Ishiguro has written three very good novels and two almost very-good books, as well as a number of short stories, and like most authors, he's a little better at one than the other--in this case the former. from the masterpiece [b:Remains of the Day|28921|The Remains of the Day|Kazuo Ishiguro|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327128714s/28921.jpg|3333111] (~60k ratings @4.08) to the underappreciated [b:When We Were Orphans|28923|When We Were Orphans|Kazuo Ishiguro|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348343794s/28923.jpg|3333606] (@3.41) to the short but sweet [b:Artist of the Flowing World] (@3.71), it's clear Ishiguro has earned his reputation among the literary world as well as critical appreciation. his style ranges from the slow and meditative look at class/history to more modern sensibilities, as in this collection of five stories, which uses music as a unifying motif regarding five characters involved as professionals / creatives.
Ishiguro's talent lies in both a dead-pan ear for conversation and communication with characters' class-status, socioeconomics, personality, and intelligence-level characterized at times with a single turn of phrase, and he shows in this work that he is not just an elegaic chronicler of worlds past but also a fully modern and contemporary wordsmith. yet, this work is clearly not a 5/5 as despite craftsman talent and output, there isn't anything terribly run-around-and-tell-all-your-friends about this collection. OK, a couple of the works would probably pass the New Yorker editorial board; fine, you won't feel terribly wronged or cheated if you purchase the work, but nothing is awe-inducing stellar.
there's a pretty good critical treatment of this work here
, and many of the top-rated reviews do point out flaws in the work, but we'll give this work the 4; and average out Ishiguro's top 6 works at 3.67 (which seems a notch low)-- as it happens, when Ishiguro works, he very very much works; when he fails, there's nothing there.