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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
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Never Let Me Go (edition 2005)

by Kazuo Ishiguro

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15,115702126 (3.82)1116
Member:rcp.atkinson
Title:Never Let Me Go
Authors:Kazuo Ishiguro
Info:Vintage International (2005), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

  1. 363
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (readerbabe1984, rosylibrarian, ateolf, browner56)
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    joannasephine: A similar society, and a similar obliqueness to the most striking aspects of the story.
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    ahappybooker: Similar themes of dystopia and vivisection
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  13. 10
    We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Though it is less witty than We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Never Let Me Go is another poignant and insightful story about biological experimentation and human identity. Both novels feature lyrical prose, well-developed characterization, and haunting tones of melancholy.… (more)
  14. 10
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    rrmmff2000: Unsettling narratives and fantastic writing about teenaged girls growing up muffled from the world.

(see all 31 recommendations)

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» See also 1116 mentions

English (674)  Dutch (6)  French (5)  German (5)  Spanish (4)  Italian (2)  Swedish (2)  Galician (1)  Finnish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (701)
Showing 1-5 of 674 (next | show all)
This is definitely a slow building novel, but nevertheless incredibly haunting as the full picture of a society dependent on the organ donations of cloned humans emerges. This is certainly a book that makes one think and I know it will haunt me for some time to come. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Jun 28, 2016 |
Simply put, this book was amazing. Unfortunately, I can't begin to explain how much I loved this book without giving away major plot points.

Although Ishiguro never really gives the whole story of the world in which this novel takes place, I realized that I didn't need it. He's crafted an amazing tale, perfectly written and absolutely brilliant.

Even after seeing the film version, I thought no more or less of the novel. They're the same story, yet different, and both stand on their own in a way I've never experienced. To me, the film runs parallel, a copy without taking away from the novel.

Just read it so I can stop rambling. ( )
  imahorcrux | Jun 22, 2016 |
Tengo una afición un poco particular por los autores japoneses. Quienes, a mi parecer, son los maestros de la melancolía. Logrando expresar los hechos, y ocasionarnos sentimientos, sin parecer forzado y formulado.

Sin embargo, Never Let Me Go carece de esa sutileza. Aquí los personajes son victimas de su "destino", y ninguno parece tener ni las ganas ni las fuerzas para luchar contra el. Sin ningún tipo de crecimiento ni desarrollo personal, simplemente aceptan su fatalidad, por lo que parece que esta historia fue escrita por un autor muy deprimido con la única intención de hacernos sentir tanto vacío y desolación como siente el.


La escritura, que me imagino que tenía la finalidad de ser profunda y digna de un Nobel, resulta, en realidad, aburrida.

Lo único a su favor es que es una historia que, a pesar del tiempo, resulta difícil de olvidar. ( )
  Glire | Jun 22, 2016 |
Where to begin with Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go? Is this 2005 book to be considered a literary coming-of-age novel or one that falls within the confines of genre fiction? And if we settle on genre fiction as its most suitable home, exactly which genre are we going to tag it with: science fiction, dystopian science fiction, horror? Whatever we end up calling it, Never Let Me Go most certainly was a huge success for its author, even to being shortlisted for the 2005 Booker Prize, the 2006 Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award. Then in 2010 it was turned into a major motion picture with particular appeal, I suppose, to the young adult audience.

The book centers around three main characters that have literally known one another for their entire lives: Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth. As the story begins, Kathy, the narrator, is telling about her role as carer to several donors who are at various stages in the process of making the four donations they expect to make during their lifetimes. During this early part of her story, Kathy expands neither on her duties as carer nor on the nature of the donations being made by those for whom she looks after.

Kathy has been a carer for almost twelve years now, an extraordinarily long time for someone in that role, and she is finally becoming so bored with the job that she looks forward to being relieved of it when she completes her twelfth year as a carer. She is so good at what she does, that authorities have taken to allowing Kathy to choose which donors she wants to work with, a privilege that marks her as special to everyone who hears of it. While this has given Kathy some relief from the boredom she must deal with, it also results in her spending all her free time speculating about what happened at Hailsham, the boarding school she, Tommy, and Ruth grew up in.

Hailsham, you see, is no ordinary boarding school. The instructors there are known as guardians rather than as teachers, and in addition to the regular classes, there is a very strong emphasis on art and keeping oneself healthy at all times. The students, who all leave Hailsham during the year they turn sixteen, come to know each other extremely well over the years as they learn bit-by-bit what they are and what is expected of them. Surprisingly, despite what they learn about their limited futures, the guardians do such a thorough job of acclimation to the concept that every single student is ready and willing to play his/her assigned role.

Kazuo Ishiguro’s approach to Never Let Me Go is not one in which he explores the ethics of human cloning or the morality of a society that would take this approach to extend the life expectancies of those who can afford to purchase replacement organs for themselves. Rather, the author is more interested in the clones themselves and how easily they can be convinced to accept their fates. His focus is on the humanness of Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth, and by having his readers watch these young people achieve maturity, he hammers that point home. Never Let Me Go leaves its readers with a lot to contemplate – especially if they are willing to fill in a few of the blanks themselves. ( )
  SamSattler | Jun 8, 2016 |
Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
4 stars

---spoilers------


I think I might possibly be getting the hang of Ishiguro’s writing. On one level everything seems so normal, while on another level nothing is completely right.
Never Let Me Go is the memoir of Kathy H. She is recalling her childhood as she nears the end of her career as a “carer”. As she obsessively relates details of her boarding school childhood, she gradually reveals the sinister purpose of the exclusive education she and her friends received. So, the book is a dystopian cautionary tale about the ethical dilemmas of a near future where human cloning is a real possibility. Well, yes it is, but why does Ishiguro go to such lengths to make it all seem so commonplace? The sacrificial clones apparently accept their fate with only the most impotent of protests. They make a cult of exclusivity to be obtained solely by those who are about to make a third “donation”. They literarily never say die; the correct word for death is completion. Even the Hailsham guardians who bucked the system to create better conditions for clones did not look beyond that. Hailsham made an underlying atrocity seem pretty and acceptable to all.
And that seems to be the key to Ishiguro. Somewhere, I read that Margaret Atwood said, “An Ishiguro novel is never about what it pretends to be about.”
I’ve read three of his books now. They all have this theme of societal corruption that is reflected in the self-delusion of the characters. Maybe that’s what it’s all about.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 674 (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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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.

AR Level 6.0, 15 pts
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:35 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

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