This seems like an amazing classic to me. Although it has a cloak of sci-fi or horror, I think that it is actually about our lives, which do have their horrible sides -- we are all on the way to dying, after all, and we are the caretakers of each other. But this gives such a crystal clear vision of an alternate reality that it is difficult to realize that we are simply looking at our own world with a few details altered. The reader is immaculate, the sound quality is great, the language is impeccable. This makes a very interesting contrast with other books by the same author, such as Remains of the Day and the Unconsolable. Ishiguro must be one of the greatest living authors. I would not want this reading to be one syllable shorter.
Caution: This review reveals nothing that would spoil your relish at discovering this book.
At the intersection of science, society and identity, lives can only be seen as through a frosted window alternately revealing glimpses of light, hazy figures and, finally, a frightening opacity. Few of us, or our favorite writers, can see the dangers and the possibilities at this intersection. Kazuo Ishiguro can and shares his view with simplicity and grace.
Hailshum, a school for special children, reveals its nature and purpose slowly and always through the eyes of several of its don...uh...students. Cathy, Ruth, and Tommy are friends of a sort who, like all friends, play and fight and spar and love with each other in their years at Hailshum and later. Ishiguro shows them to us with all their charms, their weaknesses and their ugly parts. In this, he shows us their deep, confused, scarred humanness; he shows us the humanness they share with us.
Cathy, Ruth and Tommy live at that intersection, the intersection of science, society and identity, living with bumpy stoicism the lives science prepared them for. Society has decided it needs them, it seems, and they need each other to find meaning and love in their neglected circumstances. They, like we in ours, find some.
Ishiguro tells us their tragic and ordinary story with the gentleness that distinguishes his work. Let no one tell you otherwise; this book is masterful.
I certainly don't see what all the hype is about. There's no mystery here; I could figure out what was going on from the first pages. The characters were insipid and unrealistic and their adolescent antics and whinings drove me nuts. As far as some "message" about medical ethics and human nature, it's all been done before (Coma, Soylent Green, Brazil, etc.). The reader was OK, but sometimes her slushiness got to me. (I think she'd the one who does that Hemingway Collection furniture ad.) Use your credit on something worthwhile.
I started reading this novel years ago and didn't finish it. Rosalyn Landor's narration somehow adds another dimension to Ishiguro's writing, and I understand why this is considered such a brilliant novel.
People can take so much from us. A story about people who are cloned and then the clones become organ donorsj. The donors are never allowed to marry or have children even though they are just as alice as anyone else.
I recommend this book.
It's such a tragic story. One day it could become a reality .
I've listened to this twice. The premise is intriguing. The characters are well-rounded and very believable. Sure, they're petty at times. But who isn't? My issue with the book, and this wasn't the case the first time I listened to it, are stretches of uninteresting parts in the middle. That said, there's a reason I wanted to listen to this a second time. I was completely engaged with the lives of Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth. The end really got to me. This is one of those books that stays with you long after you've read it.
Ishiguro, a master of subtle and understated prose, has another excellent novel in Never Let Me Go. The narrator, Kathy tells the story of her friendship with Ruth and Tommy, from their earliest days at their private boarding school, to adulthood, through its ups and downs, until only Kathy is left. While many know what makes these characters special when the novel begins, even those who don't have some prior knowledge should figure it out with little difficulty, early on. While never stating things explicitly, the clues are in plain sight.
What is the true focus and brilliance of Ishiguro's novel isn't the what, but rather, the how these three have been raised to this purpose, and what they eventually find out about what makes the special. That revelation has far more impact on the audience than it does the characters. That reveal takes what is disturbing and makes the alternative, or rather, the more common practice horrifying.
The characters are well drawn and Kathy's narrative draws us in, paints a detailed picture of their world, connecting to us, yet it is also an unfathomable existence. Strangely, I empathized with their experience, but at same was frustrated by their unquestioning acceptance, despite understanding their upbringing's goal was precisely that.
Ishiguro's work is always thought provoking, always based in the complex emotional inter-personal relationships and the individual's relationship to their status in the world. Never Let Me Go adds the layer of a possible ethic quandary that our innovations of science may present sooner than we'd like.
I found this book hard to set aside, you see i had see the movie and it had left me wanting questions unanswered as to the nature of all the inner workings of what the author was sharing. I think any reader of books,one who has a real love fr them should read or listen to this . I find myself asking how would i have handle many situations,and what it must have been like as the author being totally immersed in this endeavor. This book hit chords in every feeling part as well as the question, Is this a reality for some today. As i said powerful and not something you can turn off in your being after the last sentence.