Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

Kazuo Ishiguro

2005



Recommendation: Reputation of author and book being short-listed for the Booker Prize in 2005

A book about friendship, growing up and mortality set in a dystopian England in the 1990s. Narrated by Kathy H. aged 31, as a memoir of her life, starting with her childhood at an exclusive boarding school, Hailsham, run by "Guardians", implying all the students there are orphans. Right from the start you realise there is something strange about the place as the students never get to leave the grounds, and one of the highlights of their existence, and indeed the only contact with the outside world are sales of second hand goods brought in periodically. The students, including Kathy and her friends Ruth and Tommy, often discuss the meaning of various rules amongst themselves, but rarely challenge the Guardians, who generally answer obliquely. Thus, while the reader harbours increasing suspicions, the children are "told but not told" as they are drip fed tiny increments of the knowledge of their destiny.

In spite of the context this is not science fiction, nor a coming of age story; there is a degree of horror, mainly because it is not written as such, and certainly plenty of questions of morality.

As usual, it is very hard to review a book that evokes such a strong emotional response, whilst not revealing too much of the story.

Recommended.

October 2018

Janet July 15 2019 24 reads 0 comments 0 ratings Print

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