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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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14,949697131 (3.82)1111
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 also 1111 mentions

English (669)  Dutch (6)  French (5)  German (5)  Spanish (4)  Italian (2)  Swedish (2)  Galician (1)  Finnish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (696)
Showing 1-5 of 669 (next | show all)
Rating: 4
Genre: Fiction hybrid of Literary and Science Fiction

In Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro slowly unwraps his plot the way you would imagine a spider spinning its web, which is why I won't provide many details in this review.

Ruth, Kathy, and Tommy have known each other since children. In a normal world they would have normal lives, but this is anything but a normal world and their experiences and views are molded by this. Thus the science fiction rating.

While I found this to be a moving story, interesting, and the characterization quite good, I have found myself wondering if much of the detail/experiences existed for a substantive reason.

( )
  SaschaD | Apr 28, 2016 |
Another hyped book that I shouldn't have picked up. The repetitive style of writing got rather frustrating after a 100 pages or so.
The narrative failed to evoke any emotion in whatsoever, I did not care for any of the characters.
Maybe that's the author's style, but for such an interesting premise, I thought this was quite bland. ( )
  petrificius | Apr 12, 2016 |
Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro, author; Rosalyn Landor, narrator
This novel is set in England, and deep into the novel, the reader will realize it takes place some time in the future. Although it is science fiction, it is really interesting since in one form or another, it could be a reality one day soon. The title of the book comes from a music tape of the singer Judy Bridgewater, which was coveted by a character named Kathy H. One day, her tape of the Bridgewater love songs disappears. It seems like an unimportant moment, but as the novel proceeds, the third song on the tape with the words, “Baby, baby, never let me go”, from the title song, “Never Let Me Go”, takes on a deeper meaning with the passage of time. In a sense, the message of the book is about the varied kinds of letting go life sometimes requires, even letting go of life itself.
When the novel begins, we meet Kathy H doing her job, caring for a donor who is recovering poorly from his last donation. As he grows weaker, he asks Kathy to tell him about Hailsham where she was lucky enough to be brought up and attend school. As she goes back in her memory, the readers learn more about her childhood and soon begin to understand what she is, what she does, and what her future holds in store. The readers are introduced to terms like guardians, possibles, normals, carers, donors and outside. All of these words have new meanings. Soon they will learn what it is that makes Kathy H so special.
At Hailsham, the student residents were educated well. They were given opportunities that were not universal in places that reared other children like them. Although they were confined to the area of the school and were not allowed to venture outside, they had full lives. They seemed like ordinary children who played pranks on each other and even played pranks on some of their guardians. They engaged in sporting events. They learned about sex and its pleasures, but they understood that they could not reproduce. Some of the children eventually paired off and became couples. Some just became good friends. However, at age 16, when they were sent to live in the Cottages, they often lost contact with each other. It was there that they learned what their next function was to be and they eventually went off into different directions to work. Tommy and Ruth were Kathy’s best friends at Hailsham, but once she became a carer and went out into the world outside, she lost touch with them. She was always so busy traveling from place to place to do her work, which she was very good at, and she remained a carer for what would eventually be 12 years, far longer than most carers. When she retired, she would be called upon to donate. She, too, would become a donor.
As Kathy explained what Hailsham was like, to the donor she was helping, the reader is drawn into the atmosphere that once was Hailsham and is introduced to many of the residents there. Kathy’s earliest memories go back to when she was age 4 or 5. Her two close friends were Tommy and Ruth. Eventually, Tommy and Ruth coupled off. Kathy often worried about Tommy’s well-being. She was patient and concerned about what his behavior would make other people think about him. He seemed shy and naïve at times, but he had a quick temper. Tommy trusted and confided in Kathy. Ruth, was the opposite of Tommy. She held court telling imaginative stories, and others liked to hear and participate in her games. Miss Lucy, Miss Geraldine, and Miss Emily were Guardians. Madame collected their art work and took it with her outside to what they called her gallery. The children believed that their work that was hanging in the gallery would influence their futures. The guardians all came from outside. They were part of the group the children referred to as normals.
It takes almost half the book to actually discover for sure what many have surely suspected. The children at Hailsham and other facilities had all been modeled after so-called normals. Sometimes, when they traveled outside of their community, they thought they spotted possibles; possibles were the humans they were modeled after. Kathy and her friends were actually clones, clones that were created and raised for the purpose of saving the lives of normals. Most of the donors survived their first donations and they were cared for by their own kind, people like Kathy, an expert carer. Some donors survive longer than others, perhaps even until their fourth donation, but generally, they simply were called upon to donate until they had nothing left to give, and then they were completed. They understood why they had been created and what duty they had to perform. They fulfilled their obligations.
I loved the narrator’s speaking voice and careful pronunciation. She did not overtake and become the story, as is often the case with a narrator. Rosalyn Landor merely told the story with appropriate voices, feeling and emphasis. The author’s prose was sharp and descriptive, and I was fully engaged, but the character development and plot direction could have been broader to make the point of the book clearer, a little earlier. It took me too long to figure out who was who and what was what. I had to go on to the internet to look for brief descriptions of the book in order to discover what kind of a world the author was describing, because although my curiosity was piqued by the telling, my confusion was all the greater because of the innuendos, and I needed sorting out. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Apr 12, 2016 |
If Never Let Me Go can be classified as sci-fi, then it's the kind of sci-fi that I like - something that could feasibly happen in a setting that I can imagine myself existing in. The setting of this novel seemed like a parallel universe to ours. I don't know that it is sci-fi, though. The science fiction aspects aren't to the fore in the plot. I think it's more about the slowly creeping realisation that life isn't quite what we would like it to be, or what we think it is, which is a universal experience. It's also about trying to find meaning in life, and trying to delay the inevitable, to grasp a few more precious moments that might help you to understand what the point of it all was. ( )
  missizicks | Apr 7, 2016 |
My initial problem with Never let me go was with how it was written. A specific part of the writing bugged me, I wonder if this fits into the "stream of consciousness" term - the way that the narrator jumps from topic to topic, or memory from memory, following the stream of the mind. The way that Kathy is telling you about a memory from some time or other, and then continually finding other memories she wants to tell you, the way that she jumps from them makes me feel like I'm falling deeper and deeper into a black hole with no chance of returning to the ground. It reminded me of when someone tells me a story and they're really long-winded about it and starts talking about things that aren't really relevant and I just keep saying "get to the point!", yeah that is what I wanted to say to Kathy.

