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When We Were Orphans por Kazuo Ishiguro
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When We Were Orphans (original 2000; edição 2009)

por Kazuo Ishiguro (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
4,9131141,692 (3.48)276
Christopher Banks, an English boy born in early-20th-century Shanghai, is orphaned at age nine when both his mother and father disappear under suspicious circumstances. He grows up to become a renowned detective, and more than 20 years later, returns to Shanghai to solve the mystery of the disappearances.… (mais)
Membro:ashleygreig
Título:When We Were Orphans
Autores:Kazuo Ishiguro (Autor)
Informação:Faber & Faber (2009), Edition: 01, 291 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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When We Were Orphans por Kazuo Ishiguro (2000)

Adicionado recentemente porEzra-Letson, Gadi_Cohen, TollandFriends, biblioteca privada, Buchvogel, colinsnider, tclitsoc, Lulu_G, jooniper, john257hopper
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» Ver também 276 menções

Inglês (107)  Holandês (2)  Italiano (2)  Espanhol (1)  Alemão (1)  Hebraico (1)  Todas as línguas (114)
Mostrando 1-5 de 114 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
It's a good book all around except Christopher is the crappiest detective ever. Of course the story wouldn't work if he was any good. ( )
  jooniper | Sep 10, 2021 |
I love Ishiguro's writing. I am totally engrossed immediately after beginning one of his books. This one was no exception at the beginning, but I thought the second half of the book dragged. How he thought his parents could still be being held prisoner after 18 years is a bit of a stretch. Surely someone would have located them or they would have managed an escape--something. I did not like that he and Sarah almost got together. He was not even slightly attracted to her in all their meetings. I got the feeling that he found her slightly repugnant It felt like he was thinking, "Well, nobody else has come along...." She was such an opportunist. The Jennifer thing? The story seemed very disjointed. Christopher certainly had a lot on his plate--finding his parents, finding Akira, trying to be a successful, respected detective, raising an orphan, Jennifer, deciding where he wanted to live, England or Shanghai. It all hinged on finding the Yellow Snake and learning what he knew. And when Christopher finally did find him and the Yellow Snake told him everything, how much to believe. At least Christopher found Akira, and we could imagine what happened, and at least he found his mother, and we could imagine what happened there. He also found out about Sarah, so all loose ends were gathered together.

reader37143 7/6/21 ( )
  37143Birnbaum | Jul 6, 2021 |
audiobook fiction - classic literature/historical fiction - British national looks for missing parents in Shanghai (evolution of opium trade, second Sino-Japanese War in early 1940s); author was born in Nagasaki in 1951 but moved to GB at the age of 5.

I liked the gentle, quiet pace of the narration at first, but was somewhat disappointed by the story--readers that have settled into the first half are bound to be unsettled by the latter half, and readers that enjoy the second half are generally bored silly by the first half. Of course Christopher Banks (the unreliable narrator) is written to be pretty unlikeable, with his arrogant, self-centered actions throughout the last half of the book.

The main story is not in fact the mystery around his parents' disappearances but his clinging to his faulty memories of an idyllic childhood despite having been orphaned at a young age. The episode (several chapters long) about getting to the building where his parents had supposedly been kept prisoner for 18(?) years was frustrating (he said he would only be gone a few minutes)--mainly it served as a way for Christopher to reconnect with Akira (a Japanese soldier who has dishonored himself by spilling secrets to the Chinese) but mostly showed that he was actually a terrible detective, and how very deeply invested he was in believing his childhood to have been a happy one that he would make such a long series of extremely poor decisions in the hopes that he would turn out to be right. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
This is the first book I’ve read by this author but I may read others at some point.



The story is somewhat convoluted and it was a bit hard for me to make head or tail of it, but it’s about an English boy called Christopher living in Shanghai with his parents.



Various characters flit in and out of his life including a girl he calls Miss Hemmings.



Ha has a Japanese childhood friend called Akira who later again comes to play a role in his life.



In Shanghai Christopher and his parents live in relative safety in the International Settlement while in the Chinese areas of the city there are all manner of ghastly diseases, filth and evil men.



