by Kazuo Ishiguro
Read by: David Horovitch
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Content: There’s some violence and mild sexual elements. But, no worse than any Tolkein book. In fact, if you’ve made it through LOTR, you will probably really like this one.
Axl and Beatrice have had a long, good life. Or, at least as much as they can remember. They live in a cave dwelling in Britain, in the time after the Romans left and Arthur’s peace with the Saxons is waning. They’re not quite content, and so they determine that they need to head to a nearby village to see their son — whom they only can barely remember having — because he’s anxiously waiting for them.
They have no idea how their journey will go, or the people they will meet (an elder Sir Gawain among them, much to my delight), and how it will all change them.
I’m not sure how much more of the actual plot I want to divulge. Much like LOTR (which this strongly reminded me of), the plot is less important than the journey. Axl and Beatrice’s journey — though we never really got inside Beatrice’s head, which disappointed me — was a grand one, like Odysseus, or Frodo. The people the met, the friendships they made, the emotional journey they took as well as the physical one all had a mythological quality to it.
I’m sure you can find a lot of deeper meaning in the story as well. But for me, listening to it on my way to and from Dallas (the narrator was excellent, once I got used to his cadence), it was more a long oral narrative, a story to be heard by the firelight over several nights, a story to capture the imagination and to be swept up in.
Which means it’s being told by a master storyteller. And I loved every minute.