Other Sellers on Amazon
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
Follow the Author
Never Let Me Go Paperback – March 14, 2006
|New from||Used from|
Enhance your purchase
"These Tangled Vines: A Novel" by Julianne MacLean
From the USA Today bestselling author of A Curve in the Road comes a sweeping and captivating tale of one woman’s journey to the lush vineyards of Tuscany―and into the mysteries of a tragic family secret.| Learn more
Frequently bought together
"A page turner and a heartbreaker, a tour de force of knotted tension and buried anguish.” —Time
“A Gothic tour de force. . . . A tight, deftly controlled story . . . . Just as accomplished [as The Remains of the Day] and, in a very different way, just as melancholy and alarming.” —The New York Times
"Elegaic, deceptively lovely. . . . As always, Ishiguro pulls you under." —Newsweek
“Superbly unsettling, impeccably controlled . . . . The book’s irresistible power comes from Ishiguro’s matchless ability to expose its dark heart in careful increments.” —Entertainment Weekly
From the Back Cover
Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it.
Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it's only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.
Never Let Me Go breaks through the boundaries of the literary novel. It is a gripping mystery, a beautiful love story, and also a scathing critique of human arrogance and a moral examination of how we treat the vulnerable and different in our society. In exploring the themes of memory and the impact of the past, Ishiguro takes on the idea of a possible future to create his most moving and powerful book to date.
"From the Hardcover edition.
- ASIN : 1400078776
- Publisher : Vintage (March 14, 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781400078776
- ISBN-13 : 978-1400078776
- Lexile measure : 970L
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.19 x 0.64 x 7.99 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It’s a great book for inducing sleep.
I cannot understand how anyone could rate this as a “good” book. I learned nothing, I won’t remember the boring characters, and the book is no longer on my bookshelf.
This book was a colossal WASTE OF TIME. I regret buying it and wasting my time reading it. There are so many good books waiting to be read, but this is not one of them!
I’ve let “Never Let Me Go”, go.
Firstly, what a horrible premise for a story.
Secondly, I really very strongly dislike his writing style. Ishiguro attempted to keep the heart of the plot a secret from the reader for practically the entire book. Even once, it was sort of revealed in a sideways manner, by one of the characters, the topic is still never dealt with head-on. He has a habit of restating things over, and over, and over again; and always with no resolution. The characters are weak and just plod along in their horrible existence. Then the book just ends. There isn't any resolution. There isn't any real tackling of why this particular thing is even allowed. The greatest argument I have against the book is that nothing is ever mentioned as to why the students don't simply run away; flee their horrific existence. I am so glad to be finished with this book. I believe this author is getting rich simply because someone with an English degree, somewhere, decided that students everywhere should read this book.
Everything about this narrator's world was odd and had a obvious disturbing vibe to it. What is even more terrifying is that I can see this happening in our future with the rapid advancements in technology. If that day comes, our values and morals will be put to the test when we try to define what is ethical and what is not.
This story reminded me of the animal agriculture industry in a lot of ways. We refuse to know what's going on when it comes to how meat and dairy products reach our plates so we put up walls and gates to hide us from the terrible truth.
In this scenario, clones have been created to harvest anything and everything from their bodies in order to save "real humans" from dying from diseases. About maybe 60% through the book, I started to understand what was happening. These 'students' were being raised for slaughter. The narrator was lucky to actually have somewhat of a "normal" upbringing while others were in far worse conditions.
It scares me to think that this could happen. These students had feelings, emotions, intelligence, etc. yet were treated like animals being ready to be killed. They were taught at a very young age that they would be donators. Everything about it was normalized in a way they didn't see it as problem. They believed that's how it has always been and nothing is wrong with it. They even have the students be the care takers for the donors because no one wants to see the suffering and pain the donors have to go through. How messed up is that?
I also found the relationships hard to swallow. What they thought of as friendships and love, were not anywhere near it. However, that's all they've known. Any difficult or deep conversation was immediately shunned so surface conversation was the only acceptable way to communicate. I thought Kath and Ruth's friendship was toxic in a lot of ways. It was almost as if they didn't know how to treat a friend. The one great example that I saw was in the Cottages. Ruth had two identities: the one that completely ignored Kath and Tommy and desired attention from the veterans and then the one that sat with Kath at night, spilling secrets and such. I think this is why Kath remained friends with her even though Ruth treated her so terribly. Her whole life she had to constantly filter herself but in those hours of sipping tea with no filter, it gave her some sort of relief. It allowed her to be a more truer form of herself.
