Five Stories of Music and Nightfall

Publisher: Vintage Canada
In this sublime story cycle, Kazuo Ishiguro explores love, music and the passage of time. This quintet ranges from Italian piazzas to the Malvern Hills, a London flat to the “hush-hush floor” of an exclusive Hollywood hotel. Along the way we meet young dreamers, café musicians and faded stars, all at some moment of reckoning.

Gentle, intimate and witty, Nocturnes is underscored by a haunting theme: the struggle to restoke life’s romance, even as relationships flounder and youthful hopes recede.

From the Hardcover edition.


The morning I spotted Tony Gardner sitting among the tourists, spring was just arriving here in Venice. We’d completed our first full week outside in the piazza — a relief, let me tell you, after all those stuffy hours performing from the back of the cafe, getting in the way of customers wanting to use the...
Read More


1. General Questions:
• In each story, at least one character is deluding him- or herself. Who is the worst offender? How does Ishiguro signal this to the reader?
• All five stories are told in first-person narration. Which of the narrators is most trustworthy, and why?
• How does Ishiguro...

Read More


A New York Times Notable Book

"A fine and moving collection of stories, displaying [Ishiguro's] unique combination of the sad, the stoic and the consoling. It's about failure, but it dignifies failure, and with it, the human condition. There is nobody like him."
— Margaret Drabble, The Guardian Books of the Year
"Each of these stories is heartbreaking in its own way, but some have moments of great comedy, and they all require a level of attention that, typically, Ishiguro's writing rewards."
— The Observer

"An amusing read, at times very funny.... There are a number of scenes in Nocturnes that are almost worth the price of admission on their own."
— The Globe and Mail

From the Hardcover edition.