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.
In "Never Let Me Go" you are transported to another version of our world. By the end, the narrator had really distinguished the characters so I knew who was talking without "tags". The material did not seem fresh, but it was a fascinating pseudo-mystery. If you figure out what is going on (which isn't that hard) the ending may disappoint, but ultimately the writing itself is beautiful and compelling.
One major drawback (although I've read it goes directly to the characters and plot) is that the character goes back and forth in this backhanded way. Kathy will tell you something then say:
"Maybe I felt that way because of what happened next" and then proceeds to tell you what happened next. Or she'd say "That made a difference because of something else that happened. Now let me tell you what happened that time." OR "I didn't know at the time that such and such had happened." It gets into these pointless tangles that can get frustrating. Still, the book is a worthy read if you can hang in there.
I gave five stars to Never Let Me Go because I was able to listen to this book in a weekend -- excellently narrated with English accent by Rosalyn Landor. Listening to a book non-stop is always an indication that I enjoyed it! The presentation was low key, so I can see why some thought it to be boring, but for some of us the story line is considered so beautiful, fascinating, mysterious and just well done -- loved it.
While I respect the author's imaginative premise, most of the novel seemed like dead space. It was difficult to stay focused on the narration. A short story would have been much more appropriate than the endless harping on the inconsequential routines of daily life. The twist is revealed much to late to make a difference. I just wanted to scream to the main characters--do something!
Like the Brave New World set at and English boarding school this book is as chilling as it is revealing of human nature. One of Ishiguro's best. Well suited to audio format and wonderfully narrated.
I had unfortunately heard a bit about the premise before listening to the book, but still found it very engaging. For those who enjoy contemplative prose and fine writing, this is a great book.
I'm not sure I would have enjoyed this book at all with a different narrator. I didn't want to read much about it in advance and it did take a long time to figure out what was going on. I know that was the author's intention, but I think it might have been help to be clued in a bit earlier in the plot.
Maybe I was a slow study...
Ishiguro at his very best and most accessible. This is a big departure for Ishiguro -- the narrator is completely reliable, and the story falls into the realm of speculative fiction. It gets one thinking about ethics and what it means to be human along the way, but the focus is the characters. Above all, it's a story about personal experiences and point of view, which is somthing this author conveys well.
I found the reader very effective. I'm quite glad I knew nothing about the setting ahead of time and got to make my own guesses, so I won't give anything away here. This is a novel that will stick with you and keep you thinking.
I am impressed with the respect the other reviewers pay toward the key plot point in this compelling story. Like them, I was drawn in, yet fearful of the ending. Ishiguro has a keen knack for revealing his characters inner souls, such that we often see glimpses of ourselves. Ms. Landor's narration was superb, allowing we "readers" to barrel on "distraction-free." The themes presented here are powerful not because of the potential moral conflicts of the future, but because of the undiscovered moral conflicts among us presently. An excellent book, indeed.
Unrealistic. Not only would the patient's / students not behave as described but what physician / scientist would participate. I certainly would not.
It is a love story but not as tragic as one would expect.
There was an annoying technique of starting a story then stating I will get back to that but first let me tell you what happened another day.
I dont thing altering the time line helped the story.
It was well read.