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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
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Never Let Me Go (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Kazuo Ishiguro (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
18,767833161 (3.82)2 / 1253
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)
Member:Pumpkinson
Title:Never Let Me Go
Authors:Kazuo Ishiguro (Author)
Info:Vintage (2006), 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:to-read

Work details

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (2005)

Recently added bykaylien, private library, SoschaF, LorieGreene, Arina40, MenloPark, mrsmith9
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» See also 1253 mentions

English (794)  Dutch (8)  German (6)  French (5)  Spanish (5)  Italian (3)  Swedish (2)  Galician (1)  Japanese (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Finnish (1)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (829)
Showing 1-5 of 794 (next | show all)
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro I'm going to say this right up front. You have to be English to understand this book.
And yes I know it is written by a Japanese. Everything about this book is understated. The voice of Kathy is so very matter-of-fact and down-to-earth-sensible as only the English can be when they are discussing the most terrible of things. The petty pre-occupations of the characters as their lives spiral to their inevitable ends. I just know that Kathy always wore black leather court shoes bought from Marks & Spencer. This is a book that mirrors the holocaust in many ways as it deals with the systematic murder of a "race" of people ostensibly for the highest of reasons. Like all such events they can only be carried out "cleanly" if the victims are not sentient beings. Remember that it was the English that gave the world Concentration Camps, it wasn't the Nazis, they only took the English practise a bit further.Such devastatingly heart breaking moments like the terrible truth about the annual "art competitions/sales" that they eventually get from the old ladies who even while telling it are barely containing their disgust. And yet magical ideas like Norfolk where all the lost things go.I loved this book because it beautiful in its evocation of a dystopian world with manners. This is NOT science fiction any more than say Animal Farm or even Babe. I loved the language of death and the descriptions of death that read like a laundry list.From the pen that gave us The Remains Of The Day and a view of the English that breathtakingly stark in its truth. ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
Didn't like for complicated reasons, possibly didn't enjoy in ways Ishiguru intended? ( )
  jakecasella | Sep 21, 2020 |
This was a slow build to a powerful impact. Read a chapter, put it down. Almost took it back to the library. So slow and an irritating style of telling me the outcome and then going back to tell me how we got there. Now that I’m finished though, I feel the need to go back and review how we got to the end. One step forward and two back over and over somehow finished a marathon of emotions.

The barbed wire quotes from a movie and then at the end created a sense of why the characters couldn’t just run away from their fate, the apathetic acceptance of their place in society. While many seem to find that unrealistic, anyone who has ever felt stuck in their life will appreciate the futility the characters feel.

( )
  out-and-about | Sep 12, 2020 |
Wow, what a bummer! Very good read, and I usually don't like all that futuristic stuff. The depth and description of human emotion in this book though is just *chef's kiss*. None of the characters were likable, but somehow I was still incredibly invested. Not the best quarantine read. I'll pick up something a little lighter next time. ( )
  Ellen_Andrews | Aug 31, 2020 |
I initially thought the story's premise and reactions of the protagonists were ridiculous. But then considered it an allegory for slavery, indentured servitude, or rigid social class structures such as the caste system or the rapidly widening gap between the rich and the poor, and it didn't sound ridiculous at all. It's a horrific, depressing, haunting story. ( )
  Misprint | Aug 31, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 794 (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 (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ishiguro, Kazuoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bützow, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fox, KerryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kriek, BarthoTranslatorsecondary 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)

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.

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Book description
At the age of thirty-one, Kathy H. is coming to the end of her time as a career – 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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