I’ve heard a lot of good comments about Ishiguro’s previous books, but still I was reluctant to try any of them out. Without knowing the author’s style at least a little at first I tend to stay away from a big commitment of a novel. Instead I decided to give this short story collection a try. Fortunately for me, Nocturnes turned out be an exceptionally enjoyable journey through emotional musings of likable characters. Each story deals with a person on the verge of disappontment and harsh reality, yet each one does their fair share to preserve romance and happiness they used to believe in. Music plays an important role throughout the book, with characters being either musicians or avid melomaniacs, and it is music that brings them hope and bittersweet memories.
Even though each story can stand on its own, I think reading them all together brings a special charm out of the book. It is as if we witness snippets of different charecters’ lives who are unaware about each other’s existence, yet have so much in common. The writing style is easy, but elegant, without much pretence. Considering my short attention span, the book kept me glued to its pages for hours straight. Those who enjoy Murakami, but want a little less philosophical pondering will love Ishiguro.