Sunday, February 5, 2012

Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro

My rating: 3/5

Ishiguro takes you to an alternative world, but the perfect phrase for his writing would be like somebody else said 'deceptive simplicity'. You think everything's so normal, till bit by bit you come across weird things like 'donations' and 'guardians' and 'carers', and it really takes you a lot to understand the whole thing. You're kept in the dark, like the main characters themselves. The writing style feels raw, he starts telling you a story then he goes back to tell you what led to it. It sort of feels like you're listening to him actually talking, that's how people usually tell stories in real life. I quite liked that about the book, though some might find it annoying.

I'd like to give it a 4 star rating, but I feel the novel was too specific. Ishiguro could have told us more about details, the little things, the years he'd simply skip and not mention at all, things we would have liked to know about the characters, he mainly said things which led to other things, things that kept the story going which is fine but then again it's just all one-sided. Another thing, the characters simply accepted whatever fate they were destined to. Their submission is depressing, and though it has a science-fiction element to it, it feels real. Perhaps because of the way the story is told. The novel does feel rushed which is a shame, but perhaps that's because the author's aiming at making us feel the impact of whatever happens, but if we got more reactions and more explanations then we'd fully comprehend the bigger picture.

When I think of that moment now, standing with Tommy in the little side-street about to begin our search, I feel a warmth welling up through me. Everything suddenly felt perfect: an hour set aside, stretching ahead of us, and there wasn't a better way to spend it. I had to really hold myself back from giggling stupidly, or jumping up and down on the pavement like a little kid. Not long ago, when I was caring for Tommy, and I brought up our Norfolk trip, he told me he'd felt exactly the same. That moment when we decided to go searching for my lost tape, it was like suddenly every cloud had blown away, and we had nothing but fun and laughter before us.

“I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding on as hard as they can, but in the end it's just too much. The current's too strong. They've got to let go, drift apart. That's how it is with us. It's a shame, Kath, because we've loved each other all our lives. But in the end, we can't stay together forever.”

“I saw a new world coming rapidly. More scientific, efficient, yes. More cures for the old sicknesses. Very good. But a harsh, cruel, world. And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind world, one that she knew in her heart could not remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go.” 

My first read on my Kindle, all thanks to Ammar. A book you can actually hold has a different feel to it, but I'm not complaining, I love my kindle.

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