view is not the rapt continuation of this relationship but its opportunistic overthrow: Tony’s career is on the slide, a rethink is

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