I read the other reviews, both before and after I bought this book. I can easily understand why it was not a good choice for everyone, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. First of all, the reader is top notch. I could listen to her all day, she made the story come to life. No, it is not a fast paced cliff hanger, but it is a book that makes you think, maybe even more than you want to, about our society and medical ethics. This is not escapist fiction which is my usual choice, but a very interesting and well written story.
This novel is well-written and well-read, and as other reviewers have pointed out, it makes you think.
The only difficulty I had was that I found it difficult to suspend disbelief and accept this alternate world. This is possibly because it's in the "Contemporary" category rather than Science Fiction where I think it ultimately belongs, but more, I couldn't square the real science and controversy behind this subject with the alternate reality. One only has to look at the political dust-up over mere stem cell research to see how ultimately unrealistic this story is in this setting; in this time period.
But that is my only criticism.
It is a good, solid story.
I'm a law student and I love books.
This is a really special book. You really feel invested in the characters and feel like you're experiencing their lives along with them. Don't let the description of this book as "science fiction" put you off it if that's not really your thing. I think it's best described as a drama. The pace at which the major conflicts of the book are revealed is really well done to keep you interested. Overall, it's really a tragic story, told with perfect timing and tone. Love, love, loved it.
Listened to this one 3 times in a row because I liked it so much. The female reader is a perfect fit. Easily the best book I've listened to this year. Can't recommend it enough.
I'll try not to reveal too much. This story centers on a group of adolescents and young adults conceived and raised separately to provide a "benefit" to modern English society at large. They live at a separate boarding school whose purpose is to cultivate them and protect them for this function. Ishiguro creates a world that is for the most part quite believable. It includes the daily activities, inner thoughts, dreams, and tragedies of these young people, as well as some of the conflicts felt by their guardians. From some of the other reviews, I guess this novel is not for everyone. I found it engaging, thought-provoking, suspenseful, and compassionate. The questions raised for me by this story are "What if a modern society conspired to use people this way? What is the value of a human soul?" Uncomfortable to think about...but fascinating at the same time.
Not A Misanthrope, But The One Where Everybody Hates You
This audio rendition of the novel is well done by the narrator. The nuances and affectations in her voice lend themselves so well to the prose that you are unsure you're listening to fiction at all. The film adaptation of this novel is just as lovely as the source material. Absorb this material through any medium and you expectations will likely be exceeded.
Mildly science fiction, set in current England, this is authentically read and moving. It's partly love story, but mostly philosophical, an imaginative psychological rendering that transcends genre and leaves one disturbed yet heartened by the humanity of us all.
I would have preferred a more explicit reference in Audible's description that the premise of the novel is a dystopian society that reminds me very much of Brave New World or The Handmaid's Tale.
I don't doubt that it is a beautifully written book and, so far, the narration is splendid, but this wasn't what I was looking for when making the decision about how to use my monthly credit. Not in the mood at present to reflect on humanity and continuities in human nature; will perhaps return to this one later.
I don't know why this narration is introduced as an Audible Kids production, I don't believe that it is actually written for juveniles. Perhaps other listeners have also been disappointed because of the mention of the story as being a mystery; it really isn't. The story is sort of sci-fi, a parallel modern world with a big medical ethics question. The bizarre condition of the characters' lives unfolds throughout the novel. It's definitely not exciting in an action/mystery sense, it's more of an intense character examination under these unusual circumstances. Heartbreaking and thought-provoking. Definitely one of the best books I've ever "read". Also wonderfully narrated.
I didn't want the story to end. The characters haunted me weeks later. I have listened to it several times. I recommended to my book club and many thought it was the best read of the year. Eerie and heartbreaking.