Very well crafted storytelling, but overall, not my cup of tea. I thought I would give my input to whose cup of tea it might be. One - teenagers. Two - those who like the realism genre of literature (yes, I know, but hear me out).
Many other reviews questioned that this is a YA story, and I am not sure why. Maybe they think Percy Jackson belongs on AudibleKids, but not Twilight? This story is perfect for teenagers because so much of it focuses on those years, with PAINFUL (for me) detail of feelings and subtleties of character interaction. But isn't that what teenagers do? They are trying to figure each other out, but real teenagers are not as skilled at it as this main character is, but she is an adult looking back, so there's that.
Only one reviewer complained about the nonlinear storytelling ("at the time I thought this, but later I realized because of what happened here, which is: blah blah") but that was the only aspect that I really enjoyed, and the only thing I can say is earning such rave reveiws. The author really is weaving a tale.
The other type of person who would enjoy this story is one who likes literary realism. Now I realize that statement doesn't make sense because the key plot point of this novel is definitely NOT REAL, but let me explain. To me, realism is finding beauty in the mundane. Those who are giving this book such low reviews look to escape the mundane of real life with romanticized notions of living, stylized writing or at least medium-paced action (plot!). I think this story is very realistic, at least for upper middle-class or Brittish boarding school, of teenage life. So, the beauty lies in the STARK CONTRAST between the realism of this story against the very slight sci-fi (not real) aspect. I think only fans of realism would feel it.
But I am not. I only like Jane Austen because I do NOT live in that place or that time. So maybe I just need another 200 years to really appreciate this story...
The pace of Never Let Me Go is metronomic. As such, the story is woven over a backdrop of slow, rhythmic drone. I have read here that it reads like a girl's diary. Having never read a girl's diary, I can only imagine it, but it may be an apt description. The point is, this droning pace is both deliberate, and essential to the story, and it works extremely well. A key to understanding the characters of the story - Kathy, Ruth and Tommy - is in understanding their place in life, and how normal and unquestioned that place is. It is the understated nature of their plight which leaves the reader/listener moved to the sympathies ultimately evoked. It isn't great tragedy. It's banal tragedy. Just as most tragedies we face in life are. And so it is tragedy milled down to the texture of our lives, and it is believable. The Sci-Fi and Socio-Alternate premises of the story, told in any more bombastic manner, could not possibly be accepted with the sense of truth Ishiguro manages to write. I fully accept the existence, and fates, of these poor creatures as real.
Well written, and well read. The author tells an interesting tale but weaves no web.
The children carry within them a secret that they take for granted. Hints are dropped throughout, and interest is sparked in the reader. I was never bored, but neither was I stunned by the conclusion.
Well written but filled with details that don't develop the characters or plot. I read this just after finishing Remains of the Day and believe it is a much better work.
I would have given this book 4 stars when I read it in 2006 but never got around to reviewing it. Unlike many books I have read (and I read a lot of books!) it stayed with me. The brilliance of the writing is almost more in the spaces of what is not said as it is in the lines that are said. Beautiful and haunting, whether you like this one or don't it will definitely make you think.
This book had such a lingering impact. I found myself crying days later at the hopeless situation of these "students" lives. So, hopeless, that they barely even dared to dream of any life beyond what was set for them, let alone strive to escape their destinies. Ruth's big dream is just so pathetic in real life, that it made me re-evalute that character. At the end of the book, I disliked her -- judging her from the internal standard of her world. After all, she was manipulative and self-centered. And yet, days later, when viewed from outside her world, how can you judge her harshly. I have re-evaluated several times how I feel about Madame and Miss Emily, whether or not Miss Lucy was right and why Tommy continued to do his art.
This is a delectable work of literary genius. It's not a pulsing thriller, but the weaving of the story certainly elicits enough thrill. Rosalyn Landor reads the prose with deft and captures the voices of each character with great skill.
Mr. Ishiguro is a fine writer, but this novel's pace is quite slow and the story is utterly unbelievable in the setting. I don't want to ruin the story for those who will listen to the book. So I won't explain why. I would never have bothered to finish it had I not read another reader's review saying that it would be all become worthwhile in the end. Unfortunately it did not. The story is predictable, and I could not suspend enough disbelief to buy into it. That said, the writing is first class, the characters are well developed, and the narrator did an excellent job. Those earn the three stars. The story itself rates just one star.
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.
While not really science fiction, this is a mysterious story at first. What is being described is unclear, and as the story unfolds becomes eerie and disturbing. Unfortunately this can be seen as possible.