Sunday, March 6, 2011

Book Review: Never Let Me Go

Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go was intriguing in the beginning, but a bit disappointing overall.

From  "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."

The students are in fact being bred as organ donors. At Hailsham they are basically sheltered from this information until after they graduate, and slowly learn about what is expected of them in life. The novel is narrated by Kathy H. and it feels very disconnected. There is a bit of a love triangle between the main characters Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth, but it felt a bit dry, not really believable. I was more interested in understand how society got to a point of harvesting organ donations from people bred specifically for that cause, and would have liked to hear something from the receiver's perspective. Never Let Me Go was recently released as a film, the trailer makes me think it might be more enjoyable as a movie than a book!

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