Book Review: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Preview…When I read “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro nearly one year ago, it only took me a matter of hours. This uniquely-crafted dystopian novel is intensely addictive and gets high marks both for entertainment value and for depth of meaning.
Its simplistic manner of storytelling and focus on three friends growing up in a boarding school mixed with strong dystopian and sociological elements makes this story as meaningful as “Brave New World” and as entertaining as (dare-I-say-it?) the “Harry Potter” series.
We follow the lives of three friends, Kathy H, Tommy and Ruth. Our narrator, Kathy H, recounts their experiences as former students of Hailsham boarding school and her current career as a carer. The story starts out simple enough, classic to the young adult genre of fiction. Quickly the reader will notice that something is off just a bit with this school and these students. Little by little, we learn more of the shocking truth and the hopeless future of all at Hailsham.
I could go on and on about the social implications of this story, but that would ruin the best part of this novel — the suspense, the urgent desire to know this world’s secret, to uncover how it can be so like our own yet so eerily different. Just trust me on this one, “Never Let Me Go” is fascinating and well worth reading, no matter what your literary inclinations.
You may like this book if… you enjoy the young adult, science fiction or dystopian genres, you like a story that draws you in and forces you to finish it as quickly as possible, you like an unpredictable plotline, you enjoy mulling over sociological issues and the potential outcomes of technological advances, you like a story that is told directly and endearingly, you like to relate to your characters, no matter how different you are from them, you grew up in a boarding school or are a teacher or a nurse, you’ve ever been involved in a love triangle
You may not like this book if… it pains you to follow likable characters through such a painful existence, you cannot cope with social complacency, you prefer your books to use bigger words and more sophisticated writing techniques, you think that the future described by Kazuo Ishiguro is shockingly likely and that thought scares the living daylights out of you (but you’d have to read it to find that out, now wouldn’t you?)