Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Book Addict Reviews: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Genre: Science Fiction
Order Online: Amazon.com
Author Info: Goodreads
Rating: 2 stars
Borrowed this book from the library. 

In A Nutshell:
This book is about reflection.  It is about transitions.  It is about changes.  But it is also about accepting those things in your life that you cannot change.  Accepting, but still striving to have the best life that you can.  Overall, I am glad that I read this book, but I am also very glad that I borrowed it from the library rather than buying it.

Imagine a world where people are created in order to provide organs for the organ donor program.  But in exchange, these people have no chance at a normal life.  No chance to have children.  No chance to experience love.  No chance to live a full life.  From the time they reach adulthood, they care for other donors until they become donors themselves.

The story is told from the prospective of Kathy, one of the people who was created to be a donor.  She is about to transition from being a Carer to being a Donor.  This transition leads her to reflect on her childhood at Hailsham, a boarding school she attended with other children like her; other children created for the organ donor program.

The details in this book come out slowly.  We get hints about the program, about the role the Hailsham students play in the program, what kind of life the students expect to have, but we do not get a lot of detail until we have finished about three-fourths of the book.  As one of the characters describe it, they are "told, but not told."  And since the reader gets the story through Kathy's experience, the reader is also "told, but not told."

In some ways, the story felt disjointed.  It is told from Kathy's memories and recollections.  She would tell the stories as they came to her.  As one story would remind her of another story, she would make a note in the book to tell us that story later.  Consequently, the book is not really in chronological order.  So it was sometimes hard to see how the stories are connected or how they flow across the course of Kathy's life.

I do appreciate books that are reflective--that make me think about my life, my choices, my freedoms, etc.  And I did find that and appreciate that in this book.  But I also found the book slow to develop.  The book lacked action.  Yes, the characters did things, but the reader was not really part of that action.  The reader is just told about the action.  

After reading this book, I want to watch the movie and see how it compares:

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