I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
Within this novel is the perfect gem of a story. Unfortunately, you really have to dig until you find that gem. And by digging, I mean you had to listen to a whole lot of Kathy's introspective thoughts. Much of which does little to advance the story line. There are parts of the book where the narrator (Kathy) actually says "I want to tell you an event, but before I can I have to tell you about a conversation that occurred three weeks before the event." To me that means the conversation will have some direct bearing on the event. In most situations, it does not.
I think the purpose of the first two sections of the book is world-building. Creating an environment for the characters that allows the reader to ultimately accept the unbelievable direction of the characters adult lives. A detailed explanation of the environment the children were raised in, might be helpful in understanding the adults they became. But it isn't. A timely explanation of why they were raised in that environment, an understanding of the arbitrary decision to move them to a new location at a certain age and a little more explanation of the experiment would have helped as well. Instead adult readers suffer through two thirds of the book being nothing more than meandering through a child's then teenager's thoughts. Never very interesting.
The last third of the book is worth the slogging the reader has to go through in the first two thirds - at least I think it is. Many loose ends are never tied up. Many hints are never elaborated upon. Because of the subject matter it obviously cannot have a traditional HEA. Yet I found the part of the book that focuses on the experiment these children are subjected to, the part that focuses on the actual results of this experimentation - how it actually affects those involved - fascinating. For the last third of the book, I highly recommend this novel.
Finally, after thinking about this story a few days I am left with one question - Why didn't they just leave? I assume the reason they didn't was to point out that few of us ever stray to far from the path we start down - even if we know it likely ends poorly for us.
...but just didn't work for me. With the word "humanity" being kicked around in the description for this book, I started it expecting to learn something about me, about us as a society. Instead, I found myself not only not caring about the characters, but not even liking them.
I expected more from this novel and from Ishiguro and while it was certainly enjoyable enough to get through, I learned nothing and came away with nothing from it.
If another author had written this as a first novel, I would definitely not have been this critically harsh and would have rated this book much more highly. But coming from the author of that masterpiece Remains of the Day, I'm afraid that Ishiguro may have set so high a standard for himself that even he cannot sustain that level of writing.
Unfortunately the narrator did little to endear the characters to us. Her voice is a cold, impersonal, cut glass British accent. To make it worse, she must be at least middle aged, while the main character is just a young woman, further distancing herself to the reader.
Good characters playing out an answer to a question I was not asking. Whether a political response to an issue that I don't care about it an Everyman tale, it just missed for me.
Very well read.
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.
I have not read the printed version.
The conversation with madam and Mrs Emily .
She brings exceptional intonation and understanding, as well as very clever reading
Cathy of course.
A stunning book. very moving.
This was a slow, meandering story. It was simply listening to someone reminiscing about the past and trying to understand how that past has shaped them in the present. While interesting, it was not a book that gripped my attention.
The author, Ishiguro, was able to develop the characters and make them feel like real individuals that you could run into on the street. Yet, the premise, the boarding school and the mysterious donations left me wondering and feeling like there was a purposeful omission of important facts to try and build curiosity or strong emotion in the reader.It didn't work for me.