2002/12/03

Needless to say, the unreliable narrator has become a much more familiar convention to me, but I still admire the way that Ishiguro explores the layers of self-deception we use to protect ourselves.

[When We Were Orphans, by Kazuo Ishiguro]

What’s cool and disturbing about Ishiguro’s When We Were Orphans (another book, which I read during the summer) is that he gradually leads the reader into more and more unbelievable events until we’re forced to doubt the narrator’s ability to tell the truth, or rather, realize the layers of self-delusion and deception that clouds the narrator’s own vision, and consequently our own. Rather nice, considering how we usually trust even first-person narrative to be reliable, and to have that turn completely upside-down is a very upsetting experience.