LITERATURE: The Unconsoled – Are you falling for this?

Now I can accept life on Mars and apocalypse on Earth in fiction. I can see The Invisible Man and believe that kryptonite can kill Superman. It’s getting hard however to swallow Ishiguro’s Mr. Ryder’s reaction to his circumstances in this novel.

Ishiguro does the right thing by not telling us how the protagonist ‘feels’ but there should be some jaw-dropping, wariness in speech, something going on when Ryder meets the porter’s daughter and she intimates by her conversation that’s he’s very involved with her and her son. For heaven’s sake, she seems to feel that he would prefer the new house she’s looking to move into–maybe even with him, and the man doesn’t even bat an eye?

Why is he staying at the hotel? Why doesn’t anybody notice that he may seem confused (maybe because Ishiguro won’t let him appear so?). Why, oh why, doesn’t Ryder ask somebody what the hell’s going on?

Yes, the mystery is intriguing but I’m getting pretty disgusted enough with the utter dopiness of the main character to care.

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