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Never Let Me Go

by

Never Let Me Go Cover

ISBN13: 9781400043392
ISBN10: 1400043395
All Product Details

 

Awards

The Rooster 2006 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Staff Pick

Ishiguro takes a meditative look at childhood, loss of innocence, and human deception and the drive for survival. This is a haunting narrative that is joyous and sad at once — reminiscent of Philip K. Dick, but with a very literary and poignant eye for deeper "human" emotion. This book takes its time, but it will surprise you. In the end, it may even change the way you think about the nature of man.
Recommended by John B, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"The beauty in this novel must be carefully distinguished from its power to distress. Ultimately, there is a connection: the depth and quality of the relationships between Kath, Tommy and Ruth certainly accentuate the cruelty of their deaths. From under the shadow of their fate, Ishiguro draws warmly compelling vignettes of love and friendship that cumulatively establish an urgent and engrossing narrative pace." Ruth Scurr, Times Literary Supplement (read the entire Times Literary Supplement)

"Suffice it to say that Ishiguro serves up the saddest, most persuasive science fiction you'll read....With its fantastic, inky bleakness, Never Let Me Go itself mutates the meaning of 'Ishiguroish,' or 'Ishiguroesque,' or whatever epithet sticks to this wonderful writer." Joseph O'Neill, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)

"Never Let Me Go is a fantasy so mundanely told, so excruciatingly ordinary in transit, its fantastic elements so smothered in the loam of the banal and so deliberately grounded, that the effect is not just of fantasy made credible or lifelike, but of the real invading fantasy, bursting into its eccentricity and claiming it as normal. Given that Ishiguro's new novel is explicitly about cloning, that it is, in effect, a science fiction set in the present day, and that the odds against success in this mode are bullyingly stacked, his success in writing a novel that is at once speculative, experimental, and humanly moving is almost miraculous." James Wood, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human.

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.

Review:

"In this luminous offering, [Ishiguro] nimbly navigates the landscape of emotion — the inevitable link between present and past and the fine line between compassion and cruelty, pleasure and pain." Booklist

Review:

"Ishiguro's elegant prose and masterly ways with characterization make for a lovely tale of memory, self-understanding, and love." Library Journal (starred review)

Review:

"Perfect pacing and infinite subtlety.... A masterpiece of craftsmanship that offers an unparalleled emotional experience. Send a copy to the Swedish Academy." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, a moving new novel that subtly reimagines our world and time in a haunting story of friendship and love.

As a child, Kathy-now thirty-one years old-lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her, but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory.

And so, as her friendship with Ruth is rekindled, and as the feelings that long ago fueled her adolescent crush on Tommy begin to deepen into love, Kathy recalls their years at Hailsham. She describes happy scenes of boys and girls growing up together, unperturbed-even comforted-by their isolation. But she describes other scenes as well: of discord and misunderstanding that hint at a dark secret behind Hailshams nurturing facade. With the dawning clarity of hindsight, the three friends are compelled to face the truth about their childhood-and about their lives now.

A tale of deceptive simplicity, Never Let Me Go slowly reveals an extraordinary emotional depth and resonance-and takes its place among Kazuo Ishiguros finest work.

About the Author

Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954 and now lives in London, England. Each of his understated, finely wrought novels has been published to international acclaim. He was in both of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists anthologies, and won the Booker Prize at thirty-four for Remains of the Day.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 11 comments:

Michelle @ The True Book Addict, September 3, 2013 (view all comments by Michelle @ The True Book Addict)

What does it really mean to be human? Are we human only if we were born to other humans, or can we also be considered to be human if we were created in a laboratory from another's DNA. This book confronts this question in a radical way. What if, in the future, clones were created for the sole purpose of saving the lives of the sick, i.e. via organ donation? In Never Let Me Go, the clones are created and educated as "students" in boarding school type institutions. At Hailsham, where much of the story takes place, a certain emphasis is made on the artistic endeavors of these students. What we later find out is that these students are, in fact, clones and when they leave their schools, they will go out into the world first as "Carers", those who take care of the donor clones as they go through their various donations, and then as donors. Upon donation number four, we learn they complete, or die, which basically means that a life giving organ was taken. However, sometimes the donors complete before donation four due to complications which is not surprising. The importance of Hailsham in all of this is that the way they educated the "students" and emphasized their artistic qualities was their way of proving to the world that these children (and later adults) do indeed have souls and so are human. What we learn through Ishiguro's masterful storytelling is that these people are very human...that they do possess souls. Which makes it all the more tragic.

I do have to admit feeling a bit irritated during much of the book. One of the characters (Ruth) is one of those people who would be absolutely exhausting to be friends with. And Kathy is so frustratingly complacent much of the time. I would have gone off on Ruth much more than Kathy, and even Tommy, ever did. I guess that's what made Kathy such an excellent Carer. Her ability to be understanding of other points of view, however frustrating or irritating. But this is just a little glitch in the reading of the book. Ultimately, I feel that each of the characters...Ruth, Kathy, and Tommy...behaved the way they did as their own special way of coping with what they knew was their inevitability. So very sad.

