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Publisher's Summary

A Good Morning America Book Club Pick!

Klara and the Sun is a magnificent new novel from the Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro - author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day.

Klara and the Sun, the first novel by Kazuo Ishiguro since he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her.

Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator and one that explores the fundamental question: What does it mean to love?

In its award citation in 2017, the Nobel committee described Ishiguro's books as "novels of great emotional force" and said he has "uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world".

©2021 Kazuo Ishiguro (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Moving and beautiful… an unequivocal return to form, a meditation in the subtlest shades on the subject of whether our species will be able to live with everything it has created… [A] feverish read, [a] one-sitter…  Few writers who’ve ever lived have been able to create moods of transience, loss and existential self-doubt as Ishiguro has - not art about the feelings, but the feelings themselves.” (The Los Angeles Times)

“As with Ishiguro’s other works, the rich inner reflections of his protagonists offer big takeaways, and Klara’s quiet but astute observations of human nature land with profound gravity... This dazzling genre-bending work is a delight.” (Publishers Weekly [starred review]) 

“A haunting fable of a lonely, moribund world that is entirely too plausible.” (Kirkus Reviews [starred review])

Editor's Pick

Ishiguro’s triumphant return to sci-fi
I love Kazuo Ishiguro because he’s a literary writer who is not afraid to venture into genre fiction—in fact, he embraces it, elevates it, and shows just how meaningful and insightful it can be, as he did with previous novels Never Let Me Go (sci-fi) and The Buried Giant (fantasy). His latest novel takes on the very sci-fi themes of AI consciousness and free will (I’ll admit, sold. Anything to do with robots, sold). But these Big Ideas are ultimately couched within the story of a girl who just happens to be a robot named Klara—and her self-determined mission to save the girl who chose her as an AF, or “artificial friend.” Ishiguro unfolds the layers of his stories organically in a way that somehow satisfies even as it rips your heart out (in the best way). And narrator Sura Siu only adds to the experience with her vibrant performance. I didn’t realize how much I’d been searching for that feeling Never Let Me Go gave me years ago, but I think I’ve found it once again. —Sam D., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Klara and the Sun

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Well Worth Having Waited For!

Ever since I first read NEVER LET ME GO I have been a fan of Ishiguro's, running out to obtain every book of his that I could find. I was delighted when I got the news that this was out, and it was -- as I noted -- well worth having waited for. It has all the hallmarks I have come to appreciate: plot twists galore; characters with artificial intelligence who are often more human than the humans in the story; an examination of some point of society's mores; and excellent writing that doesn't get in the way of the story itself.

The reader, Sura Siu, does an excellent job. The time this took as an audiobook flew by, much to my delight.

Whether you are an old Ishiguro fan, or just discovering his work, I think you will enjoy this one very much, so please give it a try.

28 people found this helpful

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delicately yet expansively mind-blowing

Ishiguro's amazing, the ways he explores how small- and large-scale ethical issues transpire amid and affect interpersonal connection, how feelings of love, loyalty, dedication, and desire try to make sense of themselves in societies dominated by self-centered and greedy powerful interests. This novel may be his best yet. Holy cow the way he describes how Klara, the "artificial friend," perceives reality-- the book's told from Klara's point of view-- these passages are just gorgeous, like descriptions of Diebenkorn landscapes, yet they convincingly, startlingly represent the ways AI might translate complex images into useful data. And wow how this novel explores the nature of "humanity." Wow wow wow wow wow. Bravo.

15 people found this helpful

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Beautiful book, excellent narration

Couldn’t wait for this new book to come out! It’s beautiful and heartbreaking, just like all Ishiguro.

13 people found this helpful

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A masterpiece

I had a feeling about this book.
That feeling was right.
Kazuo Ishiguro is a genius, I have no doubt about it.
To get me reading this book with zero amount of boredom while being fully invested in the outcome is one thing but to get me to actually identify and sympathize with an artificial intelligence is another level of genius.
I'm mostly speechless when I want to describe why I love a book and this is no exception.
This book touched my heart, I liked that, I like heart books if that makes sense.

10 people found this helpful

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Deeply Moving - Uncanny

I found listening to the reading of this wonderful book by Ishiguro to have been a special pleasure - one not to be missed.

8 people found this helpful

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Disappointing:

This author starts with a good idea for a story, but fails to develop what possibilities artificial intelligence can bring. Overall, the story moves slowly with extended conversations that are neither entertaining nor informative. A much better example of artificial intelligence is "All Systems Red" by Martha Wells.

7 people found this helpful

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Good, but not The Remains of the Day...

... or Never Let Me Go. This is a solid book and a must listen for Ishiguro fans. Unfortunately, it doesn't measure up to his more celebrated work and, for that reason, it's a bit disappointing. I think the reason is that while Klara, an AF (Artificial Friend), is the protagonist, we relate to Josie. She is the person Klara befriends. And she's just not that well-developed a character. The resolution of her arc -- she suffers from an unnamed illness that may be terminal -- felt anti-climatic. Additionally, Ishiguro never reaches that mind trip level with Klara -- where the insentient being has an existential crisis. Having said all this, he's written a very readable, entertaining book. It just doesn't rattle your core the way the two aforementioned books do.

As far as the narration, it's good, but I question if Rick -- a young man from England who's been living in America awhile -- should have an English accent. More to the point, he sounds a lot older than Josie. I believe they should be around the same age.

All in all, I think most people will enjoy this. It's best, though, for your expectations to not be too high.

6 people found this helpful

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Loose ends do not get tied

A strange dystopian novel which made for a dreaded and uncomfortable listen.The author opens several paths for the plot, but follows none. I was left bewildered. Why I think it is a weird and unsatisfactory read:
The place where they live seems ruled by some unspecified government and is heavily polluted. At the end, Klara--the robot-- is left without a purpose, abandoned in a field. The parents actually considered substituting a robot for their live child. The painter did not believe in the human soul. Klara believed a person was unique only in the love held in other people’s hearts, which I find to be a terrifying notion, not unlike a reputation—which is not of one’s own making but rather, true or false, made of other people’s opinions. What was the deal with Ryan’s mother and the school headmaster? What was being “lifted” and how were people chosen for that? Why was Josie’d father in a dissident community? What was Helen’s job? What was the sun? A friend liked the book so I read it. When I found it creepy, he said to read to the end. No improvement, no explanations given.

5 people found this helpful

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Insightful and haunting

It’s often been said that if you wish to know how the world will look like tern to the artists. Klara and the sun says so much about our time and the risks of where we may be heading.

The novel is well read and well performed.

5 people found this helpful

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One of his best

I found this book similar to Never Let Me Go, but I preferred this one. There is more of a story, and the narrative isn’t bogged down by the certainty of a foregone conclusion like NLMG was. The narration is excellent, neatly distinguishing the characters and really capturing the naivety, and ultimately the pathos of the first person AI narrator. Will reread this, and will think about it for a long time.

4 people found this helpful