Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro

The Basics: Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro, 2005, 263 pages, hard cover, shortlisted for the Booker prize in 2005.

How I found it: When I was in London last February it was one of the books being advertised on billboards in the tube (because the Brits actually read). also recommended it to me because I had read Alligator.

What's it about?: I don't want to give away too much since this is one of those books where little bits are revealed as you go along. It is enough to say that it is set in England in the 1990s and concerns a group of kids growing up and coming of age at a special academy for clones destined to become organ donation machines. (Sorry if I've said too much and ruined the book for you.) It is science fiction, but it is literature science fiction, along the lines of The Handmaid's Tale and just as well written too.

Did I like it?: This is the first book that I've read in awhile that I just couldn't put down. Ishiguro writes in a succint, yet beautiful style that I love. He also avoids giving too much detail about his alternative reality scenario so that the reader doesn't question it and accepts it in the same way that his characters do. The only thing I didn't like about it was the fatalistic attitude the characters seemed to have; they all accepted their fate without question or attempted rebellion.

Will you like it?: The story is compelling, the characters are easy to relate to, the premise is not too far fetched and it is an exceptionally well written book. I think you will like it, and I guarantee you won't hate it.

But don't take my word for it: Most online reviewers liked it, the major newspapers, including the Sunday Times, had nice things to say, as did

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