Christopher’s beautiul mother worked to get rid of the high level of opium addiction in Shanghai. She has lunches attended by various ladies, and Christopher’s mysterious uncle Philip is always in attendance.



At one point Christopher’s parents both disappear, and it appears that Uncle Philip is somehow involved. Detectives are looking for the parents but to no avail.



Christopher becomes a famous detective and at one point late in the plot decides himself to search for his long-lost parents.



Finding a Chineseman called the Yellow Snake is apparently a key factor in finding C’s parents.



The book is elegantly written. ( )
  IonaS | May 12, 2021 |
There are some books you love.
There are some books you hate.
Then comes some books you have no idea what to feel about. Kazuo Ishiguro's "When we were Orphans" is one such book for me.
This book starts rather obnoxiously, the style of narration seems to be a replica of The Remains of the Day which annoyed me a lot (both of the previous books I read of him were very different from each other in style and I was expecting the same).
One of the best features of an Ishiguro creation is that the climax stitches all the scattered beads into a single necklace. The same is delivered in this book, however, the impact of this book or the climax is a bit less for me as compared to what I felt with Never Let Me Go and The Remains of The Day.
Strictly talking about the story, When We Were Orphans is narrated through the eyes of a detective who in spite of being a fairly successful one is pretty disconnected from reality right from the start (this is really important for the story to build and reach the climax it does).

The story goes through three different locations - high society London, opium riddled Shanghai, war-torn Shanghai at the cusp of Communism and a small sneak peek of post-war England and Hong Kong. The book is very successful in giving an authentic vibe of all these places.

In spite of being more or less placed during the Second Sino-Japanese war and the Chinese Opium crisis - this book remains pretty insulated from war crime or opium horrors (beautifully reflects the privilege the Europeans enjoyed). In fact, the scene where the European settlers are seen enjoying the shelling between the Japanese and Chinese front during on the day the protagonist arrives at Shanghai pretty much sets the mood of the novel with respect to this humanitarian crisis.
The writer also manages to highlight some nuances of the Chinese lifestyle in between all the European-ness, but I am digressing.

The protagonist throughout this book tries to solve the mystery of his parents' disappearance which ultimately culminates to a very tragic climax. The writing of the book is very victorian (a characteristic of Ishiguro) however not too tough to understand.

As I have already mentioned, the reader may find the book going nowhere till a good portion but ultimately everything makes sense.
All in all, it is a good Ishiguro creation. I don't love it yet (but I actually fell in love with Never Let Me go about 10 days post finishing it), so we never know. You can skip it and go and enjoy Never Let Me Go or Remains of The Day if you want.

( )
  __echo__ | May 11, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 114 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
When We Were Orphans may well be Ishiguro's most capacious book so far, in part because it stitches together his almost microscopic examination of self-delusion, as it plays out in lost men, with a much larger, often metaphorical look at complacency on a national scale.
adicionada por jburlinson | editarNew York Review of Books, Pico Iyer (sítio Web pago) (Oct 5, 2000)
 
Das neue Buch ist eine Überraschung. Denn es kommt so ganz anders daher, es tut so, als werde hier einmal Handfestes geboten, ein Kriminalfall! Ein Kind verliert seine Eltern. Ein schreckliches Familiendrama. Eine historische Erzählung, die sich im China der Opiumkriege entfaltet, Kolonialismus, Bandenkrieg, es birgt, natürlich, auch die Geschichte einer vergeblichen Liebe, und es gehört zum Abenteuerlichen dieser Lektüre, dass wir alle paar Seiten der Illusion erliegen, nun aber endlich zu erahnen, worauf wir uns hier einzulassen haben. Ahnungen, die uns mit dem Wenden einer Seite weggeschlagen werden, was die Gedanken nicht unangenehm verwirrt, so wie wenn die Achterbahn abrupt die Richtung wechselt und es uns herumschleudert und wir die Gravidität der Gehirnmasse kribbelnd spüren. Kein Wunder, es ist die Lebensgeschichte eines Verrückten.
 

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Christopher Banks, an English boy born in early-20th-century Shanghai, is orphaned at age nine when both his mother and father disappear under suspicious circumstances. He grows up to become a renowned detective, and more than 20 years later, returns to Shanghai to solve the mystery of the disappearances.

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