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I used this for my school isu novel and I have to say I was not expecting myself to be as emotionally drained as I was. The Book is a good easy read and although I felt a little dissatisfied by the end, I think it's a unique take on a dystopian society.
I wanted to like this a lot more than I did - people I know loved it, I liked Remains of the Day, some great reviews, etc. - but it didn't happen. It only missed getting a half-star from me because I enjoy thinking about the themes Ishiguro presents. But what an awful presentation...
I get it. This is a parable about our times (trying not to give away any spoilers) and that was the author's point, not the nitty-gritty details of this alternative dystopia he created. But it is inexplicable to me why he chose to try to make his points with such a slow, dull, and shallow story. The characters take a lot of walks. Sometimes they go somewhere but nothing happens. Lots of boring inanity about teenagers getting into tiffs with each other. Great detail about a tree, but not about the horrors of this world.
I gave this 4 stars because I found the entire premise unique and that is what I enjoy most in a book. It was a good ending and I had hoped it would not end in some dopey way. I would have enjoyed a little more about the history of the theme of the book but that may have made it seem dystopian and I do not think the author was going for that, but that is just my opinion.
Spoiler Alert: It is eerie as you begin to realize the purpose of the school and the role of the students and their future lives as either carers or organ doors. As clones grown as a field from which to pick body parts to they have souls or are they mere bodies? This one will creep into your mind and make you uneasy. Keira Knightly starred in this movie and it was quite scary as they realize their time of harvesting is coming due.
I went into this book not having a clue as to what it was actually about...any descriptions I read were vague, and rightly so...to say anything is to say too much.
So a spoiler free summary then:
The students of Hailsham have grown up together...it is a boarding school, but is there something else going on? The terms used by the author are mysterious. The story features Kathy and her relationships/memories associated with Ruth, Tommy and other students who have touched her life.
Once the students leave Hailsham and enter the “real” world, more details are revealed which help to explain their lives and their place in society.
Pros: An inventive and unique plot, with an interesting, almost conversational writing style.
Cons: Due to the lack of description I was very confused at the beginning of this book...I thought maybe the author was just using terms that I wasn’t familiar with. But as the book progresses, everything becomes clear. Unfortunately I didn’t connect with any of the characters...but maybe that’s the way it was supposed to be??
Thought provoking subject matter!
Plot. The students at Hailsham are different. The plot twist is *why* they are different.
Prose. Concise prose, but still suspenseful and emotional.
Steeped in symbolism and subtext, it feels somewhat allegorical. But on the surface of the novel, it's also quite immersive and tragic, just for what is happening and what the characters are experiencing. Brilliant novel, beautifully written and very easy to read. Would definitely recommend.
An interesting premise and good character development, but a slow read. I finally finished book one but I won't continue the series.
In my opinion, Never Let Me Go is one of the most criminally underrated books ever written. This atmospheric novel follows the life of Kathy, from her idyllic boarding school days at Hailsham to her current position as a carer. This genre-bending book is technically science fiction but reads like literary fiction. Ishiguro’s timing is impeccable; the narrative unfolds in such a way that you may not quite realize that there is a mystery, but when the “twist” is revealed, you feel you knew it all along. This subtly heartbreaking book explores what it means to be human in a way that has stuck with me for a long time.
If you want to get immersed in another world for awhile, try this book. The pacing is meditative and slow, yet there is underlying tension that piques your curiosity and keeps you reading. The book has a lot to say about what makes us human and how we should treat each other, but it doesn't hit you over the head with those messages. This is top-notch writing from a knighted British author who is a winner of the Nobel prize for literature.
This is up there in the top five favorite scifi books I have ever read. It does come from a younger point of view - thus written perhaps a little simpler than some would like - but the build to the reveal is both shocking and stunning. Highly recommend.
Ok, the author won a Nobel prize, and Time called it "The best novel of 2005." Hmm. Interesting subject, but I struggled through it. It was like reading a 13 year old's diary! Maybe that was the author's intent, but for me, it one of those books I was glad to be done reading.
Finally read this book after years of wanting to do so; I was not disappointed. Quietly thought provoking, it created a lovely discussion at the Main book club.
A fun to read coming to age story of 3 life-long friends that meet at an exclusive English academy and stay close for decades. Beautifully written as a first person narrative and full of zany plot twists. I highly recommend this light-hearted novel for readers of all ages.
Fun read took 4 or 5 days. Literature. Well paced, never too exciting. Very readable. Much like the film and I remember the film quite beautiful. Recommended.
This could have been a very good read but I found it hard to get through. There was too much information about things that didn't matter and were boring. I thought the characters were really boring, too. I finished it because I wanted to find out what was really happening but I woudn't recommend it.
In the same way the movie previews left me uninterested, so did this book, regardless of what reviews had to say about it. To me the characters were lifeless and robotic and I couldn't find it myself to care about any of them, so around a quarter of the way through I moved on to something else.
I did not like this book and only finished it because I wanted to know the ending without cheating by reading ahead. I'm going to quote directly from the library's description of this book so other readers will know somewhat of it's contents before attempting to read as there's barely any conversations and only lots of descriptions.
"As an adult, Kathy re-engages in lapsed friendships with classmates Ruth and Tommy, examining the details of their shared youth and revisiting with growing awareness the clues and anecdotal evidence apparent to them even as youngsters that they were "different" from everyone outside. Ultimately, readers learn that the Hailsham children are clones, raised solely for the purpose of medical harvesting of organs, their lifespan circumscribed by years when they are designated as carers, followed by a short period as active donors, culminating in what is obliquely referred to as 'completion.'"
Winner of the Booker Prize for his "Remains of the Day", Ishiguro once again writes about characters that live in a microcosmic world. The story is told by the main character, Kathy H., who is trying to understand the mysterious world she lived in from childhood to young adulthood while attending Hailsham, a private preparatory school. The teachers and guardians sheltered the students from reality, allowing them little contact with the outside world. A very interesting book that questions science, ethics, and being human. — Barb H., Outreach Services
I always seem to find odd books like this one and I always seem to like them. "Special" children raised in a boarding home. Don't read any spoilers!!
This novel reminded me of Kurt Vonnegut's take on the meaning of life: "To help each other get through this, whatever this may be." Every character gave their entire lives to this purpose. In essence it will take more than a few angry protests, posts or prepping to impress me. When we start hiding Muslims and Mexicans in our basements to protect families from deportation and separation then I will have faith in humanity again.
Interesting, futuristic drama set in the English countryside. Tale of a woman reflecting on her years growing up in an unusual boarding school for "special" children. I was not quite sure what the overall message that Ishiguro wanted the reader to come away with. Just an unusual story.
A poignant and melancholy portrayal of the lives of those who cannot live and their search for some sort of humanity denied by their very makers. The simplicity of this moving story lends meaning to every passage and allows reflections of our own selves and the justifications we make every day of our lives.