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Never Let Me Go | [Kazuo Ishiguro]

Never Let Me Go

From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Listening to Never Let Me Go was like entering a literary dream-state where, bit by bit, reality shifts and the truth is revealed. Rosalyn Landor is less a narrator and more a storyteller who brought me along as the characters uncovered the essential mysteries of their lives. —Steve Feldberg

Publisher's Summary

From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human.

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.

What the Critics Say

  • National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee, 2005, Fiction
  • Alex Award Winner, 2006

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (1982 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Diana Fu Mountain View, CA USA 11-01-06
    Diana Fu Mountain View, CA USA 11-01-06 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
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    "finely wrought"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Cline Eugene, OR USA 05-25-06
    J. Cline Eugene, OR USA 05-25-06 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    96
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    "Great Narrator"

    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...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Langley, WA, United States 05-06-06
    Linda Langley, WA, United States 05-06-06 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
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    "Leaves you thinking"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nolan Kailua, HI, USA 05-01-06
    Nolan Kailua, HI, USA 05-01-06 Member Since 2015
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    "Lovely"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    psnorb Northwest Chicago Suburb, United States 02-15-06
    psnorb Northwest Chicago Suburb, United States 02-15-06 Member Since 2011

    Loving Father

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    "Unrealistic and Too Long"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline SigtunaSweden 06-14-05
    Caroline SigtunaSweden 06-14-05
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    "Fascinating and scary"

    It stays with you long after you finished it. A really great read and beautifully narrated.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Chester, NY, USA 05-23-05
    Ken Chester, NY, USA 05-23-05 Member Since 2014
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    "Dreadful"

    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."

    6 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Eatonton, GA, USA 06-02-05
    Sandra Eatonton, GA, USA 06-02-05 Member Since 2013
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    "Depressing"

    Very slow moving. Hard to keep your interest. Impossible plot. So bad I couldn't finish it. Save your money.

    9 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy east haven, CT, USA 06-29-09
    Amy east haven, CT, USA 06-29-09 Member Since 2015
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    2
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    "Pointless"

    This book was so dull - I kept waiting for a mystery to begin. What a disapointment. Don't waste your time.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Littman OH 05-06-05
    D. Littman OH 05-06-05 Member Since 2014

    history buff

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "wonderful novel"

    This book by Kazuo Ishiguro is a wonderful novel. It is gripping throughout, very well narrated, and offers very thought provoking analogies to the problems of life today. This book is as good as any of Ishiguro's previous novels. Highly recommended.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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