Saturday, September 4, 2010

Never Let Me Go by Kazou Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go

by Kazuo Ishiguro
published 2005
completed July 2010

Kathy, the narrator, has finished her time as a carer and is reflecting back on her past.  She takes the reader back to the beginning, her time at Hailsham, a boarding school for special children.  Ruth and Tommy are her closest friends, and the story follows the lives of the three friends.

I can't say much more about the plot of the book because the beauty of it is in the discovery.  There is a horrifying secret that slowly unfolds to both the reader and the individuals involved.  It was disturbing, but so very, very good.  I've read many reviews that complain that Kathy is a boring narrator and lacks emotion.  To me, her matter-of-fact descriptions are what make this book so haunting.  She has accepted her path as inevitable and it is so sad.  The relationship between Tommy and Kathy was moving, but it makes the book all the more heart-wrenching.  I found myself frustrated with Ruth.  She was self-centered and in the end, not a very good friend to either Kathy or Tommy.

There are ethical issues that are brought up in this book and it really made me think.  What would I do if placed in these circumstances?  I highly recommend Never Let Me Go.

A movie version of Never Let Me Go is coming out soon and stars Carrie Mulligan as Kathy and Keira Knightely as Ruth.  I loved Carrie in An Education and I think she will do a fantastic job as Kathy.  I watched the trailer for the movie before reading it and I wish I hadn't.  Don't make my mistake!  If you plan on reading this book, avoid all spoilers.  The movie preview gives so much away.


  1. I went into this book barely knowing anything about it and I was "Whhhhaaaaaa?" I think it might work really well as a movie.

  2. Jenners--I think I would have felt the same way if I hadn't watched the movie trailer first. I agree that it should make for an interesting movie. Most people complain about the slow pace, but I doubt the movie will be slow if they have to condense everything into two hours.