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Never Let Me Go
Never Let Me Go
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human. — Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are wel...  more »
ISBN-13: 9781400078776
ISBN-10: 1400078776
Publication Date: 3/14/2006
Pages: 304
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 594 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Members Wishing: 10
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reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
Others have expounded on the plot and the book itself, but here's what I thought of the physical book: This is a trade paperback, 8"x5", with a matte paperback cover which you could probably spill something on, provided that you wipe it off right away. The actual pages are not the best quality, it is that "better than newsprint" paper that the publishers have been moving to in the last few years.

As for what's inside the book, well... people looking for your classic science-fiction novel will be disappointed in this book, and from the reviews, it seems that they are. But this is a classic Ishiguro work instead, emphasizing understatement, beauty, nobility, and that haunting feeling of impossibility.

While it has an intricate plot based on a mystery surrounding the exclusive boarding school of Hailsham, the plot unwinds slowly, piecemeal, and bit-by-bit through the character's thoughts. It takes nearly the entire book to figure out that you're in a a vision of an alternate dystopian world. So for someone who is looking for a "DaVinci Code" type of plot-driven, wham, bam, thank you, ma'am book, this is not it. Instead, you'll be treated to our main character, Kathy. She is quiet, reserved, and mostly passive to what is happening around her, although she is not indifferent; the book is written in her voice. The best way to describe this voice of this book is "controlled." You are really kept wondering through most of the book at what is going on, and what is going to happen to this trio of friends. Though it's no David Lynch movie, it's more like Atwood's Handmaid's Tale. If you're looking for a definite conclusion to an episode, you want to end up laughing, and have everything wrapped up nicely and tied with a bow, this is not your book. But if you want something thought-provoking, solid, moving, and somewhat suspenseful, it's good for that. Plus, it's a quick read at 288 pages, and one that will make you think afterward.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 15
All I can say is this - I could barely speak when I finished this book, and it was a while before I picked up another book to read. Truly haunting, especially as you learn to care so much about the characters.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
This was a book that had me from the first sentence. One of those books that I wish had gone on & on so I could keep hearing about the characters. I did NOT expect to love this book so much, to me, it is one of those "hard to give away" books. Those "generic" authors keep writing about silly crime detectives, I think they should keep writing about characters like in this novel!
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 63 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I loved this book. I should say that it's not a book for everyone since it sometimes drags along with a lot of 'every day life' detail. I can see some people getting bored, but I decided to take the book for what it was worth; I realized early on the value of the story pacing because I knew in the end it would personalize me more the characters in such a way that I could understand their mindset. I lived their life with them. There has been some criticism of this book that no character rebelled against their fate as eventual organ donors, that everyone just seemed to accept that one day they would become donors and then die. I feel that this criticism is misguided. How are people to know what the world is like when they've been conditioned to live and think one way? From the day these clones were 'born,' they were raised to believe and live one way. That they accepted their fate is no different from the way that we accept our own. One can't expect characters to manifest deep philosophical thought about something they have no knowledge of whatsoever. In so many dystopia novels, people do rebel against the order in place and this is what readers come to expect. Why should it always be the case? Why should every one of these books be about the destruction of a misguided society? Can't it just be a snapshot in the process? The lives of a few people involved but not earth shattering? The characters never went into long speeches about how unfair their lives were, they just lived life, enjoyed what they could, but always knew they would die for the sake of others. To tell the truth, I couldn't stand to read the last page. It actually hurt to read them. I didn't want the book to end because I knew what would happen, I knew what would become of the characters. It wasn't even their sadness that I absorbed more than it was my own sadness that this was all that their lives were about.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 782 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This was a really sad, somewhat haunting, but strange tale. It was absorbing from the start, but explanations were somewhat vague, mostly because of the impression this was taking place in the present and past we live in when it would be more believable as a future scenario. It is really a love story and not what I was expecting. It is a unique and interesting read though it left me feeling disturbed in the end. It stays with you after you have finished. I would say it is a worthy addition to the 1,001 Books to Read...list.
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reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 74 more book reviews
It took me a long time to get into this book, and I did not like the way it jumped out of sequence, but the ending definitely moved me. I think the reader is supposed to get to know the main characters as "normal" people first, before more is revealed about them. This book had some very thought-provoking ideas that would be good for a discussion.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 33 more book reviews
I loved the way the author wrote this book. It takes place in a futuristic world and the author writes the story in such a way that assumes that the reader knows about it. But rather than confusing and annoying me, it just kept me intrigued. I couldn't wait for it to be finally spelled out for me! And the author does it in such a good way too. That said, it is such a good story. I definitely want to reread this book again.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 1114 more book reviews
Musing over this read I'm trying to decide what messages the author was sending to readers. Should cloning be allowed to harvest essential organs? Would clones have souls? How can others determine the life path of anyone, even clones, who could have a life of his/her own? I loved the story - sad though it was - and recommend it for reading. There is so much to ponder in this read. The friendship of Ruth, Kathy and Tommy is strong and true to life. All of us have friends with problems of communication and understand such as they encounter. Ruth, however, is quite selfish or perhaps she is so insecure that while she understands that Kathy and Tommy were meant to be together she manages to prevent this from happening until they are much older. So much time is lost for these young lovers before they find each other.