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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

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Sorry I'm a bit late, but I'm so glad that I picked up this book. :irked: I know some have said that it's not scientific enough, and that not all the questions have been answered, but I think that the reader is put into the place of these children.. they didn't have al the answers, so neither do we. For me, the book was more about their experiences, rather than a scifi book.


I'm glad you enjoyed it Michelle!


I just bought 'Never Let Me Go', so I will be back with my thoughts :lol:


And hope you will too Gyre.


They are making a film of Never Let Me Go! Keira Knightly playing Ruth I think.






And I'm sooo excited about this! :friends0: I cant wait to see how it turns out. Though the article is rubbish (and definitely not to read before the book, I'll second Chrissy on that!).

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Well, I know I am well overdue here but thought I would add a few niggles and ponderings about this book.


I did wonder why after the visit to Madame they didn't just keep driving and perhaps hang out at Kath's place.... even if only for a couple of days. This then made me wonder if she HAD a place. I mean, she complained about the tiredness of driving a lot but never mentioned her own place or earning a pay. Perhaps there wasn't any and therefore that was one reason why they didn't run away. This would not have only made her totally dependent on the powers that be, but also keep her isolated as all her time would be travelling or in clinics.


The students appear to think that everybody knows they are different from 'normal' people. Perhaps they do look different... another possible explanation for the 'revulsion'. However, I prefer to think the revulsion is more a response to fear not necesarilly of them but for them, or perhaps the process is all relatively new and ignorance and prejudice has found a new (another?) outlet.


Another thing I thought about was how Kath and Tommy claimed to be 'in love' but they never progressed from having sex to making love.... it was always a very practical act to fulfill a physical longing or to gain a referral. There was no real emotion. Tommy did run and shout from the car but I got the impression it was anger as he felt they should have been told, not because he was grief stricken about not being with Kath. Surely no real sense of love means no real sense of grief. I didn't get the impression Kath was grieving.... just sad that he had completed.


Of course, a lot of grief on death is somewhat selfish. Whatever one's faith, or lack of it, death is supposed to be a better place or at least no worse. Perhaps the whole idea would work and that makes me feel really, really uncomfortable as we recognise the problem is with us not them.


oooooo made me shiver that did.

Edited by rwemad

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Perhaps there wasn't any and therefore that was one reason why they didn't run away. This would not have only made her totally dependent on the powers that be, but also keep her isolated as all her time would be travelling or in clinics.

From the start I always felt that there was no thought in them of running away. They had a purpose / destiny that they had been literally bred for, and they had that repeatedly instilled in them from the beginning.


Kathy's apparent lack of accomodation, and her service as a carer for me felt as though the authorities wanted to keep this entire unseemly but necessary process self contained.


The students appear to think that everybody knows they are different from 'normal' people

The separation from society I think is what is at work here. A perceived prejudice possibly, rather than an actual one. It doesn't stop them from entering the halfway house, nor going on trips to Norfolk, although reference is made to how they would have been treated by the gallery owner there, 'had she known' what they were.

There was no real emotion.

That's the part for me that is so unsettling. Tommy from the start is quite an emotional young man, but this is constantly closed down by the Hailsham adults, and by his peers who have been 'brought up' to ridicule emotional outbursts.

Would one stop feeling if those emotions were constantly shunned? Or would we just stop consciously acknowledging our emotions?

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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro ~ Started: 25.11.09 ~ Finished: 26.11.09


Synopsis ~


Kathy, Ruth and Tommy were pupils at Hailsham - an idyllic establishment situated deep in the English countryside. The children there were tenderly sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe they were special, and that their personal welfare was crucial. But for what reason were they really there? It is only years later that Kathy, now aged 31, finally allows herself to yield to the pull of memory. What unfolds is the haunting story of how Kathy, Ruth and Tommy, slowly come to face the truth about their seemingly happy childhoods - and about their futures. Never Let Me Go is a uniquely moving novel, charged throughout with a sense of the fragility of our lives.


This is the first book I have read by Kazuo Ishiguro and it was definitely a great book to start with.


I read ‘Never Let Me Go’ until the early hours of this morning, I could not put the book down. The story of Kathy, Ruth and Tommy to me was sad and cruel and the hardest part for me was the fact that they were so accepting of their fate, Kathy’s life was almost nomadic , I felt she had no home to call her own, moving from care centre to care centre while Ruth and Tommy collectively recovered from donations.


