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WHEN WE WERE ORPHANS, by Kazuo Ishiguro. London: Faber & Faber, 313 pp., 16.99 British pounds.

Ever since “A Pale View of Hills” (1982), Kazuo Ishiguro has been playing games with his readers’ minds. Some people find this infuriating, some fascinating, as the mixed reception accorded his novels — even the Booker Prize-winning “The Remains of the Day” (1989) — attests. But there is no doubting the skill with which he manipulates reality. Perhaps no writer in English has so completely mastered the art of the unreliable narrator since Vladimir Nabokov let Humbert Humbert loose in the pages of “Lolita.”

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