From the acclaimed author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were
Orphans, a moving new novel that subtly re-imagines our world and time in a
haunting story of friendship and love.
As a child, Kathynow thirty-one years oldlived at Hailsham, a private
school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered
from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that
their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they
would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her,
but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops
resisting the pull of memory.
And so, as her friendship with Ruth is rekindled, and as the feelings that
long ago fueled her adolescent crush on Tommy begin to deepen into love, Kathy
recalls their years at Hailsham. She describes happy scenes of boys and girls
growing up together, unperturbedeven comfortedby their isolation. But she
describes other scenes as well: of discord and misunderstanding that hint at a
dark secret behind Hailsham's nurturing facade. With the dawning clarity of
hindsight, the three friends are compelled to face the truth about their
childhoodand about their lives now.
A tale of deceptive simplicity, Never Let Me Go slowly reveals an
extraordinary emotional depth and resonanceand takes its place among Kazuo
Ishiguro's finest work.
I was a little disappointed with Never Let Me Go - not because of the writing, which is as elegant as usual, but that Ishiguro raises many questions but answers few. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Booklist - Allison Block
In this luminous offering, he nimbly navigates the landscape of emotion--the inevitable link between present and past and the fine line between compassion and cruelty, pleasure and pain.
Library Journal - Henry L. Carrigan (starred review)
Ishiguro's elegant prose and masterly ways with characterization make for a lovely tale of memory, self-understanding, and love.
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
With perfect pacing and infinite subtlety, Ishiguro reveals exactly as much as we need to know about how efforts to regulate the future through genetic engineering create, control, then emotionlessly destroy very real, very human lives-without ever showing us the faces of the culpable, who have "tried to convince themselves. . . . That you were less than human, so it didn't matter." ... A masterpiece of craftsmanship that offers an unparalleled emotional experience.
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
So exquisitely observed that even the most workaday objects and interactions are infused with a luminous, humming otherworldliness. The dystopian story it tells, meanwhile, gives it a different kind of electric charge. . . . An epic ethical horror story, told in devastatingly poignant miniature. . . . Ishiguro spins a stinging cautionary tale of science outpacing ethics.
The Independent (UK) - Geoff Dyer
The problem for the reviewer, appropriately enough, is that by revealing more of what the book is about he risks going too far and unravelling its meticulously woven fabric of hints and guesses. So I'll leave it there. Suffice it to say that this very weird book is as intricate, subtly unsettling and moving as any Ishiguro has written.
The Sunday Times (UK) - Peter Kemp
Not since The Remains of the Day has Ishiguro
written about wasted lives with such finely gauged forlornness. That he
contrives to do so in a narrative crawling with creepy frissons is remarkable.
Not the least out-of-the-ordinary feature of this novel, with its piercing
questions about humanity and humaneness, is the way it affectingly moves past
gothic shudders to a wrenchingly desolate ending.
The Telegraph (UK) - Caroline Moore Never Let Me Go will probably disappoint readers for whom the
solution of a mystery is all-in-all, or those who want the gratification of
full-on horror. But in its evocation of a pervasive menace and despair almost
but not quite lost in translation - made up of the shadows of things not said,
glimpsed out of the corner of one's eye - the novel is masterly.
The Guardian (UK) - M John Harrison
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.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Mike Pearson Hauntingly beautiful I read the book after watching the movie. So my understanding of the plot was already formed before I read a page. The film moved me and the book even more so. The themes are hauntingly alive to me. The idea of our own known mortality that we all... Read More
Rated of 5
by Peter V. Brilliant, even if nonsensical I read this book with patience, then after watching the movie I felt I had to re-read it again. It is a brilliant book,raising a lot of interesting questions. I am avoiding on purpose the link between the topic of cloning and reality, because if... Read More
Rated of 5
by Bd Powerful I have seen several reviewers talk about the setting and basic plot of this book. It's only relevant at all because it gives the author a compressed life period to expose what all humans feel, do, live. It's not quite a great novel. But it's... Read More
Rated of 5
by Katy Booklover Held out hope it'd get better. It didn't. By the end of the first chapter, I seriously considered putting this book down for good. Snoozefest! However, based on all of the reviews and accolades, I believed it would get better. Unfortunately, it did not.
I felt as though I were having a... Read More
Rated of 5
by gene adair boring This is the most boring 'book' I have had the misfortune of trying to read... 67 pages in, I give up...I hope they all get their worst and take Mr. Ishiguro with them...
Let me go ...now...
Rated of 5
by Billy Poignant The only thing that was possibly bad about this book was that the beginning was presented in such a confusing manner that I had no clue what was going on. However, that quickly changed as the introduction was made to the endearing character of... Read More
Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan in 1954. He came to Britain at the
age of six when his father began research at the National Institute of
Oceanography. He was educated at a grammar school for boys in Surrey and then
English and Philosophy at the University of Kent, Canterbury, followed by a
creative writing course at the University of East Anglia.
In 1981 he published three short stories, then in 1982 he published A Pale
View of Hills. In 1983 he
was nominated by Granta magazine as one of the 20 'Best of Young British
Writers'. An Artist of the Floating World followed in 1986, it won
the Whitbread Book of the Year award and was short listed for the Booker Prize
The Remains of the Day was published in 1989 - it won the Booker Prize
for Fiction and was later made into a film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma
Thompson. His fourth novel, The Unconsoled was published in 1995 and his fifth,
When We Were Orphans, in 2000. Never Let Me Go...
In an alternate history, a radical group overthrew Churchill and made peace with Hitler. Now, eight years later at a country retreat, one of the group is murdered; and suspicion falls on the Jewish husband of one of their adult children.
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