Review: Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me GoNever Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘Never Let Me Go’ is a book that requires a lot of patience to read. I tried to read it earlier in the year, but had to put it down after about 30 pages as I just felt I wasn’t getting it at all. However, I decided to check it out from the library again and give it a second chance, because it is part of one of my reading challenges for 2012. I’m glad that I did, even though at about the same point into the book I was almost wondering why!

I went into the book blind, which I think was a good thing. As you read the book you realise that there is something in the background that is of utmost importance to the identity of the main characters and what their purpose in life is. As the story slowly unwinds there are hints and small revelations as to what this mystery is. It’s only about halfway through that the shocking truth becomes more obvious. This is why I said that the book requires patience. I think this also helps you to start asking questions about what the implications would be for a society that carries out what this ‘thing’ is that is not obvious at the start of the book.

I’m not going to give away what this ‘thing’ is, because I think that it is better to go into the book blind, because it is so well written and crafted that this lack of knowledge really heightens the reading experience and enjoyment.

The further I got into the book, especially beyond my first stopping point, the more I knew that I wanted to finish it. It is a sad, almost melancholic, book. At some point I would like to read it again and think more deeply about some of the questions raised by the kind of society depicted in the book.

I’ve read of this book being described as a science fiction book. This is not really the case, although the main characters have a science fiction element to who, or what, they are. The book doesn’t focus on this aspect of their lives. It is there, but is not the main focus of the story, even though it is important to their identity.

This book is well worth reading, but be patient and understand that it is the slow unwinding of the story that makes it a very enjoyable read.

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4 thoughts on “Review: Never Let Me Go

  1. Your review pretty much sums it up. I was expecting to be blown away and instead, had to be patient. Even so, I didn’t think this book was as brilliant as some people described it. If you really think about the characters, their life, the world they live in, and what they have to do, it does kind of blow your mind. But I didn’t think the book really evoked strong emotions in me as I read; instead they came after when I was reflecting on the book. Have you seen the film adaptation? Curious to see how it compares but I’ve heard it’s not good so haven’t seen it myself.

    • I haven’t seen the film and must admit I’m curious to see it. It seems to get mixed reviews. It’s been out a couple of years, so hopefully it’s still at my local movie rental place.

  2. Pingback: Fifty Fiftly Me: Shopgirl « The Edmonton Tourist

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