See my full review at The Emerald City Book Review. I have to admit that I had a difficult time puzzling out what was metaphor, what was delusion, and what was reality, and that this made me uncomfortable. There were some indications that what certain characters described as otherworldly creatures or phenomena (e.g. ogres) had a more mundane explanation, and that the pre-conceptions of the characters determined the world they perceived. This is an interesting philosophical point, but disorienting when applied to a story, in which generally the author is performing the magic trick of making us believe in something that doesn't exist. It matters not whether that something is a dragon or a duchess or a dachshund; within the world of a story it must gain being and presence, or why bother with it?
This dis-orientation was inconsistent. There were times when it was very hard to imagine an alternative explanation for what the characters were describing, other than that they were all completely insane. And yet, if that were the case, what could be gained from entering into their fractured minds? Are we meant to reflect on our own self-delusional versions of an impenetrable reality? That's a stage on everyone's quest, but to me it cannot be the end. I believe in meaning and wholeness, and if that betrays my lack of sophistication as a reader and human being, but so be it. I'm not interested in subversion for its own sake, only when it helps to break us through to a higher level of understanding.
Though I enjoyed parts of the journey, and grew to care for some of the characters, in the end I was left frustrated and dissatisfied. Perhaps a reread will enlighten me further as to what Ishiguro might have been trying to say, but right now I'm not at all sure.