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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go (edition 2006)

by Kazuo Ishiguro

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13,575607157 (3.83)931
Title:Never Let Me Go
Authors:Kazuo Ishiguro
Info:Vintage (2006), Edition: Later Printing, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:dystopia, 13 in 13

Work details

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

  1. 343
    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (readerbabe1984, RosyLibrarian, ateolf, browner56)
    browner56: Two chilling, though extremely well written, reminders that liberty, freedom, and self-determination are not idle concepts.
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    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (sanddancer)
  3. 184
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (jessicaskura, readerbabe1984)
  4. 80
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (EnriqueFreeque)
  5. 70
    The Children of Men by P. D. James (bucketyell)
  6. 70
    The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist (infiniteletters, bookcrushblog, bookwormjules)
  7. 71
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (joannasephine)
    joannasephine: A similar society, and a similar obliqueness to the most striking aspects of the story.
  8. 61
    Unwind by Neal Shusterman (VictoriaPL, meggyweg, ahappybooker)
    ahappybooker: Similar themes of dystopia and vivisection
  9. 72
    Under the Skin by Michel Faber (Medellia, SqueakyChu)
  10. 20
    The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (jennyellen22)
  11. 53
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Monika_L)
  12. 31
    The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro (Chenga)
  13. 20
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (vnovak)
  14. 10
    The Postmortal by Drew Magary (ahappybooker)
    ahappybooker: also a dystopian society where the government makes unethical choices to supposedly improve the world.
  15. 10
    The Children's Hospital by Chris Adrian (bookcrushblog)
  16. 10
    We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (joannasephine)
  17. 21
    The Pesthouse by Jim Crace (urania1)
    urania1: If you enjoy dystopian fiction or long for "literary" science fiction, read this book. It deals with the big questions, namely can people retain their humanity in dehumanizing conditions?
  18. 11
    Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood (chrissybob)
    chrissybob: Explores similar themes around the relationships between friends
  19. 00
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  20. 00
    The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson (GoST)

(see all 27 recommendations)


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» See also 931 mentions

English (578)  Dutch (6)  Spanish (6)  French (5)  German (3)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  Galician (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (604)
Showing 1-5 of 578 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this book in its writing style. The resigned, detached way the author treated his subjects left room to discuss just what it might mean to be a clone, living in a human world, and the layers of humanity that go into rearing and incorporating them into society. I thought there could have been greater moments of reveal and emotion, reaction and response on the part of the main characters, but understand that this was a literary choice. Still, it made for slower reading at time. ( )
  kbullfrog | Aug 7, 2014 |
Never Let Me Go seems to be one of those books that readers either love or hate, perhaps because it is very unusual, especially for science fiction. I'm in the love camp. It's a book about relationships and about coping with major problems more than it is about the science behind the story. It's also about prejudice, especially the convenienceof prejudice. I wonder how many stars Thomas Jefferson would have given this book, if he was alive to review it. The bigotry in this novel reminded me of the way Jefferson opposed slavery, but kept slaves and even had a long affair with a woman he owned. I don't want to reveal too much about Kazuo Ishiguro's book, but I think I can say the form of bigotry in this story helps the general population of the book's England even more than slavery helped America's economy in its early days – with the same type of moral implication.

My wife and I watched the film version of Never Let Me Go on the same day I finished the book, so everything was still clear in my mind. The film was overall a good translation from page to screen. There were times when I thought something important was missing, but each time I checked with my wife, who hadn't read the book, she understood what was happening. I do wish the film had emphasized the relationship between Kathy and Ruth a bit more. Ruth was a more positive character in the book, so her actions and feelings of guilt were less upsetting in the film.

I'm not going to write a synopsis in this review, because I don't want to include any spoilers. I'll just say the story made me think. It would be a wonderful choice for a book club.

Steve Lindahl – author of Motherless Soul and White Horse Regressions ( )
1 vote SteveLindahl | Aug 2, 2014 |
Another one I'm conflicted about.

This is the story of three young people growing up in a very comfortable "boarding school" in England. Only later do we find out that they're actually clones being raised to supply spare parts.

Pluses: The writing, for the most part. I thought the characters were believable children and teens, mostly, and I really liked (and was horrified by) the premise. I stayed up late so I could keep reading.

Minuses: I kept waiting for some angst on the part of the characters--are you telling me that *none of them* had a problem with being raised to supply parts?! I'm not buying it, especially when they got to be teenagers. And I would have loved to see the government discussions about this program, the press, etc. How did this type of program come to exist at all, and what caused it to be disbanded, apparently? And what about the recipients--were they just rich, or were there other criteria that allowed them to participate? Etc., etc. Just some more context would have been appreciated, given how understated and matter-of-fact the presentation is. Also, the narrator said "Let me back up..." way too often for my taste. Either write it linearly or as flashbacks, but that device got old in a hurry.

