One of the creepiest boarding school stories ever, Never Let Me Go follows the lives of Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth through their school years, and into their lives as young adults. Ishiguro's Hailsham school is not exactly what it seems — it's a school, yes, but it has a "higher" purpose. Trying to find answers to the questions that plagued their entire lives, the three begin to investigate the school and the people involved. By turns chilling, melancholy, and unsettling, Never Let Me Go asks the big questions: What is human? What are we for? What is this life? Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Set in a (barely?) alternate England in the late 1990s, Never Let Me Go is the sum of Kathy's memories. Kathy is one of many "donors" who have been brought into being for purposes that, while well-intended, can come to no good. Ishiguro's novel touches on the issues surrounding human cloning and identity and "what if." Then again, human clones are nothing new. Know any identical twins? They may be clones of one another, but that doesn't preclude them from having discrete selves. Never Let Me Go doesn't put science on trial; rather, it takes humans to task on the willful, too-prevalent misuse and misunderstanding of science to further parochial, sad ends. Recommended By Gin E., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Ishiguro draws warmly compelling vignettes of love and friendship that cumulatively establish an urgent and engrossing narrative pace." Ruth Scurr, Times Literary Supplement
"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)
"Ishiguro's elegant prose and masterly ways with characterization make for a lovely tale of memory, self-understanding, and love." Library Journal (Starred Review)
"\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
"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
"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
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.