Overall, I thought the book was incredibly mind provoking. I wish there was a happy ending but ultimately, we only receives answers rather than Kath, Tommy, and Ruth riding off into the sunset.
I found myself pretty detached while reading this...not in my usually hurry to finish and see how the characters and story developed. Perhaps that was part of the author’s effort? I’m not sure.
Our narrator, Kathy, was detached as well. Detached from her own experiences and even somewhat detached from the losses she experiences.
Only Tommy, who would sometimes give into rages, seemed to FEEL the appropriate outrage at times. But then it would get tucked back inside and hidden.
Tommy’s art is what I found most interesting and distinctive. The fact that he quit trying for awhile because his art was ‘no good’ but then later, while his art was still different... it became so stylized and small...maybe mechanical, but precise. I think Tommy’s art and the precision of it shows that each of these people is precise. So many little parts make us into who we are...
In the end, I found this book sad. It’s another testament of man’s inhumanity towards man. If we can make ourselves believe someone is ‘less than’ we are, in any way, then we can justify our mistreatment. The fact that we do it ‘in the name of science’ doesn’t work for me. I guess I believe in the soul. I believe in the sanctity of people... of life.
The narrative is simple, conversational with not too many characters to follow. The overshadowing ideas within the story are shrouded, yet slowly become clearer. However, “the final reveal” raises many more questions that linger after the final page is turned. The author has offered much to contemplate.
Top reviews from other countries
As the story unfolds, we realise that things are not as straightforward as the blandness of the narrative implies. Is this science fiction? Yet the horror is always tempered by the fatalism and acceptance of the narrator and her schoolmates.
Why does this far-fetched story ring so true? As gently as Kathy's narrative, it dawns on us that this is not science fiction, but a description of our own lives. The stoic acceptance the participants have for their truncated, pointless lives mirrors our own acceptance of our mortality, and the ultimate pointlessness of our own existence.
This book works because of the form of its narrative -- the soap-opera banality and fine-grained observation. In the detail, Ishiguro finds the soul of his characters, and us his readers.
Donors have only initials for their surnames, to signify their socially incomplete status and their partial anonymity as containers of spare body parts. Like all donors, the narrator, Kathy H, has limited knowledge. This is appropriate to her situation but frustrating for the reader, who wants to know more about this alternative reality, particularly how could the donor caste be so passive, so accepting of their fate? Even in the most extreme of human circumstances—the Holocaust, for example, or Stalin’s Gulag—there was resistance. Humans simply aren’t made to be passive receptors of a ghastly fate designated by others. Such a situation can be presented convincingly, as in Huxley’s Brave New World, but that novel presents a near-complete system of control, where members of the rigidly class-stratified society are designed in laboratories, are chemically produced, so that an epsilon is content to operate a lift all day. In Never, no explanation is given and the partial picture presented through the limited viewpoint of the narrator leaves too many questions unanswered. Explanations conveniently but awkwardly inserted in an unlikely character monologue cum question-and-answer session towards the end of the novel are inadequate and testify to the author’s awareness of the need for explanation rather than satisfy that need.
There is also a problem with the narrative voice. Reading such a limited narrator’s account for almost 300 pages becomes tedious, like listening to the conversation of schoolchildren for hours. The deliberately flat prose style and the endlessly detailed trivia frustrate the reader’s desire for a more engaging narrative voice. Some gain in power towards the end of the novel is not enough to offset the slog of getting there.
It may be objected that the position of the donors is simply an emphatic version of mortality and that therefore they represent all of us, but the problem of the limiting narrative voice and sketchy characterisation remains. Never’s alternative or exaggerated reality doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know about our ultimate fate, and our own thoughts about it may be more interesting than the flat monologue of Kathy H. Ishiguro’s novel is a sincere attempt to explore what it means to be human: our relationships with others, our need for love and achievement, and the inevitability of death, but the device of an incompletely imagined alternative reality narrated through a deliberately limited consciousness creates problems the novel doesn’t solve.