Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
I’ve been very bad. 4th of July in the middle of the week really threw me off and I have neglected this blog for the week. And so, on this Sunday night, I’m back at my computer with another book to talk about. Following Summer Sisters I picked up the novel Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. It is listed in TIME Magazine’s “100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.” I’ve never read any of Ishiguro’s other novels, and at first I was little put-off by this one’s classification as science fiction, however I was intrigued all the same.
All I can say is please don’t be turned off by its science fiction classification. I absolutely loved this book. I really don’t want to go much into the plot of this novel because I don’t want to ruin any realizations you might have as you work your way through this novel. To give a general overview, the story is told from the perspective of a young woman named Kathy. Kathy grew up at a private boarding school where all of the children are brought up to believe that they are special. Why they are special isn’t truly revealed to the reader until later in the book. The students for the most part have no delusions about what their specific purpose is in life. While there are rumors that they continue to question both at school and after, false hopes and dreams that maybe things might turn out differently, Kathy and her friends are brought up knowing a certain fate. Because of this, Kathy doesn’t spend much of her narration explaining why they are “special” and so, the reader is always questioning exactly what is going on. As I was reading the book I kept having this constant stream of thought that went something like this: “Is this book actually about what I think it’s about? When they say donation or complete, do those words mean what I think they mean? That can’t be what’s actually happening, right?”
I found this book heart-breaking, thought provoking and tragic. The world that Kathy and her friends are a part of is eerie, mostly because it’s not an impossibility for the world we live in ourselves. Read it for yourself, and let me know if you agree.
*Also, this book was made into a movie that came out in 2010. If you’ve seen the film, let me know if it’s worth checking out!