Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Goby Kazuo Ishiguro

This Science Fiction reads like a lulling memoir, from a young woman’s view point, who had an almost idyllic boarding school / well-run orphanage experience growing up. The book is full of anecdotes about her friendships with two classmates and their somewhat odd and entwined past. Since I knew that the book is SciFi and there are enough hints and clues embedded in the incidents, I was never surprised by the way the story progresses.

Yes, like many readers, I was questioning “how is this possible?” and “how can they just take it and take it and no one rebels?” For me, that is what differentiates this alternative history/scifi from many other of genre that treats this topic: the young people who are inculcated since birth of their “uses” in the world would not question the system and would not want to organize anything remotely like a movement to gain rights for themselves. They donate, they care, and then they “complete.” For this, I greatly respect and admire the author.

Did I absolutely love the book? Not exactly, since it is perhaps too quiet and introspective, and the too minute examination of characters and their motivations is too “well done” (and thus dry and tough, not quite juicy and supple) to my taste. I wonder if this is told from Tommy’s point of view and how he might have acted if he had different encounters and friends at the “school.” That said, I believe this is definitely a great conversation starter and a worthwhile read.


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2 responses to “Never Let Me Go

  1. Nikki

    I agree that the story can lose pace at times, ’cause let’s face it, there isn’t a lot happening plot-wise. But I love that Ishiguro brought a different take to clones; maybe they don’t know how to rebel or are just so used to their lives that the idea doesn’t occur to them. In most fictional stories characters are brave and courageous and ready to revolt, but in life humans often don’t rise up against something they think is wrong, or don’t want to take the energy to rebel. The story is a character study of the clones, how they think and feel – or don’t feel. If anything the book poses questions about clones and to what rights they should be entitled. A book from Tommy’s view-point would be fascinating. But the numbness that Kathy feels towards everything – Hailsham, her friends, love – ultimately makes what I think is a fantastic tale.


    • fairrosa

      I am in agreement with you here, Nikki. The minutiae of the characters’ motivations is the strength of the author but at the same time, Kathy seems too perceptive being able to interpret even the most obscure or covert emotions. Of course, she could have read everyone’s feelings wrong, too! But then, we are left with a very inaccurate “report” of the history and future of these characters.


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