Robert McCrum in The Guardian:
Kazuo Ishiguro is best known for The Remains of the Day, his Booker prizewinner; The Unconsoled, a very long novel of hallucinatory strangeness; and Never Let Me Go, a contemporary favourite, widely taught in schools. But the pitch-perfect novel that both expresses his Japanese inheritance and captures the haunting beauty and delicacy of Ishiguro’s English prose is his second work of fiction, An Artist of the Floating World. This, as its title suggests, is a tour de force of unreliable narration, set in post-second world war Japan, during the American occupation. Masuji Ono, a respected artist in the 1930s and during the war, but now retired, is garrulously recalling the past, from a highly subjective point of view. Ono, who passes his time gardening and pottering, opens his narrative with a low-key sentence whose meaning will resonate throughout the story: “If on a sunny day you climb the steep path leading up from the little wooden bridge still referred to around here as ‘the Bridge of Hesitation’, you will not have to walk far before the roof of my house becomes visible between the tops of two gingko trees.