I must examine the moral implications of the idea behind this book. I used to think that cloning would be a good thing. That it would be good to have clones in case we got sick or our loved ones got sick. But when we are thinking such things, do we really consider that these clones are actually people? Even if they are genetic copies, they are made from the same stuff we are. Who says that you have to be born to be given a soul (if you believe in the human soul, as I do)? How do we know how we really get our souls in the first place?

Books that make me really think are my favorites to read. This doesn't change the fact that this book is very sad and I cried and cried at the end. Definitely well worth the read though.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
ReadingNest, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by ReadingNest)
Definitely the most haunting, strange book that I read this past year. I read faster-paced books, happier books, enlightening books, but this is the one that lingered the most, and evoked the most emotions. Good trick for a book that is narrated by such a flat, seemingly detached voice.
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Kristen Ketchel-Bain, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Kristen Ketchel-Bain)
I loved this book with the heat of a thousand suns. It's like reading a watercolor. It is dreamy and indistinct and wonderful, and then all of a sudden, the edges start coming into focus, and what has seemed like a sweet, strange story comes crashing in on you as a truly, truly horrific reality. It is a tale masterfully told, like having someone whisper the story in your ear with a wistful sigh, and soft cotton candy breath. The beauty is not marred by what the reader comes to understand as the book winds to a close.

It's hard for me to adequately describe how much I enjoyed this book. I thought the writing was utter brilliance. It is simple, it is spare, it is gorgeous.

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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 11 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400043392
Author:
Ishiguro, Kazuo
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Women
Subject:
England
Subject:
Science fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20050131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.70x5.96x1.18 in. 1.10 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Morning News Tournament » Tournament of Books 2006
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

Never Let Me Go New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$28.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9781400043392 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Ishiguro takes a meditative look at childhood, loss of innocence, and human deception and the drive for survival. This is a haunting narrative that is joyous and sad at once — reminiscent of Philip K. Dick, but with a very literary and poignant eye for deeper "human" emotion. This book takes its time, but it will surprise you. In the end, it may even change the way you think about the nature of man.

"Review A Day" by , "The beauty in this novel must be carefully distinguished from its power to distress. Ultimately, there is a connection: the depth and quality of the relationships between Kath, Tommy and Ruth certainly accentuate the cruelty of their deaths. From under the shadow of their fate, Ishiguro draws warmly compelling vignettes of love and friendship that cumulatively establish an urgent and engrossing narrative pace." (read the entire Times Literary Supplement)
"Review A Day" by , "Suffice it to say that Ishiguro serves up the saddest, most persuasive science fiction you'll read....With its fantastic, inky bleakness, Never Let Me Go itself mutates the meaning of 'Ishiguroish,' or 'Ishiguroesque,' or whatever epithet sticks to this wonderful writer." (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
"Review A Day" by , "Never Let Me Go is a fantasy so mundanely told, so excruciatingly ordinary in transit, its fantastic elements so smothered in the loam of the banal and so deliberately grounded, that the effect is not just of fantasy made credible or lifelike, but of the real invading fantasy, bursting into its eccentricity and claiming it as normal. Given that Ishiguro's new novel is explicitly about cloning, that it is, in effect, a science fiction set in the present day, and that the odds against success in this mode are bullyingly stacked, his success in writing a novel that is at once speculative, experimental, and humanly moving is almost miraculous." (read the entire New Republic review)
"Review" by , "In this luminous offering, [Ishiguro] nimbly navigates the landscape of emotion — the inevitable link between present and past and the fine line between compassion and cruelty, pleasure and pain."
"Review" by , "Ishiguro's elegant prose and masterly ways with characterization make for a lovely tale of memory, self-understanding, and love."
"Review" by , "Perfect pacing and infinite subtlety.... A masterpiece of craftsmanship that offers an unparalleled emotional experience. Send a copy to the Swedish Academy."
"Synopsis" by , From the acclaimed author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, a moving new novel that subtly reimagines our world and time in a haunting story of friendship and love.

As a child, Kathy-now thirty-one years old-lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her, but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory.

And so, as her friendship with Ruth is rekindled, and as the feelings that long ago fueled her adolescent crush on Tommy begin to deepen into love, Kathy recalls their years at Hailsham. She describes happy scenes of boys and girls growing up together, unperturbed-even comforted-by their isolation. But she describes other scenes as well: of discord and misunderstanding that hint at a dark secret behind Hailshams nurturing facade. With the dawning clarity of hindsight, the three friends are compelled to face the truth about their childhood-and about their lives now.

A tale of deceptive simplicity, Never Let Me Go slowly reveals an extraordinary emotional depth and resonance-and takes its place among Kazuo Ishiguros finest work.

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