After the first 160 pages or so I got used to this, but it seriously bugged me at first. Maybe it's just that I'm unused to reading this style of writing, maybe it does not suit my taste. Either way, it didn't bother me as much in the last 100 pages. At first I was actually quite underwhelmed by both the story and the characters, and I didn't think I would like it much in the end. As it is, I do still think I lacked some sort of connection with the story and I don't personally believe it to be the masterpiece that I've heard people describe it, but I did like it at the end.

The last few chapters made me sad, no actually the last two perhaps made me sad. For the rest of the book I felt nothing but slight amusement, and bewilderment as to where the story was going to go. I think part of my lack of connection is that you're kept in the dark for most of the novel really, as to what is really going on. At least this is how I experienced this story. But again, once things were getting clearer I did end up enjoying it better.

I mean, I felt like I was watching a boarding school movie for most of the first half - not a bad thing necessarily, just not what this is really about, then there's a bit of a change after they leave Hailsham and more answers are given, and a bit of the screen that covered the truth is being drawn away, showing a bit of the world they really live in and what they really are.

I think the most interesting theme in this book is about what makes us human, what is a human, what is humanity? It's certainly relevant to ask oneself when reading this book, or perhaps after when everything becomes clearer.

Well, I'm not sure if this review made things any clearer about the book though. I thought it was fine.
  zombiehero | Mar 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 669 (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
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)

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