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Extended Audio Sample Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall, by Kazuo Ishiguro Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,017 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kazuo Ishiguro Narrator: Kirby Heyborne, Lincoln Hoppe, Mark Bramhall, Simon Vance Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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One of the most celebrated writers of our time gives us his first cycle of short fiction: five brilliantly etched, interconnected stories in which music is a vivid and essential character.

A once-popular singer, desperate to make a comeback, turning from the one certainty in his life…A man whose unerring taste in music is the only thing his closest friends value in him…A struggling singer-songwriter unwittingly involved in the failing marriage of a couple he’s only just met…A gifted, underappreciated jazz musician who lets himself believe that plastic surgery will help his career…A young cellist whose tutor promises to “unwrap” his talent…

Passion or necessity—or the often uneasy combination of the two—determines the place of music in each of these lives. And, in one way or another, music delivers each of them to a moment of reckoning: sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, sometimes just eluding their grasp.

An exploration of love, need, and the ineluctable force of the past, Nocturnes reveals these individuals to us with extraordinary precision and subtlety, and with the arresting psychological and emotional detail that has marked all of Kazuo Ishiguro’s acclaimed works of fiction.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Expressive and harmonic, delicate yet substantive…[A] true virtuoso performance.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “In both craft and substance Nocturnes reveals a master at work.”

    Seattle Times

  • “Tight and assured…Suffused with sympathy.”


  • “These stories recall Ishiguro’s best known novel, The Remains of the Day…By now it is clear that this exquisite stylist is serious in his pursuit of a minimal—perhaps even universal—mode of expression for the emotional experiences that define our lives as human.”

    Times (London)

  • “Superb…A deceptively plain and easy style that rides on the surfaces of manners and decorous behavior.”

    Providence Journal

  • “A brilliant new book…Art, its dangers, its pains, and its gaiety [are] all topics seriously considered in this accomplished book.”

    London Review of Books

  • “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.”

    Observer (London)

  • “These stories come up on you quietly, but then haunt you for days.”

    Evening Standard (London)

  • “Ishiguro blends musical concepts with their literary counterparts in his latest work, and Nocturnes has the…quality of a song cycle with recurring themes and motifs developed in different prose keys.”


  • One of the 2009 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Selected for the October 2009 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Pauline | 2/11/2014

    " My second Ishiguro read - and as with all short story collections, this one is made up of hits and misses. Not necessarily bad, but it wasn't at par with his other, older works either. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Eden | 2/9/2014

    " I loved the first two stories, but found the other three disappointing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Neha Agarwal | 2/8/2014

    " Kazuo Ishiguro's writing, as always, is top-notch. However this was not my kind of book. It reminded me of Hanif Qureshi's short stories. Each of the stories seem like fragments from what should be a book in itself. There is a body to the story but no beginning and no end. As a matter of personal preference I dislike such fiction. The 3 stars (actually want to give it 2.5) are purely for the quality of his writing. Each story draws you in. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Xarah | 1/28/2014

    " Novels like this make me happy that I read short stories. I enjoyed how Ishiguro tied music into his five stories and how the stories flowed with one another. Beautiful stories. "

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