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Table Of Contents

P. 1
Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

Ratings:

3.82

(4,399)
|Views: 712|Likes:
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day comes a devastating new novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is another classic by the author of The Remains of the Day.From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day comes a devastating new novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is another classic by the author of The Remains of the Day.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Publish date: Apr 5, 2005
Added to Scribd: Sep 06, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781400044832
List Price: $11.99 Buy Now

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04/14/2014

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9781400044832

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dalzan_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Amazon summary: All children should believe they are special. But the students of Hailsham, an elite school in the English countryside, are so special that visitors shun them, and only by rumor and the occasional fleeting remark by a teacher do they discover their unconventional origins and strange destiny - to be harvested for body parts, and ultimately die. Like the students of Hailsham, readers are "told but not told" what is going on and should be allowed to discover the secrets of Hailsham and the truth about these children on their own.Offsetting the bizarreness of these revelations is the placid, measured voice of the narrator, Kathy H., a 31-year-old Hailsham alumna who, at the close of the 1990s, is consciously ending one phase of her life and beginning another. She is in a reflective mood, and recounts not only her childhood memories, but her quest in adulthood to find out more about Hailsham and the idealistic women who ran it. Although often poignant, Kathy's matter-of-fact narration blunts the sharper emotional effects you might expect in a novel that deals with illness, self-sacrifice, and the severe restriction of personal freedoms.
lisa2013_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
recommended for: people who enjoy novels that delve into ethics, sci-fi fansI read a professional review of this book and heard some things about the book before I read it, and I wish I had read it without knowing anything about it. I still enjoyed it, even though I knew some of the plot ahead of time. I found myself depressed throughout, because the topic is dark and I really felt for Kathy and her friends. The story is narrated by Kathy, and I loved her voice as I think it fit the kind of person she was, but I can see others possibly not enjoying the book because of her style of writing about her life. Sci-fi told as though telling a realistic tale, and very thought provoking. Worth the read!
candacevan_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
This book is written in a gentle, unpretentious manner. The plot is doled out in tantalizing bits and pieces. The pace is relaxed, the feeling a kind of gentle bleakness.

As I came to the end of the book, I felt my first urge, ever, to throw a physical tantrum, a la Tommy. I was reminded of a review of Thomas Hardy's "Jude the Obscure," who said that upon finishing the book he hurled it across the room. His anger unsatisfied, he ripped it in two. Still angry, he threw it in the fire. And the next day went out to buy copies of everything Hardy had written. I understand, in reading this book, where he was coming from.

- - - - SPOILER ALERT - - - - - - - - -

Ishiguro has said that the cloning was not, to him, the most interesting aspect of the book. I think that he's managed to produce more than a wrenching reminder of the potential human cost of some applications of technology. It also works as an excellent example of contemporary fiction.

I'm glad I read it, but it has left me feeling harrowed and hollow. I fear that the bleakness of the book will stay with me for some time.
marlene9nl reviewed this
Rated 4/5
One word that comes to mind weirdly enough is this word: Gorgeous! What a gorgeous book. I was sucked in, tried to read it slowly just to enjoy it even more and I succeeded. Check my friend Milan's review. it says it all. Yes I ended up with more questions but I can appreciate that. I love it when I am done with a book and I can't let go. ;)
anderlawlor reviewed this
Rated 3/5
It's not like SF writers haven't been thinking about cloning and identity for, oh I don't know, fifty years? This is a beautifully written book, sure, but Ishiguro's total disregard for the literary conversation he's entered makes his writing seem naive.
shanaqui_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
(You may consider this review spoilery, if you read all of it. I state something explicitly that is below the surface of the book, at any rate.)

This book is a bit like having a one-sided conversation with the narrator. In consequence, it kinda feels like it rambles a bit -- they digress to talk about something else and then a couple of pages later, wrench it back to the original point. In some ways that makes it feel very natural, like someone talking, but to read it, it gets irritating.

There's a difficult tone to it... Very resigned, unemotional, and somewhat, I don't know, superficial. The narrator skims the surface of the truths revealed. It's natural to do that, in some ways, for a real person, but in a character, it's hard to engage. The characters of Ruth and Tommy were much more vivid for me than Kathy: Ruth and her needing to be in the know, needing to be superior; Tommy and his anger issues and his struggle to be creative. Ruth felt especially real to me: I knew a girl who was very much like her, and I was pretty much the Kathy in our interactions, too.

The way it engages with the issues -- with the idea of clones -- without dragging out all the backstory is interesting, dealt with it in this way. Like it's a fact of life, like what you're reading is all very matter of fact. And you go along with it a little, and then you stop, and you think about it... It actually reminds me of the way Kathy describes being taught about what her life will be: somehow it builds up so you've known it all along, but you never have this big moment of revelation. Unfortunately, that deadens the sharper shocks, I think.

