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Never Let Me Go (Movie Tie-In Edition)…
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Never Let Me Go (Movie Tie-In Edition) (Vintage International) (edition 2010)

by Kazuo Ishiguro

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14,790691134 (3.83)1103
Member:ScuseG
Title:Never Let Me Go (Movie Tie-In Edition) (Vintage International)
Authors:Kazuo Ishiguro
Info:Vintage (2010), Edition: Mti, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

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(see all 31 recommendations)

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» See also 1103 mentions

English (657)  Dutch (6)  Spanish (5)  French (5)  German (5)  Swedish (2)  Italian (2)  Galician (1)  Finnish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (685)
Showing 1-5 of 657 (next | show all)
This book absolutely should have won the Hugo award for 2006. It wasn't
nominated. Why? Because it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize? Because
the author's other novels aren't science fiction? I don't know. But it is
definitely the most significant, disturbing, haunting - and enjoyable -
recent SF novel that I have read.
In an alternate-reality England of the 1990s, a woman named Kathy
reminisces about her childhood at a school called Hailsham. Her experiences, at first, are those that might seem normal – both the joys and travails – to anyone familiar with British boarding schools. And of course, Kathy does perceive her experiences as having been "normal," because, like everyone, she sees her past only in the context of her own experiences. But, as we quickly realize, from our perspective, Kathy's life is not normal at all. She, and all the students at Hailsham, are clones created solely for the purpose of organ donation.
What's exceptional about this book it how Ishiguro created a tense book, with a creeping sensation of growing horror, solely through the voice and perceptions of Kathy – who, although intelligent and creative, is essentially a passive character, a product of lifelong conditioning and training to accept her fate as inevitable duty.
Nearly everything is told to the reader "between the lines" – The characters themselves are naiively unaware of the dreadful pathos of their lives. We never even really see the "villains" in this society (although the reader is led to think of questions of bioethics and what people in our own reality are also willing to do - people in this world do already die because others want their healthy organs).
The title works as a metaphor for the whole book, in a way – if we asked Kathy what "Never Let Me Go" means, she would tell you it was the title of a song on a secondhand tape that she listened to (and misunderstood) as a girl – but as readers, we can see that it refers to the creation of a situation where, even without guards or electrified fences, human beings are trapped so deeply by their own selves that the concept of fleeing a dreadful end (which they do realize is dreadful) doesn't once even occur to them.
It is clear that it has occurred to Ishiguro, however, when he gives us a scene where children are discussing prison camps with electrified fences, and the guardians are explicitly uncomfortable. The fences around these people are not electrified, nor tangible, but they are just as real - and they continue to exist even when physical 'freedom' is granted.
( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I'd like to give this another half star, but I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed. I heard amazing things about it and I liked it well enough, but I didn't think it was incredible or anything. Which makes me doubt my insightfulness because Lev Grossman said it was one of the top ten best books of the last decade... Ah, well.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
I swithered between three and four stars for this and, to be quite honest, I'm still not sure what to think of it.
( )
  thebookmagpie | Jan 30, 2016 |
I swithered between three and four stars for this and, to be quite honest, I'm still not sure what to think of it.
( )
  hoegbottom | Jan 30, 2016 |
I swithered between three and four stars for this and, to be quite honest, I'm still not sure what to think of it.
( )
  hoegbottom | Jan 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 657 (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
Ishiguro, Kazuomain 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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

AR Level 6.0, 15 pts
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 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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