Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

Title: Never Let Me Go
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
ISBN: 9781400078776
Pages: 304
Release Date: April 4, 2005
Publisher: Vintage
Genre: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.75 out of 5

Summary:

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.

Review:

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.

Comments

  1. I loved this book, even though once I figured out what was going on, I was properly creeped out. You’ve done it justice with your review!

  2. I loved this book, even though once I figured out what was going on, I was properly creeped out. You’ve done it justice with your review!

  3. The Clear Off Your Shelves Challenge ends today, right? It looks like only one book I’ve read qualifies.

    All others were must reads for after-school book clubs or new library finds.

    I’ll continue with my unofficial challenge. Thanks for the push!

  4. The Clear Off Your Shelves Challenge ends today, right? It looks like only one book I’ve read qualifies.

    All others were must reads for after-school book clubs or new library finds.

    I’ll continue with my unofficial challenge. Thanks for the push!

  5. I loved this book too. Ishiguro is a wonderful writer and I love how he always reveals everything is little pieces. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and I hope you’ll read more by Ishiguro!

  6. I loved this book too. Ishiguro is a wonderful writer and I love how he always reveals everything is little pieces. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and I hope you’ll read more by Ishiguro!

  7. Me too..I loved this book. I picked it up without knowing anything about the author and was most surprised when I realized that I had read one of Ishiguro’s best works . I am planning to another one very soon

  8. Me too..I loved this book. I picked it up without knowing anything about the author and was most surprised when I realized that I had read one of Ishiguro’s best works . I am planning to another one very soon

  9. I haven’t read this one yet, but have heard so many great things about it. I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed it and look forward to finding out what all the secrecy around the plot is about!

  10. I haven’t read this one yet, but have heard so many great things about it. I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed it and look forward to finding out what all the secrecy around the plot is about!

  11. I’ve had this on on my MP3 player for a while. I’ll have to get to it soon.

  12. I’ve had this on on my MP3 player for a while. I’ll have to get to it soon.

  13. This one’s sitting patiently on my shelf, waiting (and waiting) to be read….

  14. This one’s sitting patiently on my shelf, waiting (and waiting) to be read….

  15. I also loved this book. I for some reason don’t think about it when I think about great dystopian reads, but you’re right that it totally is dystopian.

  16. I also loved this book. I for some reason don’t think about it when I think about great dystopian reads, but you’re right that it totally is dystopian.

  17. I’ve been wanting to try Ishiguro’s work, too – this sounds like the one to start with. Fantastic review!

  18. I’ve been wanting to try Ishiguro’s work, too – this sounds like the one to start with. Fantastic review!

  19. This was one of my favorite books last year. It was one where the twists totally caught me off guard, and it was so well-written. Glad you enjoyed it, too.

  20. This was one of my favorite books last year. It was one where the twists totally caught me off guard, and it was so well-written. Glad you enjoyed it, too.

  21. Great review- I read this book a few years ago and it is unforgettable.

  22. Great review- I read this book a few years ago and it is unforgettable.

  23. I keep meaning to read this book…but then I forget! Thanks for the reminder. 😀

  24. I keep meaning to read this book…but then I forget! Thanks for the reminder. 😀

  25. I recall not thinking much of this book right when I finished it, but I found that the story kept crossing my mind long after I had finished it. Ishiguro has that quiet way.

  26. I recall not thinking much of this book right when I finished it, but I found that the story kept crossing my mind long after I had finished it. Ishiguro has that quiet way.

  27. I’ve heard alot of good things about this book and your review has me wanting to read it sooner, rather than later. I’m adding it to the big TBR stack!!!

  28. I’ve heard alot of good things about this book and your review has me wanting to read it sooner, rather than later. I’m adding it to the big TBR stack!!!

  29. Did you know ‘it’ before you started reading Never Let Me Go?

    You did well in hiding it in your review. I think it’s such a shame that it is often told (it might be even in the blurb?), while it should be discovered at the moment Ishiguro decided on.

  30. Did you know ‘it’ before you started reading Never Let Me Go?

    You did well in hiding it in your review. I think it’s such a shame that it is often told (it might be even in the blurb?), while it should be discovered at the moment Ishiguro decided on.

  31. gnoegnoe – I did not know “it” before going in, and I completely agree that figuring it out really made the experience of reading the book for me. I’m glad the summary that I read didn’t ruin that, I would have enjoyed the book much less if it had.

  32. gnoegnoe – I did not know “it” before going in, and I completely agree that figuring it out really made the experience of reading the book for me. I’m glad the summary that I read didn’t ruin that, I would have enjoyed the book much less if it had.

  33. I hadn’t heard of this book, but your review has made me curious. Thanks for not giving anything away, but providing enough details to make me really want to read it. I’m going to add this one to my to-read list.

  34. I hadn’t heard of this book, but your review has made me curious. Thanks for not giving anything away, but providing enough details to make me really want to read it. I’m going to add this one to my to-read list.

  35. I have yet to read this book which is just ridiculous since it’s been on my shelves for the better part of, oh, YEARS! I’m glad you liked it so much, and I hope I do, too.

  36. I have yet to read this book which is just ridiculous since it’s been on my shelves for the better part of, oh, YEARS! I’m glad you liked it so much, and I hope I do, too.

  37. I WANTED to love this book, I really did; I agree with you about the quality of the writing, and it’s a very compelling story. I just had trouble connecting with it the way I’d hoped to. I’m glad it worked out better for you!

  38. I WANTED to love this book, I really did; I agree with you about the quality of the writing, and it’s a very compelling story. I just had trouble connecting with it the way I’d hoped to. I’m glad it worked out better for you!

  39. I am trying to read The Remains of the Day by the same author! I really need to get to that! GOD! i have to read this one as well!

  40. I am trying to read The Remains of the Day by the same author! I really need to get to that! GOD! i have to read this one as well!

  41. This sounds really good. I’ve been seeing it mentioned a lot during various dystopia conversations.

  42. This sounds really good. I’ve been seeing it mentioned a lot during various dystopia conversations.

  43. A great review of a book that is hard to plot summarize- is it just me or do there seem to be more and more of those kinds of books? I really enjoyed this one- I did it on audiobook and didn’t love the narrator, but really liked the story.

  44. A great review of a book that is hard to plot summarize- is it just me or do there seem to be more and more of those kinds of books? I really enjoyed this one- I did it on audiobook and didn’t love the narrator, but really liked the story.

  45. I adored this book, so glad you liked it too!

  46. I adored this book, so glad you liked it too!

  47. Ishiguro has this quite habit of getting under your skin.

    I love all his books. You have done a great review of this one!

  48. Ishiguro has this quite habit of getting under your skin.

    I love all his books. You have done a great review of this one!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Never Let Me Go When We Were Orphans […]

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