I enjoyed it, and it was very easy to just settle down and read it. It's not racing action or anything, pretty leisurely, and not compelling in the sense that I couldn't put it down. But I wanted to know -- even suspecting what the end would be like, I wanted to get there and see.
walterqchocobo reviewed this
I was waiting for this book to get more interesting but it never did. The story is told from Kathy's point of view. Kathy is now 31 and is thinking back to her days at Hailsham, a private school in England where the children are kept secluded from everyone else for some reason. That reason is hinted at throughout the book until revealed fully towards the end. However, this big reveal doesn't do much for the story as it is about the relationship between Kathy, Ruth and Tommy througout their school years, "Cottage" years and after Kathy becomes a "carer". Kathy bounces around as a narrator quite a bit which become frustrating to read. I know that this author has written award winning books--I don't think this is going to be one of them.
eliz_m_2 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Intriguing book. The point of view and structure were very much from a personal perspective; the digressions, the starting a story and then stopping to fill in the back story felt very real--it's how people actually tell stories. As a written narrative, it may not have been the right choice.

Since the characters spend their life knowing and not knowing their place in the world, they don't examine it. The reader is supposed to be provoked into examining the morality of the situation by the slow realization of what is happening. And unfortunately, I learned the premise before I read it, thus robbing the story of the intended effect.
kidsisyphus reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I had previously avoided this book, having heard it referred to as British science fiction. And when I hear "British science fiction," I think of Dr. Who. Then I think about all those childhood snuff film fantasies where Captain Kirk zaps him. (Phasers set to kill, dammit! Inter-dimensional traveling dandies in phone booths are the exception to Federation regulations. What is it about the British, anyway? A phone booth? That's Superman's bag, baby. Superhero envy much? The sun may have never set on the British Empire, but we Yankees have a guy who can fly faster than the speed of light.) But then I found myself alone in a big bookstore in a big city trying to divine what the angelic face on the book's cover was looking askance at (itself manipulated, no doubt, like the fictional clones whose story it was fashioned to sell) and thinking of Kurosawa's definition of art being about the ability to look at humanity in its entirety without flinching.

Mulligan. I flinched.

But Kazuo Ishiguro hasn't. And he doesn't think much of me. Or you. And he's probably correct in that judgment.

Imagine the most genteel, tea-sipping people gathered around fine china in a flowery patterned drawing room somewhere in the English countryside. A shaft of midday sun shines through drawn curtains as they politely discuss the day's happenings. Then imagine Leatherface, Jack the Ripper, Lex Luther, Sarah Palin and Michael Jackson's dad ransacking everything around them, starting at the furthest perimeters of the house, slowly working their way toward our happy people and ultimately cannibalizing them. Then imagine both groups acting as if this is completely normal. Nary a word of protest or questioning, mind you.

That's what this book is like to me.

It was very difficult to read, in the psychological sense of "read." The pathos was too overwhelming. I had to take a break from it, about two-thirds of the way through. I tried to tell myself that it was because I had read the bulk of it as I was hidden away in some claustrophobic hotel room, or that I found the prose tedious at times. In truth, though, it succeeds in shining a light on human nature, and I just couldn’t bear to look.

The story made me uncomfortable, and I hated myself for returning to it after having put it aside. I was irked by the characters, my inner-Kirk screaming, "SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING!" The lethargic creepiness made me realize that no, not only was nobody going to do anything, but that neither I, nor you, nor any of us, are all that different from the people who harvest these poor souls for their organs. After all, I'm a fat and happy first-worlder who less and less has a care or thought for all those who are exploited to make my life possible.

We homo sapiens adapt to anything, and hang our hats on the most contorted and worn rationalizations.

I would grind my teeth and ask, "Where is their Marx? Their Malcolm X?" Fuck, I'd have settled for Stalin or Benedict Arnold. But maybe the revolutionary gene had been isolated and bred out of their clone bodies -- a distinct possibility, owing to the imperfect knowledge of the first-person narrator. What's worse is that whereas science may have manipulated them to be docile, we, all of us, have been likewise manipulated by the inertia of history.

As I have written, I grew tired with what I saw as tedious prose, the catalog of details about everyday life cited by the narrator. But then it dawned on me that this cataloging is exactly the sort of thing a dying person would do. Life would take on more urgency. What you and I may take for granted is pregnant with wonder to the condemned. In fact, happy serendipity, this view is supported by a study cited in the November 2009 issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin -- researchers have found that those who profess to be in love are more analytical. And what is someone condemned to die other than someone in love with life?

I winced at Ishiguro's condemnation of liberal half-measures in the face of social norms. The narrator and her group of friends are raised in an almost "humane" manner -- educated, encouraged to cultivate personal friendships with one another, encouraged to pursue art. And while they represent the exception, an experiment to demonstrate that clones have souls, they are condemned nonetheless. All the petty jealousies and transcendent friendships that framed their short, beautiful lives, are consumed by larger society. And while there is never a mention of God, the closest they come is looking up a former instructor who is only mildly repulsed by them and who bids them to eat from the Tree of Complete Knowledge.

Repeat after me: I am pathetic. I am powerless.

Kirk, succumbing to the Borg after all.
thebookvixen reviewed this
J.A. Saare recommended to go into this book blind. I'm not sure if I can do that. Who the heck does that? Who buys and reads a book without reading the book blurb? But it sounds like a very provocative thing to do so for now, I'm putting it on my TBR list until I can decide whether or not to read it.

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P. 1
Never Let Me Go