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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

When I saw this book in the library, I instantly picked it up. I had a vague memory of knowing it being into a movie and probably, I had seen one of its trailer. But, I wasn't really sure what to expect from it.

I read a couple of reviews on Goodreads and found that many people classified it as a science fiction. After reading it, I really won't agree to that. The book indeed has a scientific backdrop, but overall it is a story about 3 friends Kathy, Ruth and Tom who were boarders at Hailsham. It is the story of their friendship, how it bloomed and survived the test of time and the haunting realities of life.

Hailsham is a fictional elite boarding school in England where children are brought in a supportive environment with a special emphasis being given on creativity and health. The students are treated special and told that they are going to be very vital to the world after they are done with their schooling and leave Hailsham. The seemingly idyllic boarding school seems like an ordinary school at first, but soon the readers get an idea of what exactly it is. One of the few things I noticed was that none of them talked about their home or their parents and infact said not to have an idea how the world was beyond the boundaries of the school.

The story starts with Kathy, now 31 years old, working as a carer reminiscing her school days at Hailsham. She reflects on her life and charts a slow progression of her growth, her friendship with Ruth and Tom. She tells how the knowledge of what lies ahead in life for them and what role they have to play in the outside world affects their life and personality. The readers get to know the story through the voice of Kathy through out the novel. The deep introspection in Kathy's narration leads to a monotonity in the story. I am not really very enthusiastic how the novel reveal itself to the readers. Despite, the fact that book has won apprecation and accolade and have been loved by many, I found it rather slow, inconsistent  and unengaging after a point of time. Having said that, I did love some parts of it, like when the narrator tells about her school and friends, I was transported to my own school days. Once Kathy, Ruth and Tom completed their schooling at Hailsham and left for the outside world, there wasn't much apppeal for me in the rest of the story.

This book was a bit too heavy for my taste and the ending left me a bit too uneasy. I didn't really get well with the whole scientific idea behind it and in the end found it a bit disturbing.

Kazuao Ishiguro is Japanese born British author. Never Let Me Go was nominated for 2005 Man Booker Prize.

3 comments:

  1. I half-read this one ,but had to give away the book because it was way over my library reading time. I found the narrative pace a little slow too. I was a little surprised to see so many rave reviews for that book. well,i havent read the entire book,so cant really comment.

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  2. Have read many reviews of this book on any site. But sounds like 'not of my liking'. Thanks for the review.

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  3. I have been away so lots of catching up to do! I was very interested that although you do not agree this is science fiction. Is that not what fiction with a scientific bias is. I thought it was a very poignant story of love and friendship that left me thinking about the fragility of life for a long time afterwards. I gave it 5* on Goodreads, maybe my review was one you saw there.

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