Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

 Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Paperback, published 2006, 288 pages

I picked up this book after seeing the trailer for the movie. It was not as amazing as some reviews made it out to be, but it was a very thoughtful book. What an interesting premise, too! I knew it wasn't going to be a really happy ending where she ran off and never had to be a donor, but I was still sad. There was a finality to it: really, Kath had no other choice but to live the life set out for her. At first, I thought Halsham was kind of messed up, having ideas like Miss Lucy, but in the end, what Miss Emily said really touched me. They were doing all that they could for these student who were created to save others, students most people didn't even consider humans.

I liked that the book wasn't solely about the process of cloning and donating and the social implications about that, it just focused on Kath's relationships with Ruth and Tommy. I wouldn't mind a book like that, but this definitely was a more reflective one, especially with the way Kath was looking back at her life, sorting memories out and thinking of why people acted the way they did. This is a lot how I think when I think about the past, I try to understand my own actions and those of the people around me, and there's a new insight from the years since then. I grew to like Kath's voice.

One narrative trick that started to annoy me was:
"That's why I was so surprised when she said what she said in Room 22."
Then Kath told you exactly what "she" said in Room 22.

"Tommy was talking about the incident at Norfolk."
Then Kath told you all about the incident at Norfolk.

I don't think it's a bad device in and of itself, but Ishiguro used it at least half a dozen time. He was probably trying to create suspense, and it worked the first five times, then I started to get annoyed.

Anyways, I finished this book in just a couple days. Ishiguro's writing is beautiful and entrancing; I really felt like I was Kath remembering Ruth and Tommy and Halsham. 

I'll write about what I thought about the movie when I see it. I'm thinking of having book/movie comparison posts.

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