Saturday, June 6, 2009
Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
Never Let me Go, is set around the lives of a group of students growing up in a seemingly idyllic English boarding School set in an alternative 1990s. In my opinion, this book is best described as 'haunting' and will stay in your thoughts long after you've put the book back on the shelf.
Its hard to go into any details, as i don't want to ruin the plot, but this book encapsulates a number of broad and important themes, such as what is it that makes us human?- the soul, love, creativity etc., Is our future already determined by who/what we are? The field of medical science and Ethics?
The power of Ishiguro's writing can be best summed up with this quote :
"What I like in a good author isn't what he says, but what he whispers." Logan Pearsall Smith
Although this novel starts in a comfortable nostalgic way, there is always a shadow or hint of the true nature of this skewed world, and although Kath the narrator does touch and question these elements, her own fear of the truth makes her 'push it to the back of her mind'. As a result, the narration isn't a linear telling of the events of Kath, Tommy and Ruth at Hailsham and beyond, but a tapestry of memories and thoughts.
A natural telling of someone narrating their own story. A story which has elements that reflect the experiences of a 'normal' childhood.
Easily this novel could have focused on the more 'cold' aspects of this alternative world, giving dates and figures etc. but instead to reiterate the overall point, it barely hints at the facts of this world till the end, where previous snippets of information are finally tied together and the hard truth of Kath's fate is revealed. But instead it focuses on the 'human' story, through the telling of Kath's life - it properly shows how tragic and inevitable the fate of the donors' lifes are and the lies people tell themselves to cope with being both a donor/carer or being a normal.
Overall, an exceptional complex book which i found hard to review without going into great detail.