Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
We were ready to love Ishiguro’s Booker-shortlisted 2005 dystopian sci-fi.
But somehow it just fell a bit flat, despite the excellent concept and the exquisite (for Haj) writing style.
Ishiguro takes a narrow lens to a world in which clones (not test-tube babies – we say that a lot in the pod for some reason) are bred for organ harvesting.
Narrator Kathy gives a coming-of-age feel to what would otherwise be a dystopian horror, taking us through her relationships with Ruth and Tommy and her memories of Hailsham, the boarding school-type institution that raised them.
Sounds good, right? We don’t know why it didn’t quite cut the mustard.
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize
Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England. Narrated by Kathy, now thirty-one, Never Let Me Go dramatises her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world. A story of love, friendship and memory, Never Let Me Go is charged throughout with a sense of the fragility of life.
‘Exquisite.’ Guardian ‘A feat of imaginative sympathy.’ New York Times
Read the book, listen to the podcast, and tell us what you think.