“Never let me go” is a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, award-winning author. I bought it in a thrift store because I thought it looked like a decent read, and I’ve been reading it during my breaks at work.
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
We follow Kathy, aged 31, in her day-to-day life where she tells us stories from her childhood and growing up. We hear of Hailsham, the boarding school in which she grew up amongst others of her kind. We hear of her youth in the cottages, a place where her kind and others can live, provided they mind themselves. We hear of her life as a carer and we learn of a organdonation system, that will influence everyone we encounter in this story, somehow.
This book is very slow in handing out important plot details and from time to time I felt like it was mostly just dragging out what the reader already knew, and thus it became slightly annoying instead of keeping suspense. It was not well written, nor bad either – simply text on pages that allowed me to sink into it’s universe. The universe itself was thin at best, handling one of the bigger moral questions of modern life very lightly in terms of not leaving it enough space on the pages. It seemed merely a plotdriver and not exactly an exploration of the big question. It was just a setting within which the lives of Kathy and her friends could unfold.
It is however, an interesting perspective, in terms of the moral debate, that we follow the subjects instead of encountering those who initiated the concept and procedures. The characters are likeable to an extent and Kathy herself seems dull and uninteresting yet I felt empathic with her. Scattered throughout the book are real gems of storytelling, where the characters are confronted with life-decisions and how to handle youth and growing up and apart – these situations are where the book gets really interesting, and you can feel the tension, awkwardness, anger, hurt and joys.
All in all, the book is good, but I’m not incredibly impressed with it either – it’s like a good blockbuster read, when it doesn’t have to be a crimesolving mystery or a romantic novel, this is a light read for those of us who seek something else, yet still not too complicated.