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Never Let Me Go [Kindle Edition]

Kazuo Ishiguro
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,105 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $8.56
You Save: $7.39 (46%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day comes a devastating new novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were.

Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is another classic by the author of The Remains of the Day.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews Review

All children should believe they are special. But the students of Hailsham, an elite school in the English countryside, are so special that visitors shun them, and only by rumor and the occasional fleeting remark by a teacher do they discover their unconventional origins and strange destiny. Kazuo Ishiguro's sixth novel, Never Let Me Go, is a masterpiece of indirection. Like the students of Hailsham, readers are "told but not told" what is going on and should be allowed to discover the secrets of Hailsham and the truth about these children on their own.

Offsetting the bizarreness of these revelations is the placid, measured voice of the narrator, Kathy H., a 31-year-old Hailsham alumna who, at the close of the 1990s, is consciously ending one phase of her life and beginning another. She is in a reflective mood, and recounts not only her childhood memories, but her quest in adulthood to find out more about Hailsham and the idealistic women who ran it. Although often poignant, Kathy's matter-of-fact narration blunts the sharper emotional effects you might expect in a novel that deals with illness, self-sacrifice, and the severe restriction of personal freedoms. As in Ishiguro's best-known work, The Remains of the Day, only after closing the book do you absorb the magnitude of what his characters endure. --Regina Marler

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–The elegance of Ishiguro's prose and the pitch-perfect voice of his narrator conspire to usher readers convincingly into the remembered world of Hailsham, a British boarding school for special students. The reminiscence is told from the point of view of Kathy H., now 31, whose evocation of the sheltered estate's sunlit rolling hills, guardians, dormitories, and sports pavilions is imbued with undercurrents of muted tension and foreboding that presage a darker reality. 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. [...] Ishiguro conveys with exquisite sensitivity the emotional texture of the threesome's relationship, their bonds of personal loyalty that overcome fractures of trust, the palpable boundaries of hope, and the human capacity for forgiveness. Highly recommended for literary merit and as an exceptional platform for the discussion of a controversial topic.–Lynn Nutwell, Fairfax City Regional Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1184 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0676977111
  • Publisher: Vintage (April 5, 2005)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FCK2TW
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,693 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
580 of 607 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth Between the Lines September 11, 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Set in the 1990's, Kazuo Ishiguro's quietly disturbing novel aims to make us question the ethics of science even though the author never directly raises the topic. The narrator of Never Let Me Go is Kathy H., a woman who introduces herself as a "carer" mere months away from becoming a "donor," as though we should know what these terms mean. This nearness to ending one stage of her life to entering another causes her to reminisce about Hailsham, the school in the English countryside where she grew up with her two closest friends, Tommy D. and Ruth. The three form an unlikely trio: Ruth is headstrong and imaginative; Tommy has an uncontrollable temper; and Kathy is steady and observant in the subtleties of human behavior. It is this last quality belonging to Kathy H. that sets the tone of the novel. Everything is precisely told in an even, matter-of-fact voice that never questions the strange terminology and conversations that alert the reader to something more grave lurking under what seems, on the surface, to be an ordinary story about three childhood friends. As the three grow up, they begin to face moments more important than the minor disagreements of childhood.

Ishiguro's richly textured description of the relationship among the three supplies all the details without confronting the larger issues. As Kathy tells us, the guardians at Hailsham both tell and not tell the students the truth about Hailsham and their lives--exactly what Ishiguro does to the reader. The truth is doled out in increments, over the course of the entire novel, requiring the reader to understand what is implied as much as what is told. The frightening side to all this is that the characters never question the course of their lives.
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874 of 954 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Banality of Amoral Science April 13, 2005
Kazuo Ishiguro's brilliant new book, NEVER LET ME GO, returns the author to the themes and approaches he first addressed in THE REMAINS OF THE DAY. Just as Stevens the butler devoted himself unthinkingly and uncritically to the minutiae of daily life on behalf of his Nazi sympathizing master, Lord Darlington, the main characters in Ishiguro's latest book focus on the irrelevant small details and minor tribulations of their lives without ever once contemplating the bigger picture. In both cases, the author not only conjures the question of the meaning of life, he asks us to contemplate the tragedy of wasted lives.

On its surface, NEVER LET ME GO tells the story of three special young people - Kathy H., Tommy D., and Ruth - all of whom meet as students at an idyllic private school called Hailsham. Kathy H. is the narrator, now 31 years old, telling her story in hindsight. She recalls her student days at Hailsham fondly, filling her tale with numerous minor anecdotes about the most mundane affairs that slowly reveal the nature of the school and its students' place in the world. (...) Ishiguro creates a convincing vocabulary, milieu, and mythology for this setting: guardians, carers, donors, completing, Exchanges, Sales, the Gallery, Norfolk, and an eerie sense of the students having "been told and not told."

