WBN 39: Never Let Me Go

I already mentioned how much I admire Ishiguro’s writing in my blog about Remains of the Day. I love his precision; the way he would never use five words if two will suffice. Instead of taking away from his work this somehow magnifies it; his accuracy zooms in on the point he is trying to make and his phrasing can leave me breathless at times.

This novel features a calm, measured narrator, just like Remains of the Day, and the same tendency for said narrator to examine past events in infinite detail, analysing them from every angle, drawing conclusions, using episodes from the past to establish characters and suggest reasons or pre-cursors for later behaviour. This narrator, Kathy, has many similarities with Stevens, the narrator of Remains, such as a tendency towards observation over action and an anxiety about interaction with others, but she does at least acknowledge that her memories are biased and probably flawed, and allow herself the luxury of admitting that she has feelings.

The story of Never Let Me Go is a beautiful one, although the main plot point is something of a twist that I probably shouldn’t share. If you’re planning to read the book, do it before you watch the film, if possible, as the film reveals with little fuss what the book builds up to over pages and pages. I can’t recommend this book enough – what at first appears to be a British school story for adults suddenly morphs into a dystopian Britain, an idyllic place with a vicious secret.


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Filed under Books, World Book Night challenge

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