14 July 2017

Book Review: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

I bought this book new because it was on my Goodreads TBR. I don't remember who recommended it or why I put it there. But from the very beginning, I could tell there was something different about it.

In fact, this is one of those books where at first you have a sense that you're missing something important about the world you've fallen into. Then as you go on, a vague chill catches you as you think you understand what's happening. When the characters finally come out with it in blatant terms, the fact that you were right doesn't soften the blow.

The author does this all very well. He meanders through the entire story with some pretext that the narrator Kathy is meant to be with her friend Tommy but their relationship is more or less sabotaged by the manipulative friend Ruth. This plot distracts you from the main theme and from the something amiss I mentioned earlier.

What I liked about the novel: the author's ability to weave a tale and theme together is superb. I can't say I would have read a book with this "moral of the story" had it been advertised as such.

What I disliked: in his ability to keep these characters as real as possible, the language is sometimes vulgar and sexual topics are thrown around without much shame. Nothing was graphic, thankfully, but the main character's sexual relationships are discussed freely.

Overall, I would rate this book well because it made me think. That might not have been what I was looking for when I bought it, but it became one of those books that's haunted me a bit. I can't say that about very many books, to be honest. Perhaps: The Boy In The Striped Pajamas and The Book Thief, though the context was different. Similarly, the movie Gattacca.