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.
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
I did not like the story at all. Kind of a sick premise! Uninteresting. No emotion. Fatalistic. Ok, it sucked.
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 was told the concept of this and it was right up my alley. Real world -- with a kick of sci-fi thrown in. Unfortunately, the way it was written bothered me from the outset. I constantly felt like the main character knew more than she was telling us. This turned out to be true... but admittedly... is true for many books told in a retrospective format. But what irked me about this, was that she was constantly telling you she knew more than she was saying and would pull you along through a very long and dry backstory of a situation, only to tell you, quite literally, "... but I'll get back to that later"... as you reached the climax of the issue. It seemed like a cheap way to hook you into further reading.
The authors digressions, I believe, were intended to better illustrate the world these characters lived in, but would meander so much and finally culminate in something so trivial that by the time you actually returned to the storyline, you'd sort of forgotten where you were and had become slightly disinterested.
It took everything in my power to make it to the end of this and sadly, played itself out in just the way I assumed it would.
If you can tolerate the pace and the digressions... I will say the narrator was captivating with a soothing British accent.
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.
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.
This is one you need to think about as you listen.. that is okay when you are in the mood for it. I didn't care for the ending, but I didn't care for the ending of Remains of the Day either. Its not as good as that novel, but good if you are looking for a slow paced thinking person's novel.
I was moved by this book. I did not have the same hang ups as other reagarding the storyline or social consequences... I just felt a deep dispair for the situation of the characters and wanted better for them. This book was read well and I believe it will stay with me for quite some time.
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.