Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Published January 1, 2005
This was probably one of the oddest book I had ever read – at least that I remember. The writing style was so strange to me. It felt like I was in this dream-like state or traveling through the past with all of Kathy’s stories. I felt like the purpose of the book wasn’t ever clearly stated. In a way, it felt like a fake memoir or autobiography of Kathy. I didn’t get the sense of sci-fi and even when I found out where the sci-fi of the story was, it just didn’t seem very sci-fi-like. When I picked up this book, my friend warned me to cry a lot because it was so sad. While it wasn’t particularly sad, the book did gave off this bleak, hopeless aura so I suppose that could be considered as sad.
Honestly I’m not sure what to think particularly about this book. I don’t think it was particularly interesting mainly because I wasn’t sure what the purpose of this book was. There was no adventure involved, no interesting romance (the romance that was there was just so tepid), no great mystery, nothing. Okay, I suppose there was this “mystery” regarding the whole deferral thing but that was presented towards the second half of the book and it didn’t really seem that mysterious nor interesting to me.
The characters – Kathy, Ruth and Tommy – were also a little 2D to me. I just didn’t connect with any of them and I found Ruth to be very petty and rude even though Kathy was her supposed best friend. Her pettiness was to the point that at the end of the book, she admitted to both Kathy and Tommy that she kept them from each other by dating Tommy and telling Kathy that Tommy would never see her in that way. For a friend, she sure was a shitty one.
As for Tommy, I found him to be a little slow. Ruth would have to give him a lot of verbal, visual and sometimes even physical hints for him to catch on. I guess, in a way, that made him somewhat endearing, maybe? And perhaps a little honest since he didn’t have the need, like Ruth, to pretend things.
Kathy was probably the most monotonous main character to have ever existed. Other than the occasional fuss she would make with Ruth, she always ended up conceding to her and her whims. Why was she even the main character in this book? Honestly. I found her bland and uninteresting.
Overall, definitely not a huge fan of this book. I found the cloning aspect to be skirted around a lot. I understand that’s the sci-fi aspect of the book but the author only hinted at it until the end when it was finally stated that the Hailsham students were all clones and were to give “donations”. However, as to what exactly these “donations” were, I have no idea and still don’t. I’m under the impression that they’re organ donors or perhaps bone marrow donors so they can repeatedly offer donations but at the same time, there are only so many organs you can donate before you’re dead or, in this book, “completed”. I guess I’ll have to watch the movie now only because of the reading challenge.