Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Never Let Me Go Paperback – March 14, 2006
|New from||Used from|
Books with Buzz
"Killers of the Flower Moon" is a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Don't worry, however. Knowing that will not have spoiled this novel for you. That scenario is merely the starting-point for a wonderfully immersive reading experience that is classical Ishiguro -- a dreamy, sometimes melancholy novel in which the banal surface of everyday lives, thoughts and conversations is pierced by sudden glimpses of hideous cruelty and indifference, sudden revelations of rage and despair.
Many reviewers on this page have approached the book as sci-fi, and have generally been disappointed that the story seems too simple or hackneyed, or that the vision of human nature is too bleak.
But Ishiguro is far too clever a writer to offer something as easily categorized as science fiction. Indeed, "Never Let Me Go" is not set in some dystopian future, but in the Britain of the 1980s, the era of Thatcher governments and socialist town councils, concrete tower blocks, dreary New Towns, institutionalized inefficiency and music cassettes. It is a kind of parallel universe in which the past, present and future flow together, mingling today's fears with dread of what is to come and regret for what has passed.
This, too, is classical Ishiguro country, the emotional landscape of "The Remains Of The Day" and "The Unconsoled." The novel is narrated by Kathy, one of the clones, whose task is to provide care for other clones as they pass through successive "donations" to their final "completion." Serene and dutiful, Kathy chronicles the lives of her fellow-clones, which are as dehumanized as whoever is in charge can make them. There are very few points in the novel where "real people" express their sincere opinions. Most of those who do interact with the main characters are in the position of guardians, and in fact the world of "real people" is largely faceless and unknowable to the clones -- except that, raised to have a childlike acceptance of their fate, they also develop a child's-eye instinct for the truth, and this is what makes their story so pathetic and so moving.
The world of the "real people" is thus also unknowable to the reader. We have to guess what that larger society is like, what the 80s and 90s might have been like for people as alienated as Kathy, Tommy and the other clones, how that parallel universe might have existed, in some sense, even though we didn't realize it at the time. We have to ask ourselves, could we really have been so cruel? Were we really so indifferent?
"Never Let Me Go" is a powerful novel. It carries with it a sense of gathering darkness as it rolls along, exploring questions that trouble us all in the second decade of the 21st Century. As with other Ishiguro novels, the real revelation is that the book is not about what it seems to be about. Each reader will have to decide what the real subject of the novel is.
Nothing else to say, except that this is a wonderful book which will stay with you long after you turn the final page. Very highly recommended.
That said, I found the tone of the book, reading it instead of listening to it, quite somber. Slightly depressing. But still engrossing. (I purchased this for my Kindle recently, so I'm reading it again as opposed to listening to the audio version, and it seems more bleak).
In short, I feel it is well written, there is a little bit of suspense, and well-developed characters that keep the unusual book going at a decent pace. There are a lot of allusions, because the main character is often talking about the past, so she doesn't quite remember everything exactly and doesn't quite know what to make of things because she sees things differently as she matures. It's interesting to read her thought processes.
Much attention is given to small, ponderous details, and the larger questions are merely hinted at. In addition, the main characters are strangely passive. You could argue that it's conditioning, but those in similar positions in history - for example, slaves - always rose up. Donors could have threatened suicide, banded together, tried to escape. If they look like everyone else, couldn't they have tried to slip into regular society? Something, anything but what they do - just watch passively and accepting everything as fate. The only thing that comes close is their asking for a 'deferral', but it didn't come close enough.
Much like 'The Remains of the Day'. I am still trying to see what people see in this book. There are many dystopian novels vividly painted that portray horrific realities; there's nothing original about sci-fi involving the moral complexity of cloning. Only those who are unfamiliar with the vast genre of literary-quality sci-fi feel that a book is of value merely for coming up with such an idea. More is needed. Unfortunately we don't get it.
Stylistically, there's nothing to keep one reading but plot, as the language is not exceptional or beautiful. Compare it to Cormac McCarthy's language, for example, which is worthy of being read out of context for its own right; even if I hated his book's topic I'd be compelled onward by the language itself. At least in 'Never Let Me Go' the language is clearly edited, clean and clear, but as someone who loves literary fiction and poetry I notice a strong absence of complex structure, imagery, or poetic rhythm. It's plain, plain words, but without the effect of Hemingway, to the extent that even a dedicated reader begins to skim, then skip ahead. Only at the end did I begin to hope it would get good, that the meat of the novel would finally be revealed. Perhaps, I thought, he'll bring something out like a bomb, so shattering, that its contrast from the dullness of the rest of the book will give it heightened impact.
No such luck.
Passive fatalism is dull, and people who are like sheep aren't the ones I want to read about, identify with, or ponder. Worlds without any cracks in the seams at all - a student who escapes? A teacher who tries to shelter the students? - such worlds are colorless. And the guardians fall flat. Why not bring them to life, have one who always wanted kids accept the clones as her substitute children, or something, anything to show us who they are, really, what their motivations are.
Not to mention ludicrous aspects that real sci-fi genre authors are forced by alert readers to address. Like, how do people walk and have sex while missing 2-3 of their main vital organs? I think one donation should be enough to end a life - vital organs aren't called 'vital' for no reason.
There's a whole world left out that we could have witnessed. Have them view clones growing in tanks, have an actual sighting of a 'possible', explain biologically why they are unable to reproduce if they have all the same organs as us - are they fully human duplicates? Or have they been altered not to have reproductive organs? Or just sterilized? Finding out these things one by one would be an interesting experience.
Except, the character have so little curiosity. Yes, we get that people tend to accept whatever system they are raised in as the norm and not question. But not everyone. Someone always wonders. And once it's all out in the open, and they are coupled up and in love on the farm, you'd think there'd be some real discussion, self-questioning (are we human?), us vs. them, clone power!, let's get the heck out of Dodge. Seriously.And if they look just like everyone else, why wouldn't they try to escape, or go exploring - are we seriously to believe they have freedom to go for long car rides and they just follow rules? Shouldn't they be tattoed or something, have a mark on their forehead to distinguish them from the 'normal' humans? In many ways I found this book unbelievable, and the first rule of sci-fi is that it must, however fantastic, create a believable dream a la Neuromancer. This book doesn't.
All the author does is paint a situation.
I prefer books where the character inside the painted situation actually do something, and we get to go along for the ride.
With this book, all we do is get in a car going 20, and watch it accelerate to 25 on a flat stretch of unmarked highway. On a cloudy day. Not my idea of a literary masterpiece. Not even close.
Still, for writers the book is worth reading as a guide of what NOT to do. For everyone else, just watch the movie, or better yet, skip both and do something more enlightening.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
And I loved every page of it.
I had to read this book for a seminar at my university, I had never before heard of it.Read more