Summary: I liked the premise and most of the writing, but I don't think that Ishiguro was the right person to write this story. ( )
  Pat_F. | Jul 25, 2014 |
I'm looking forward to the movie. ( )
  tennwisc | Jul 15, 2014 |
I listened to the audio version of this, which was perhaps my biggest problem. The reading was fine (I've listened to that narrator before), but I spend at least three hours a day in the car commuting, and I listened to this following a rather rollicking fantasy adventure. I thought the change of pace would be welcome.

I just felt like I was trapped in the car for three days while someone reminisced about their days in boarding school. I could not get into this. I didn't feel like the narrator had any personality, and I cringed whenever she talked about her friend Ruth. For a long time, I kept waiting for Ruth to get what was coming to her for the lying and cruel acts, but she never did. Even Ruth's "redemption" at the end of the novel was paltry.

The trick here wasn't revealed until halfway through, and it was so subtle, discussed so little, and had so little bearing on the stories that were being related that I couldn't bring myself to feel sorry or care. A book like this, about the average relationships between average people... I feel like my time would be better spent hanging out with my friends, coworkers, or even someone I found vaguely interesting. When it ended, I felt merely a vague sadness at the parting, and not the Earth-shaking, life-ending tragedy that was intended.

Perhaps I would have been more touched if I had read this as a novel. Maybe the character and her story would have drawn me in more. Maybe I would have felt the tragedy in the wasted lives and the cruel situation. Maybe I would have hated Ruth less. I did like Tommy. Too bad he was the butt of every bad thing that happened. Mostly I felt bad that Tommy spent so much time with Ruth and willing accomplice Cathy. ( )
  ConnieJo | Jul 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 578 (next | show all)
Ishiguro is extremely good at recreating the special, oppressive atmosphere of school (and any other institution, for that matter)—the cliques that form, the covert rivalries, the obsessive concern with who sat next to whom, who was seen talking to whom, who is in favor at one moment and who is not.
added by jburlinson | editNew York Review of Books, Anita Desai (pay site) (Nov 22, 2005)
The eeriest feature of this alien world is how familiar it feels. It's like a stripped-down, haiku vision of children everywhere, fending off the chaos of existence by inventing their own rules.
"Never Let Me Go" is marred by a slapdash, explanatory ending that recalls the stilted, tie-up-all-the loose-ends conclusion of Hitchcock's "Psycho." The remainder of the book, however, is a Gothic tour de force that showcases the same gifts that made Mr. Ishiguro's 1989 novel, "The Remains of the Day," such a cogent performance.
This extraordinary and, in the end, rather frighteningly clever novel isn't about cloning, or being a clone, at all. It's about why we don't explode, why we don't just wake up one day and go sobbing and crying down the street, kicking everything to pieces out of the raw, infuriating, completely personal sense of our lives never having been what they could have been.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Guardian, John Harrison (Feb 26, 2005)

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kazuo Ishiguroprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bützow, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Landor, RosalynNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Novarese, PaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Lorna and Naomi
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My name is Kathy H.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
At the age of thirty-one, Kathy H. is coming to the end of her time as a carer – a milestone that prompts her to reflect on her unusual life. She begins, naturally, with her childhood at Hailsham, where she and her friends Ruth and Tommy negotiated the lessons and Exchanges set by their guardians, as well as the constant social pressures of school life. As her recollections progress, however, Kathy must take care not to delve too deeply into the tangled knot of her own emotions. The past holds no refuge for her; even since childhood, the knowledge of what the future holds has always been there, deep down – and some truths are too terrible to be confronted.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307740994, Paperback)

All children should believe they are special. But the students of Hailsham, an elite school in the English countryside, are so special that visitors shun them, and only by rumor and the occasional fleeting remark by a teacher do they discover their unconventional origins and strange destiny. Kazuo Ishiguro's sixth novel, Never Let Me Go, is a masterpiece of indirection. Like the students of Hailsham, readers are "told but not told" what is going on and should be allowed to discover the secrets of Hailsham and the truth about these children on their own.

Offsetting the bizarreness of these revelations is the placid, measured voice of the narrator, Kathy H., a 31-year-old Hailsham alumna who, at the close of the 1990s, is consciously ending one phase of her life and beginning another. She is in a reflective mood, and recounts not only her childhood memories, but her quest in adulthood to find out more about Hailsham and the idealistic women who ran it. Although often poignant, Kathy's matter-of-fact narration blunts the sharper emotional effects you might expect in a novel that deals with illness, self-sacrifice, and the severe restriction of personal freedoms. As in Ishiguro's best-known work, The Remains of the Day, only after closing the book do you absorb the magnitude of what his characters endure. --Regina Marler

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:45 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Thirty-one-year-old Kathy, along with old friends from Hailsham, a private school in England, are forced to face the truth about their childhood when they all come together again.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

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