Never Let Me Go Book Review

Posted Jan 20 2011, 8:00 am in ,


NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro is a tough book to review without divulging spoilers.

I’ll do my best.

Set in Britain and narrated by “Kathy,” one of three friends raised at a desirable boarding school called Hailsham, the story’s flashbacks seem to indicate the book is about the friendships forged when Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were young students.  And it’s true…. to some extent.

I feel like a deranged infomercial host with this… “But wait! There’s more!” A lot more.  But Ishiguro never actually tells us the more part. Instead, we’re left to figure it out for ourselves along with Kathy, Ruth and Tommy.  When I figured out what was really going on at Hailsham, I kept waiting for the characters to rebel, to run away, to raise a little hell because what’s really going on at Hailsham is pretty damn dark.

I suppose it’s a coming-of-age story but NEVER LET ME GO is more a subtle commentary on the scientific debates we’re already having, the ones where we weigh the ramifications of playing God. The story merely removes the what-ifs and presents an alternate reality in which science fiction is now fact, only nobody truly questions anything… except us, the readers.

I found myself wishing for more to happen – something big, something explosive that would change Kathy’s world. It never happened.

Maybe that was the point all along.

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7 responses to “Never Let Me Go Book Review”

  1. Linda G. says:

    Hmm. I kind of prefer stuff to happen in books…

    Ah, well. Not every book will be my cup of tea, and that’s okay.

  2. huh…maybe I should finish it…your review makes it sound a whole lot better than it was where I stopped to write my review. I’m still trying to decide whether to finish it or not. *sigh*

  3. abby mumford says:

    yeah, see, your review makes it seem more interesting that what i found on the pages of the book. although, if what i think happens, i too would be pissed that no one raised any hell.

    maybe i should just have you summarize it for me. save me some time…. :)

  4. Patty says:

    I felt let down while reading it. It was a bit too subtle for my taste.

  5. I agree with Karla and Abby, your review made it seem more interesting, but I just don’t know if I want to spend any more time trying to find the interesting or waiting for it to happen. But kudos to you for finishing the book.

  6. Patty says:

    I’ve been forcing myself to finish the book selections, even if I don’t like them, so that I can feel “qualified” to critique it. Does that make sense? I need to figure out why I don’t like it.

    In this case, I felt the whole criticism on the human condition expressed in this book was just too subtle.

    I’m not a very subtle writer though I suppose there are times when subtlety works.

  7. Great review, where’s the cover from by the way? Is it American, only I have spotted that one before, and being a boring librarian these things interest me.

    If you’re interested I’ve written a review of Never Let Me Go myself: