Never let me go

Never Let Me GoNever Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the kind of book that would make you think in more ways that one. The kind that would linger on with you for long even after you are done with it because it would shake you on an emotional level in a supressing kind of way.

//I am not going to give any spoilers because that would end the entire purpose of reading the book//

Never Let Me Go is set in the school of Hailsham where Kathy, Tommy and Ruth are a group of students in the dark, mysterious part of an alternate world in England, where everything is hush hush and a lot of questions are not to be asked.

There is a wide world outside and the characters are being made ready for the fate that awaits them once they reach a particular stage.
The first part of the book prepares them in a subliminal way about what they are supposed to expect, so much so that when the time of revelation comes the entire shock of what their Life actually means is sucked out of them.
The voice of Kathy who narrates the story is so dead and passive that it would choke you to acknowledge how little she expects of her life and how little is she ready to fight for it, as if somewhere she already has given up without even knowing what she is missing on and why.

She speaks of human life, the fragility of it, memories, loss and the excruciatingly passive tone of narrative would make you think as if it’s an everyday thing.
It would start on something very serious about what Life meant and suddenly go into a different tangent altogether, as if what was being said wasn’t all that important. I think this is primarily to state the point once again as to how frivolously their life was taken to be that nothing else mattered anymore, not even their own Life to themselves.

I don’t like this book for the way it is written.
In fact it became annoying sometimes because you would expect the characters to feel emotions at some point in an intense discussion and you don’t see them get near it anytime sooner. The passivity would just break you apart because it would make your emotions even more difficult to supress.

There is a certain emptiness in the book as in the Life of it’s characters. The build up of tension and mystery is good enough but it just fails to reach its crescendo.

The despair and mystery as to what Life is to these characters would both combine to create a sense of questioning yourself about ethics, purpose of human life and about how we start taking cruelty for granted if it serves the intentions of more powerful beings.

It sends across a point that any life even if it is primarily for the service of others is still Life anyways, something not to be used or to be taken advantage of but being given equal chance to live UNCONDITIONALLY!

The entire onus of taking the book to it’s entirety and debating on it’s various issues from its existence to it’s end is up to the readers. There would be a lot of conflict as to how you would think and what this would mean to you.

Thankfully it’s a dystopian fictional book set in an alternate world where such things would be a possibility. Only that makes it’s reading somewhat breathable.

Recommended for those who like books that take pathos to a level and then leave you with it.

View all my reviews

Categories: Book Review, dystopia, Man booker shortlist | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Never let me go

  1. I’m not sure if I’m ready to read this yet. Do you feel like you need something light to follow it up?


  2. Had I known what this book is about I too would have probably waited a bit before reading it. It is definitely not a light read so yes I think something light would be welcome.


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