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  • An Artist of the Floating World

  • By: Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Narrated by: David Case
  • Length: 6 hrs and 24 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (145 ratings)

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Summary

1948. Japan is rebuilding her cities after the calamity of WWII, her people putting defeat behind them and looking to the future. 

The celebrated painter Masuji Ono fills his days attending to his garden, his house repairs, his two grown daughters and his grandson; his evenings drinking with old associates in quiet lantern-lit bars. His should be a tranquil retirement. But as his memories continually return to the past - to a life and a career deeply touched by the rise of Japanese militarism - a dark shadow begins to grow over his serenity.

©1986 Kazuo Ishiguro (P)2014 Faber Audio

What listeners say about An Artist of the Floating World

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Let down by narrator

The story is absorbing and thought-provoking; it's typical Ishiguro. However, the narrator inflects at random points and it sounds like he's asking a question at the end of most declarative sentences and it's really beginning to grate.

17 people found this helpful

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Bad narrator

Very jarring voice. Keeps ending sentences with an upward inflection as if it were a question. Can’t say much about story - I’ve given up on the narrator

6 people found this helpful

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Narration distracting

The upper class English accent -and phrasing of the narrator makes it hard for me to listen and enjoy the story. After 1 hour of listening I am giving up. I will not buy books narrated by this narrator anymore. A pity...

3 people found this helpful

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An effort but worth it.

In contrast to his other books this was hard work -maybe because of the culture and location not familiar to me, but the subtle vulnerability of a proud man - out of date and just realising his loss of power - was so delicately and beautifully demonstrated. I didn't really enjoy the narrator's querulous voice, but perhaps it was appropriate for the character.

3 people found this helpful

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I don’t think I could have read this

But listening to the audio brought this book to life. David Case is an excellent performer and I truly felt like I was travelling around Japan with Mr Ono, listening to his experiences.

1 person found this helpful

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Ishiguro on almost best form

This is a poignant and insightful story giving a terrific feel for Japanese society and life in Japan after the war. It's not as good, in my view, as Nocturnes or Never Let me Go, but grew on me in the months after finishing up and that's why I round it up from a 4.5 to 5 star rating.

David Case is a strange choice with his posh English accent but he always does a good job and he does somehow capture the spirit of the book.

1 person found this helpful

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plain story and bad narration

the story is unlike the richness of characters and word as other of his books. the narrator's thickly accented english accent was off putting for a story about japan. a more neutral accent would have been better

1 person found this helpful

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Struggled with this

I don't think we were supposed to like the narrator. This wasn't helped dy David Case's narration.

1 person found this helpful

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Always listen to a sample!

I don’t think the narrator’s tone suits the book. I listened to a few minutes and had to stop. I ended up just reading the book. Always listen to a sample…lesson learned!

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Great novel irritating narration

I can appreciate why the narrator wanted to maintain a smug and arrogant tone, but 6 and a half hours of it is a little hard to endure.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-05-18

Great Story

Loved it and was sad to end..the image of the Bridge of hesitation has stuck...beautiful insights to another culture