Book Review || An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro

Hello beautiful people, 

I feel Happy.

I feel an immense amount of happiness.

'An Artist of the Floating World' is a beautiful novel about the aftermath of war, and the life of people before and after the war. This story revolves around Masuji Ono, a well-known painter, and his journey to come to terms with what he has done in his past.

The story takes the span of three years, however, Ono would always take us back to his past - Childhood, youth and adulthood. He paints us, the readers, an image of his life and we really get to see the world from his perspective and fully come to understand him and the decisions he has made.

"For indeed a man who aspires to rise above mediocre, to be something more than ordinary, surely deserves admiration, even if in the ends he fails and loses a fortune on account of his ambitions."

The story handles topics surrounding war, loyalty, regret, ambition and success with great care. Through out the book, we see Ono open up to how the youth of Japan think about the decisions their elders have made during the war. Ono's ideals and beliefs are always getting challenged, and at a certain point I did feel as if I was personally attacked too.
"If one has failed only where others have not had the courage or the will to try, there is a consolation - indeed, a deep satisfaction-..."

There are multiple characters in the story, and we do get close to them. The majority of the characters we get to know best are from Ono's past; however, the characters from his present aren't that well-fleshed and we don't spend much time with them (and this includes his two daughters). Morever, I happen to not like the way the daughters speak during the book. It feels robotic and distant, and I don't like what they say either.

His daughters aren't the only ones that said some questionable things, Ono and his grandson would always make fun of women. I didn't understand the point of it (I don' think there is a point to it), and it felt random and just outright weird. In one instance they laugh at how Ono's daughters would get too scared of a horror movie for the fact they are women. On another occasion they laugh at how women can't handle sake.

Majority of these instances I felt Ono said these things to make his grandson laugh, nevertheless, his grandson does take what his grandfather say quite earnestly.

Other than this issue, I didn't have any other issues with the book. I enjoyed the writing style and reading from Ono's voice. The book has a great sense of nostalgia and it makes me reminiscent of the time I have spent in my country before the war. If you enjoy reading literary historical fiction, I recommend you this novel.


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