Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it.
Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it's only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.
Never Let Me Go breaks through the boundaries of the literary novel. It is a gripping mystery, a beautiful love story, and also a scathing critique of human arrogance and a moral examination of how we treat the vulnerable and different in our society. In exploring the themes of memory and the impact of the past, Ishiguro takes on the idea of a possible future to create his most moving and powerful book to date.
©2005 Kazuo Ishiguro; (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"Stunningly brilliant fiction....A masterpiece of craftsmanship that offers an unparalleled emotional experience." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Ishiguro's elegant prose and masterly ways with characterization make for a lovely tale of memory, self-understanding, and love." (Library Journal)
"So exquisitely observed that even the most workaday objects and interactions are infused with a luminous, humming otherworldliness.....Ishiguro spins a stinging cautionary tale of science outpacing ethics." (Publishers Weekly)
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.
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 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.
Are we really so far away from this? I wonder if we would ever value our families so much that we would allow this to happen. Often through this book I thought, "This could never be." But I am not sure.
Regardless of the moral questions, this book is wonderful. The writing is spectacular and the narration is flawless. It comes highly recommended.
The premise of this book, which is revealed (perhaps too) slowly through the narration, is really, really disturbing (but I won't give away the plot). The narration is excellent, and the understanding of human relationships very informed and insightful. One can learn simply from the interactive dialogue between characters, let alone from the overall book. The only criticism is that the abridgement might have been good for this book!
I agree with the enthusiasm of the other reviewers. "Dreadful", who thought it was unrealistic, forgets that the principal characters were raised from birth to accept their fates. It's a rare human who would not accept this under these circumstances.
Tedious. Boring. I kept waiting for the pay-off (a meaning, an event, a joke, anything), but there is none. Thought provoking? I guess if you suspend everything you know about human nature you might find the behaviors of these characters plausible, and therefore somehow enlightening.
I didn't. Complete unmoving and unsatisfying.
Spare yourself from these "Spare Parts."
Lover of sci-fi, dystopia, and historical fiction. I travel often and listen to audiobooks while driving long hours
The story was wonderful, and we are fans of the dystopian future genre. The book was well written. The time was definitely well spent!
As is typical with the genre, we were left with an uneasy feeling at the end. These stories often leave us with the feeling of hopelessness.. Things are not going to be okay!
I have not, but she performed well.
There was a love-story element that was quite enjoyable, but this book was definitely not a love-story.
I can't figure out what book reviewers were listening to that they described as "stunning", "brilliant", "compelling" and "haunting" . First off I figured out what was happening very soon into the book. Even then I kept expecting something "brilliant" etc but I found myself not even seeing it as a commentary on humanity because the characters were so trivial, self absorbed, one dimensional, whining and, well, just boring. The best part was when it was finally over. The narrator did a fine job given the material but she was monotone for much of the story. I'm not sure it was her fault because it was a monotone story. If you want brilliant listen to something else.
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