In one of the most acclaimed novels of recent years, Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England.
Narrated by Kathy, now 31, Never Let Me Go dramatizes her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world. A story of love, friendship, and memory, Never Let Me Go is charged throughout with a sense of the fragility of life.
©2005 Kazuo Ishiguro (P)2014 Canongate Books in partnership with Faber & Faber Ltd
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For some reason, this book reminds me of Brave New World in reverse. At the beginning, we have learn all about the 'science' that the society uses (e.g. how people are made etc.) and later branch into the learning about the characters and morality (or ethical questions for the philosophy purists). Never Let Me Go tells us about the characters and then goes into the societies science and the ethics of it. (I think the questions of ethics have a quiet force - they are not blatantly asked in your face, but more suggested in the subtext.)
Kerry Fox is a really good narrator, you could easily believe that Fox was Kathy. In many ways, if you closed your eyes you could imagine someone sitting opposite you at a pub table telling you this story as though it was real. Her acting range is impressive; her voices for each character are memorable, identifiable and consistent. When Fox speaks with disdain it reminds me of Benedict Cumberbatch which is a testament of her acting.
"Well, I may be the only one ...."
Difficult to say - just someone who is not me.
Nothing - it's a matter a taste.
Not for me.
I really hated this book. I stuck it to the end "just to see", but it was a real struggle to keep on. It was very well read by the narrator though. I was quite bored by the endless paragraphs of rubbish about boats, pictures of animals and the amount of repetition. It may have a deeper meaning, but a book should entertain, inform and feel like a friend. This didn't. Sorry, not for me.
"Tragic and enigmatic"
To begin with, the book is enigmatic. There is the hint of something sinister in the idyllic life of Hailsham. As more details become clear, it's all dealt with very matter of factly, like the sex, as though examining it from a detached scientific point of view. Even the effect off the big reveal at the end on the characters isn't explicitly discussed, although their subsequent actions are clearly related. But don't let that put you off. It's a deeply moving and tragic story and you can't help but love the three central characters for all their flaws. The problem with listening to an audio book when your driving is that keeping the car on the road when your sobbing loudly is quite hard! The narration is of a high quality, particularly of the female characters, but I feel her representation of Tommy is a little unfair.
Kept me amused whilst I was out walking. Different to my usual choice but in a good way.
Yes good narration.
Yes it was enjoyable once I got a grasp of the story.
It was a good book.
"Haunting and thought provoking"
I think I would. Not right away but in time yes.
It forces you to question what it is to be human and what the value you of that is.
Strangely my favourite character isn't a person, it's the atmosphere. The tone of the story and the atmosphere of the book really are a character in itself. I can't really describe it... It's almost somber meet anticipation.
I love all the characters prostrated by Kerry Fox, I thought she did a wonderful job with all. However, the biting attitude of Ruth was brilliantly bought forward.
What is the real purpose of YOUR existence?
A truly haunting story. Horrific without even uttering a word of horror. Truly thought provoking and leaves you thinking, WHY? Not in a dramatic sense but questioning why the situation in this book would ever exist. Hailsham, should never exist... I hope to god it doesn't.
It's the first book I have read that is sweet and gentil throughout but filled with background atrocities that will haunt you and make you question the importance of the fellow man.
"Captivating story and fantastic narrator"
One of those stories where you don't want to miss a thing. Very well written and narrated. Thought provoking... recommended!
This is beautifully written, I was captured within the first few minutes. The plot was thought provoking and poignant. A wonderful read.
"Not my cup of tea"
This book isn't my cup of tea. I thought the narrator had a very boring voice. Which didn't help at all.
"Kerry Fox made this easy to listen to"
No. Not because it wasn't a good book but because the subject is depressing and without much hope for the future.
1984 because of the dystopian content and the control people have over others, a form of slavery really.
I thought her calm, modulated and slightly sad tone was fitting for the book. I wish there were more books narrated by her.
Yes, because the combination of Kazuo Ishaguro's poignant writing and Kerry Fox's narration made it come together beautifully. I felt lulled into the story and wanted to find out what was behind it all.
"Great but could you get on with it?"
It's written in the gentlest terms which only serves as stark relief to the subject matter.
I enjoyed the whole experience but I just can't help the feeling that this is a short story dragged out into a novel. It moves very slowly at times.
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