Never Let Me Go
By Kazuo Ishiguro
“The problem, as I see it, is that you’ve been told and not told. You’ve been told, but none of you really understand, and I dare say, some people are quite happy to leave it that way.”
“I saw a new world coming rapidly. More scientific, efficient, yes. More cures for the old sicknesses. Very good. But a harsh, cruel, world. And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind world, one that she knew in her heart could not remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go.”
Kathy H is thirty-one years old and is entering a new phase of her life. The story unfolds as she looks back on her school days at Hailsham, a private school she attended with age mates Tommy and Ruth. Kathy reminisces with a sense of fondness for those days, but we quickly realize that all is not as it seems to be. Ishiguro’s style drew me along.
The children at Hailsham are continually told how special they are, but this specialness is shrouded in mystery and foreboding.
This alternative reality dystopian is quietly chilling, provoking the reader to examine their thoughts on the human soul and medical ethics. The story telling is brilliant.
Never Let Me Go is a beautifully written book worth reading and rereading. This book motivates thoughtfulness on many issues.
Discussion Guide from Film & Bible Blog (contains a review with spoilers before the guide)
Issues that may be of concern (contains spoilers)
The students at Hailsham are clones created to be donors and will eventually “complete” after their organs are harvested, omission of information by teachers, Kathy looks at dirty magazines searching for the human “model” she was cloned from, frank discussion of sexuality, physical suffering, mental suffering, loss of hope, questions on what it means to be human, what is the soul, cloning, medical ethics, class structure.
I listened to the audiobook version of Never Let Me Go narrated by Rosalyn Landor. I found it to be well done and easy to listen to.
Other novels by Kazuo Ishiguro
A Pale View of Hills
An Artist of the Floating World
The Remains of the Day
When We Were Orphans
The Buried Giant
Another dystopian book that deals with medical issues and the meaning of the human soul is The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson.
I have not seen the film adaptation of Never Let Me Go, have you? What did you think?
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