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562 of 586 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth Between the Lines
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...
Published on September 11, 2005 by Debbie Lee Wesselmann

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100 of 111 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in the small; disappointing in the large
Caveat: there are small spoilers ahead, though fewer than in the Publsher's Weekly review that Amazon provides.

I really wanted to like this book a lot, and it certainly is not without its virtues. The way Ishiguro sustains the voice of the narrator over the course of the story is impressive; Kathy's voice is every bit as distinctive as Stevens' in The Remains...
Published on May 25, 2005 by Allen Stairs


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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful but chilling book, April 5, 2006
By 
Neal J. King (Munich, Germany) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Never Let Me Go (Paperback)
The magic of Ishiguro's subtle writing style allows the reader, in this case as in "The Remains of the Day", to understand and appreciate aspects of which the narrator of the story is unaware.

This is not a cheerful book: The context of the story only gradually unfolds over the course of the book, allowing the full horror of the social arrangement to arise clearly.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I view this as literature, not science fiction, July 27, 2005
By 
This review is from: Never Let Me Go (Hardcover)
I didn't notice the "Science Fiction" sticker on the spine of my library copy, and I'm glad, because that would have probably unfairly prejudiced me against the book. There isn't a lot of science in here, and while that might be a detractor for some people, I consider it a plus. This is a beautiful story, and for the entire first half, the reader is caught up in a novel about childhood and adolescence in an idyllic boarding school, with only brief references to the science of cloning.

The children in this book were surpisingly un-curious. They accepted taboo subjects as such and didn't gossip among themselves or push their teachers for more information. Most children would have pushed a little further, I think. The reader, too, got stuck with accepting facts with no questioning, truly making the reader experience the formative years of the children in the boarding school. I was curious throughout the book and kept turning pages to try to get to the reason behind the boarding school.

I'm very impressed with how well the author captured the friendship between Ruth and Kate. Anyone who has had growing pains with a childhood best friend, when sometimes you embarass them to make yourself look better or because you are in competition, but other times you would lay down your life to protect them, will be able to relate.

I highly recommend this book to any literature fan. Don't be put off by the sci-fi side of it--this is a beautiful story, through and through.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE, May 17, 2005
By 
M. G. Jamison (Fairlawn, OH USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Never Let Me Go (Hardcover)
I finished this book a few weeks ago and can't stop thinking about it. The subject is, ostensibly, biothics, but it reminded me that every life is, essentially, a genetic experiment. Kathy H understands no more and no less of her own fate than anyone does, and the last image of her standing before a barbed wire fence clotted with trash is unforgettable.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The one flaw, March 27, 2006
By 
Wilson Pruitt (Austin, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Never Let Me Go (Paperback)
This was a beautifully written book, as most other reviewers have noted, but at times it became too obvious. At various moments throughout the narrative, questions are answered in an abrupt fashion. It felt like every time I was beginning to figure out what was going on, a figure appears who answers all my questions and then some. It became disconcerting at times, though the characters and prose kept me going.

It was a delightful read and worth the money and time, but it had a potential that few contemporary books do, and it fell short.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Intruduction to Kazuo Ishiguro!, March 26, 2006
This review is from: Never Let Me Go (Hardcover)
I came across this book by chance, started to read it and couldn't put it down, the only regret is that it ended too soon, i would have liked to know what happens to Kathy, altough i already know. It'a book that makes you think about the morality of science, how far will we go in the name of science? I also recommond the movie The Island for those of you who enjoyed this book.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Never Disappoint Me, May 31, 2005
By 
Elizabeth Darcy (Broken Arrow, OK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Never Let Me Go (Hardcover)
I was extremely disappointed by Ishiguro's new book. Never Let Me Go starts auspiciously with vague hints about an unsettling aspect to the narrator and her classmates' seemingly idyllic lives. Throughout the novel, the reader knows there's something not quite right. These hints kept me riveted and unable to turn away from the book; but Ishiguro reveals his hand too soon, telling the reader the truth about half way through the novel. However, the hints continue and lead the reader to believe there's more. There isn't. There is no surprising revelation at the end, no addition to the reader's knowledge. After reading this enthralling book in one sitting, I felt let down.
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12 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dolly and the Sheep, November 16, 2006
By 
R. Taylor (Baltimore, MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Never Let Me Go (Paperback)
The book is wearisome dreck.

First, what is it with Ishiguro and the "first-person-plus-flashback" narrative form? I'm familiar with Artist of the Floating World, Remains of the Day, and now this; I haven't looked at anything else Ishiguro has written, but my guess is they all follow the same structure. First person narratives that are mostly flashbacks.

Second, the characters don't evoke much pity, sympathy, or identification. They are all sheep! They grow up knowing what a lousy thing is going to be done to them, and yet they just wait around for it to happen. It's not as if they are living in some sort of police state. What prevents them from just leaving the situation? You want to shake them awake.

Third -- and this relates to their sheeplike nature, I suppose -- very little actually happens in this book. It's mostly talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. Character studies, I suppose, but listless and uninteresting characters. Oh, one gets a certain perverse pleasure in reading about the manipulative [...] Ruth, but at the same time, and for the same reasons, one is left wondering why any of the other characters even talk to her, let alone befriend her.

I really don't see what all the fuss is about. This book bored me to tears.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting only if you've never read a SF book before, November 1, 2011
This review is from: Never Let Me Go (Paperback)
This book might be interesting if you've never read a science fiction book before. The mystery is...not mysterious. And Ishiguro skips right over all of the interesting questions that he *could* have asked, such as (SPOILERS FOLLOW)
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1. The kids are going to be cut to pieces someday, but they go tamely to the slaughter and even work in the medical complex. Why?
2. There's a total of two (2) activists who care about the treatment of the clones. Where are the rest? What's the political climate in England? Is the story set in a V for Vendetta version of alternate England? The world-building is all blank.
3. What is life for, if life will end in your 20's, and you've been sterilized since birth and you have no biological family? A properly constructed novel would include some kind of realization by Kathy that she and her friends had a real life, and that it was worthwhile even if it was short, and that it had always been up to them to fill their lives with meaning, and that lots of meaning could be created other than the having of progeny. None of this is articulated.

Overall, a disappointing read.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THe author writes beautifully but,,, October 8, 2006
By 
This review is from: Never Let Me Go (Hardcover)
I felt as if I had read this book before. Maybe Brave New World. I just finally felt that I didn't care what happened to these clones. But the clones didn't seem to care either. All through the last half of the book,I kept muttering, "can't they run away?". The acceptance of their lot in life drove me to despair. Nevertheless this was a good read and I will read other books of his. He does have a spare and readable style.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sad and tepid account of childhood relationships., June 7, 2014
This review is from: Never Let Me Go (Kindle Edition)
Marginally interesting recollections of the lives of three young people with a not so happy ending. Well written, and I did have to finish it; just not my kind of book.
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Never Let Me Go
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Paperback - March 14, 2006)
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