Review

When We Were Orphans

by Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro, author of THE REMAINS OF THE DAY (winner of the Booker Prize) and AN ARTIST OF THE FLOATING WORLD (winner of the Whitbread Award), has produced a work rich with history, relationships, naive perceptions of the world, and lastly --- and foremost --- charm. This intensely rich story is read by John Lee, in a clipped, English quality, while providing Chinese and Japanese dialects as the story moves to Shanghai.

Christopher Banks, our protagonist, lays out his life story with all the heartache, desire, and loss of any man looking back on a tragic life. The son of a diplomat, Christopher grew up in Shanghai, seemingly protected from the rigors of poverty and insecurity, want, or need for love, affection, or friendship. When disaster struck, in the form of a family mysteriously divided, he never gave up hope of finding his parents. He attended the best schools and set out to become a detective, the profession he always desired.It is this profession that brings him back to Shanghai 20 years later in an ardent and frantic attempt to uncover the mystery surrounding the disappearance of his parents and the role his Uncle Peter was to play in it.

John Lee's performance is outstanding as he takes on the character roles, creating the identity of each, as the story unwinds to its final twist. The listener can't help but feel the emotions of the characters. Very well written and very well performed.

Reviewed by Marge Fletcher on January 24, 2011

When We Were Orphans
by Kazuo Ishiguro

  • Publication Date: September 1, 2000
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Audio: pages
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • ISBN-10: 0694523844
  • ISBN-13: 9780694523849