The Buried Giant Summary
by Kazuo Ishiguro

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The Buried Giant Summary


The Buried Giant is Nobel Prize-winning British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro’s seventh novel. It was published in March of 2015 to generally positive reviews and critical acclaim, though some have criticized the novel for deviating in style and quality from his earlier works. The Buried Giant is a fantasy novel set in post-Arthurian Britain and follows Axl and Beatrice, an elderly couple, as they leave their village to visit their son. However, the land is covered in a amnesia-inducing mist, and they cannot remember exactly where their son lives—or anything else about him. On their journey, Axl and Beatrice travel with a Saxon warrior, his young squire, and a legendary knight. Slowly, they begin to remember the past that they all share. A melancholic, beautiful exploration of memory and guilt, The Buried Giant is an emotionally powerful story of love and war.

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Plot Summary

After King Arthur unified Britain, the fragile peace could not endure. In The Buried Giant, some characters harken back to those idyllic times, especially the valiant Sir Gawain. One large problem that affects everyone is a mist that attacks the memory. The characters, in various stages of amnesia, experience difficulties simply carrying out the tasks of daily life, much less locating their destinations while traveling through the countryside.

The narrative centers largely on a couple who set out to visit their son. Because of the mist-induced memory lapses, Axl and Beatrice experience many difficulties. They try to locate a friar with healing skills who can help the ailing Beatrice. They encounter a young boy, Edwin, who was captured and caged by ogres. The warrior Wistan, who might have previously known Axl, decides to rescue him. They all continue toward Axl’s son’s village and along the way meet Sir Gawain—the former Round Table knight.

At the monastery, they must wait to seek Friar Jonus’s medical advice. Finally it is revealed that a dragon—which had been the object of Gawain’s quest—is causing the mist with its breath. As soldiers close in on the monastery (apparently with Wistan as their quarry), the monks usher them into a tunnel, ostensibly to...

(The entire section is 551 words.)