Saturday, November 12, 2011

Book Review: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Release Date: 4th November 2005
Faber and Faber

Format: Paperback 
Pages: 282
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Summary from Amazon:
“From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day comes a devastating new novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. 

buy the book from The Book Depository, free deliveryNow, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is another classic by the author of The Remains of the Day.

This book was an interesting read. To be honest, I struggled to start reading
the book and it took me two sittings just to get through the first 60 pages. This was partly my own fault, since I already had a vague idea of the plot due to all the hype surrounding the movie when it was released last year, but to me the beginning seemed unnecessarily slow. To me, dedicating the first six chapters to establishing the setting was a bit excessive, but then again, the book is split into three parts, with part one being dedicated to Kathy, Ruth and Tommy’s life at Hailsham.

But once this book starts, boy, does it get interesting. Learning about the three friends lives became all the more interesting when their true origins and the reason why they were created begins to be fleshed out, subtly, by Ishiguro.  From chapter six onwards, I was completely enthralled in the story, and the dystopian world depicted. I began to like each of the characters for different reasons, but the character of Ruth bothered me. She was mean and cruel to her best friend Kathy and her boyfriend Tommy, and her last act for them couldn’t redeem her in my eyes. Everything she did, actually, irritated me.

This book had the potential to be a 4.0 or even 4.5 out of 5.0, but the excessively long introduction pulled the rating down. However, even with its faults, it is a fascinating read because the world it depicts is something which is plausible; a world in which medical science has evolved to an almost inhumane point. The points the book makes are valid and interesting, and I have to say, it really gets your mind thinking about the world as it is today, and its possibilities for the future (well at least it made me think about this). 

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