Title: Never Let Me Go
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Release Date: April 4, 2005
Genre: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.75 out of 5
Never Let Me Go is a book that is very difficult to summarize, especially without giving away parts of the mystery that surround this novel. It begins with Kathy reminiscing about her days at the enigmatic Hailsham Academy and evolves into a novel about ethics, morality, and the beauty of relationships.
I’ve heard a lot of amazing things about Kazuo Ishiguro, and have been wanting to read his books for a long time. I chose Never Let Me Go to read first because I thought it sounded incredibly interesting, and happily it was. This was a beautifully written novel that I had a lot of trouble putting down.
Ishiguro’s writing in Never Let Me Go was simply breathtaking. He cloaked even the most unpleasant moments of the novel his his beautiful prose. I would venture to say that even if the book had been boring or unpleasant, Ishiguro’s writing would more than make up for it. However, I didn’t have to face that problem as the book is as gripping as it is well-written.
Never Let Me Go is a dystopian novel, though it’s hard to tell what is going on at the beginning. The mystery of what is happening to these students, of their role in society is really the driving force in this novel. However, the book itself focuses on real life – its simplicity, and in some ways, its mundanity. It’s a novel of details. Though the mystery arches over the entire novel and is really the main point of it, it’s not Ishiguro’s primary focus as the book progresses. Instead, he chooses to hone in on relationships, specifically that of the main character, Kathy, with her friends Ruth and Tommy. The characters in this book aren’t necessarily likeable (especially Ruth), but they are all very three-dimensional and incredibly well-written.
In a lot of ways, Never Let Me Go is told in pieces. The narrator, Kathy, is telling the story through flashbacks, so it’s up to the reader to take the disparate clues and put them together in such a way as to see the big picture. It’s very creative and amazingly vivid. Ishiguro really makes the reader think and contemplate their beliefs while reading Never Let Me Go. It’s an amazing piece of fiction that I can’t recommend highly enough.