I also found it sad that Ruth looked forward to not being a career, it felt like someone who is reaching the end of their career and looking forward to their retirement but of course Ruth would not be retiring, she would be waiting to make a donation.


I found ‘Never Let Me Go’ to be a powerful but at the same time, very understated, the three main characters accepted who they were and where they going while at the same time aware of their surroundings, I found the idea of the Gallery for them to be slightly immature but hopeful and I felt bad when they found out the truth.


I wanted everything to be different for them, a better existence, someone to fight their corner but no one would when the characters did not see the point or the capacity to fight back themselves, and they accepted their destiny.


The title of the book was so poignant too, ‘Never let me go’ but in a way they were letting go.


I have read books in the same genre, I still think about ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood and ‘Never Let Me Go’ will stay with me.

Edited by Weave

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I've only just found and read this thread. I'm still in two minds about the book, and after reading this, I think I've realised why I found it so compelling, but ultimately so unsatisfying. I'm a story person, and what really grabs me is a great plot, and like Michelle mentioned, I knew before I started the book that the characters were cloned and created just to be donors, so I was waiting for the reveal rather than surprised by it.


My biggest disappointment though, was by the end, I wanted to see some sort of rebellion or outrage at the system from one of the characters instead of total acceptance. Even the moral stance of the guardians at Hailsham dwindled out, but what I was most disappointed by was the glossing over of the Morningdale scandal, which I felt was a key factor to how the story played out by the end and raises crucial issues in the cloning debate, but was woefully underplayed.


But, very readable, and I will definitely read more by Ishiguro (OH has recommended his first book A Pale View of the Hills).

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I only read this book as I want to read it before seeing the film and boy am I glad that I did.


Its not a book that I would have chosen in fact I had never heard of it. The only Ishiguro I had previous knowledge of was The Remains Of The Day which was out in the cinema when I was at college and I completely dismissed it as being stuffy, I am now keen to read that and his other books too on the back of this one.


Its hard to describe what exactly it is that I like about this book as I found the whole thing so conflicting within itself. I love the fact that Kathy jumps straight in telling the story as if the reader already knows what she is talking about as that is so reflective of the students upbringing where she mentions several times that she can't remember the first time she heard about such and such its like she always knew about it. Even though I didn't know what she was talking about I found the style of writing so easy it was never a problem and I realised early on that all will be revealed when it needed to be again much like the students upbringing.


I thought the narration was quite void of emotion which strangly gave the book lots of warmth. I would have preferred her tone to change with each section of the book as towards the end the monotone was starting to drag.


The natural relationship between Kathy and Tommy was incredibly endearing its like they were drawn to eachother with neither of them knowing why. I felt so sorry for them after their visit to Miss Emily I wanted to give them both a hug. Perhaps Miss Emily's keeping them in the dark helped them not to get too drawn into this disappointment but then if Miss Lucy had her way they could have lived a more fulfilled life before their "completion".


I did find it strange that it was so important that Miss Emily and Madame lived in the dark. Madame kept disappearing into the darkness and then reappearing again which was obviously relevant but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Was it simply because these two women were intent on keeping the students in the dark or was it because they themselves were now shut out from society and any kind of normal life?


I finished the book wanting to know more about the "cloning" and the "donations" and the type of people requiring these donations but I don't feel cheated of this lack of knowledge I feel it has brought the book round full circle to the beginning again, Kathy has finsihed the book assuming that the reader knows all this much in the same way she started the book assuming the same.


There is really so much more I would like to say but I think my ramblings would end up being longer than the book itself.

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I finished this book, early this morning, and have spent all the time since thinking about it. It is definately a great book, one which I will remember for a long time. It made me quite sad, thinking about the fate of these beings, especially the fact that they never questioned their fate, or tried to make a different life than the one which was created for them. I liked Kathy and Tommy, but had rather mixed feelings about Ruth, she was quite cruel at times. Then again a better part of her peeked through from time to time. One thing that really effected me was the use of the word 'completed' when someone died - they had now achieved the goal set out for them.


Although a ton of questions are never answered in this book, it did not upset me that much...perhaps because it makes it a bit more improbable that something like this could ever happen.

..... I also wondered what started the idea for the story and shaped it for the author.....

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