How Memory Loss Builds Suspense in The Buried Giant

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The Buried Giant, Nobel Prize-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2015 foray into Arthurian-inspired fantasy, is not the first book you would think of as a suspenseful novel.

Rather than the fast-paced action and adventure often included in the fantasy genre, this novel is characterized by a quiet restraint. The primary character, Axl, is an elderly Briton who sets out with his wife, Beatrice, on a quest to find their son, whom they barely recall. When action does occur and they encounter magical creatures, the prose reflects no more excitement than when the couple discusses their wish for a candle to stave of…

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