NEVER LET ME GO accomplishes the remarkable challenge of presenting 288 pages' worth of reading between the lines. Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy are not the real main characters of this story, only the visible ones. The real main characters are invisible, the ones who have not only facilitated the use of cloning as a form of organ farming, but who have created a conditioning environment in which their victims accept their fate without question, as the natural order of things.
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333 of 372 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Brilliant May 20, 2006
WARNING: This review contains "spoilers," information that reveals key plot details.

This novel works beautifully on multiple levels, giving it a quality that kept me thinking about its plot, characters and themes long after I finished its final page. On the most obvious level it is a sort of alternate history that depicts a dystopian society in 1990s England that breeds human clones to become organ donors for "the normals." In that aspect, it brings to mind Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, where humans are created in test tubes and have fixed functions that they grow up to perform in society.

However, Never Let Me Go is more subtle than either Huxley or -- another obvious comparison -- George Orwell's 1984, in that the oppressor is not specifically depicted and there is no one person or group that is in obvious conflict with Ishiguro's main characters. There is nothing overt that keeps them in their places, whether that place is at school when they are children, or at "recovery centers" while their internal organs are being systematically plucked out. I kept wondering why the two lovers, Kathy and Tommy, didn't just pick up their stuff, get in her car and take off for parts unknown, eventually blending in with the "normal" population.

And that brings me to the next, deeper level, of the novel, which is about the nature of humanity. All of this novel's characters seem to meekly accept their fates, even Tommy, who has a temper and often throws fits of rage when frustrated. They are also hyper-sensitive to one another, reading motivations and emotions into each small gesture and remark, as though every utterance and movement each one makes is deliberate, premeditated and loaded with significance.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Right bottom corner of the entire book (covers and pages) was crushed and bent. Packaging did not protect it.
Published 1 day ago by Kathleen McGinty-Johnston
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Surprise
I'm not going to write a lengthy review, because I am sure others did that. However, the book was fantastic.
Published 1 day ago by iDislikePenNames
5.0 out of 5 stars Alternative reason for living
Disturbing. A great novel
Published 2 days ago by Law Offices Of Margolin
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
I got this book as a present for a friend. I read this a few years back and it is one of my favorites. Highly suggest giving it a read if you like dystopian books. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Hannah
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Book is way better....slow and not very interesting.
Published 4 days ago by leucydan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 7 days ago by Pamela Mackenzie
5.0 out of 5 stars heart-wrenching medical ethics fantasy
This book broke my heart in a way that I know will last for decades. Even Ruth serves to make the point that the moral strives for. To say more really would be a spoiler. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Mom of Nearly Triplets
5.0 out of 5 stars mind bogg; ing and haunting.
mind bogg;ing and haunting.
Published 11 days ago by Darlene klein
2.0 out of 5 stars Why
I had heard so much about this book for years, and I finally read it and I wonder why everyone thinks this is such a great book.
Published 14 days ago by Sassafrass
5.0 out of 5 stars What does it mean to be fully human?
Beautifully written. Ishiguro makes takes us into a world where choice of being fully human has been denied yet the three characters he focuses on force us to think carefully... Read more
Published 16 days ago by S. L. Hofsommer
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More About the Author

Kazuo Ishiguro is the author of six novels, including the international bestsellers The Remains of the Day (winner of the Booker Prize) and Never Let Me Go. He received an OBE for service to literature and the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.

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Topic From this Discussion
Why didn't anyone consider leaving?
If rebellion is truly part of human nature (and I'm not sure that's true), does the fact that the clones don't try to rebel imply that they are in fact less than human?
I would also suggest that they do try to rebel, but that their rebellions (Tommy's refusal to be an artist, Ruth's attempt to... Read More
Oct 13, 2006 by J. Bubar |  See all 50 posts
Artwork / Souls?
That's a fascinating observation!

I think that we are meant to accept that Miss Emily and her cohorts were sincere both in their moral objections to the abuse of clones, and their conviction that their students were "fully human". But, now that you've pointed it out, the parallel... Read More
Sep 9, 2010 by Amazon Customer |  See all 5 posts
"We're modelled from trash." ?
At the end of the novel Miss Emily explains that people did not want to think of the clones as human. They did not want to think about how they got their cure for cancers and diseases, they just wanted it to stay in the shadows. We also know that most "students" were not raised like the... Read More
Apr 4, 2010 by Designertoast |  See all 7 posts
The motion picture.
Carey Mulligan. Excellent!
Dec 28, 2009 by muirceadh |  See all 8 posts
What does the boat symbolize?
The beached boat is a multiple metaphor for the clones' lives (beached, fixed, discarded after use, a denizen of a desolate space ...) as well as the fact that, although they have all the features of normal people (or boats) they cannot go anywhere and do not really comprehend why, other than... Read More
Mar 5, 2011 by DDH |  See all 5 posts
Driving a car through the school gate. Be the first to reply
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