Reader reviews and comments on Never Let Me Go, plus links to write your own review.

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Never Let Me Go

by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro X
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2005, 320 pages
    Mar 2006, 304 pages

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There are currently 17 reader reviews for Never Let Me Go
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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 look away from. Our demise through illnesses being the most likely fate for ourselves. We're being let go and we're doing it to ourselves in a similar way to how in the book "others" have that responsibility. We're children too and I felt the teenage wonder and exploration tapped into our own sense of being lost and trapped in the world and mortality. Unforgettable read so delicately dripped into me the more I read. Finished it ultra quick since I couldn't stop reading. Masterpiece of effectiveness of writing.
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 one has to bring this up then it becomes totally non-sensical. And the latter is not because of what some reviewers are saying, but because of the simple fact that if science was able to find ways to clone a complete human being it sounds illogical that it was not able to find ways to clone just human organs. Cloning human organs seems much more efficient,and removes all moral dilemmas, but then there is no story line. Then, so what if it is non-sensical. It is a beautiful story, excellently written,revealing beautiful characters, and entangled stories.

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 close to great, as close as I've seen in a long, long time.

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 Tommy. There are many sad things in this book, and it will unsettle you. However, this book had the rare ability to stay on my mind after I had finished it. Not because of the controversial subject it poses which is not altogether new. But because amidst all the muted tragedy, there are several key moments in which Ishiguro is able to conjure up such beautiful words to express an idea or a feeling that despite knowing better, I still foolishly end up interpreting as hope. This book is not complicated, it is not disorganized- it is told in a very personal manner as if a close friend is confiding in you, some lazy afternoon. And I'm glad I took the time, I hope you will too.

Meditation on Our Selves and Our Science
Caution: This review reveals nothing that would spoil your relish at discovering this book.

At the intersection of science, society and identity, lives can only be seen as through a frosted window alternately revealing glimpses of light, hazy figures and, finally, a frightening opacity. Few of us, or our favorite writers, can see the dangers and the possibilities at this intersection. Kazuo Ishiguro can and shares his view with simplicity and grace.

Hailshum, a school for special children, reveals its nature and purpose slowly and always through the eyes of several of its don...uh...students. Cathy, Ruth, and Tommy are friends of a sort who, like all friends, play and fight and spar and love with each other in their years at Hailshum and later. Ishiguro shows them to us with all their charms, their weaknesses and their ugly parts. In this, he shows us their deep, confused, scarred humanness; he shows us the humanness they share with us.

Cathy, Ruth and Tommy live at that intersection, the intersection of science, society and identity, living with bumpy stoicism the lives science prepared them for. Society has decided it needs them, it seems, and they need each other to find meaning and love in their neglected circumstances. They, like we in ours, find some.

Ishiguro tells us their tragic and ordinary story with the gentleness that distinguishes his work. Let no one tell you otherwise; this book is masterful.

Understated Master
I am still thinking about themes from this book since finishing it, and can honestly say that it had a profound impact on me. Although I found the first chapter slow, after this the rest of the book was a page turner. The characters were so well drawn that I felt that I knew them, the descriptions of the nuances of adolescent conversation were perfect. Without spoiling the plot for those yet to read the book, there was food for thought on many levels. How we regard difference and our implicit attitude to it. How although we think we are original how much are lives and episteme is shaped by those around us and the media. Most importantly this book really made me think about mortality and how each minute of each day should be used wisely and do what is meaningful to each of us as individuals, as we all live within an allotted span. Superb!

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I found it mesmerizing and couldn't put it down. It still haunts me even though I read it several months ago. The handling of this topic is unusual; part scientific, part science fiction. I highly recommend it! It is very thought provoking.

I loved this book. I agree it was a bit confusing in the beginning, more so than most books. But that's because of the topic & the way the author chose to present the major issue.

A beautifully written story about one of the more compelling issues we will face as a species. The central theme slowly reveals itself page by page, with the reader knowing something isn't right, but not quite grasping what it is.

Highly recommended.
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