Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Break: A week of reviews (Never Let Me Go)

It's my spring break, which means TIME. Time to write. Time to work. Time when the kids are in school and I am not. Time. The thing I never have enough of.

In honor of the occasion, I'm enjoying a laid back week of posting: sharing reviews of books I've read in March.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

At first you think Tommy, Kath, and Ruth are sort-of typical kids at a British boarding school. That they're going to be dealing with some interesting, but not completely unique, coming-of-age-type story.

Then Ishiguro drops a hint here.

He whispers a little something there.

He lets you know that what is happening is not typical.

Tommy, Kath, Ruth, and all the other students are not normal. They're different. There is something special about them. Something they are designed for.

Something they become. Something they complete.

I don't want to spoil it.

But it's a lovely, sad, and heart-breaking book.

You are with them as they figure it out. As they realize they always knew it. You watch as they accept it.

Ishiguro approaches a lot of interesting questions about morals, ethics, technology, and science. At the same time, it's a book about adolescence. About how adolescents treat each other in the more human and cruel ways.

In this way, Tommy, Kath, and Ruth are completely normal.

It's a slow and quiet story, but packs a punch under the surface. I was mesmerized by the way Ishiguro reveals the story to us in pieces. As Kathy narrates she links her stream of conscious thought to different events, pulling the veil back a millimeter at a time, until you accept their fate just as they do.

I highly recommend this book.

Have you read it?  Have you seen the movie?

What did you think?


  1. I haven't haven't HEARD of the movie, much less the book, that's how far behind the times I am. But it sounds right up my alley, so I'm going to check it out. Thanks for the rec!

  2. I've not heard of the book or the movie. But sound very interesting. Will add to my goodreads TBR.

  3. I LOVE this review. I felt the same way ~ loved how we discovered things along with the characters. I really enjoyed this one and I think I'll make time to revisit it sometime.

    The movie isn't out in Australia yet! It comes to the big screen at the end of this month. Normally I wait for the dvd release, but I am considering going to see it... have you seen it?

  4. Do check it out Meredith, and I want to hear what you think.

    It is good Liz- I hope you like it.

    Thanks Nomes. I only knew about the movie b/c the book is a tie-in. I haven't seen it. I would like to check it out.

  5. Sounds like a wonderful book, and the cover is gorgeous!

  6. That sounds AWESOME! I"m rushing to put it on my to read list. OFF to good reads

  7. I read the book maybe two or three years ago and I don't think I was overwhelmed but I'd like to reread it since I've read more dystopian novels that I enjoyed so perhaps my tastes have matured. Or I'll just remember that actually I did quite like it but the memory was blocked out by the books I've read since.
    - Sophia.

  8. I haven't read it or seen the movie...I want to, but I know I have to steel myself for it (I just get so easily heartbroken).

    Thanks for the great review!

  9. ive got the book in my tbr pile, and the movie is high on my to-watch. it has andrew garfield in it!!!! :D

  10. I haven't read it OR seen the movie but I'm going to take your suggestion... every thing else you've suggested has turned out great!

  11. Sounds like a terrific book--I'll definitely look for it!

    Enjoy your TIME!!

  12. I know Angela- good cover art makes all the difference.

    Cool Erinn, can't wait to hear what you think.

    Sophia- i can understand that. it felt like a really quiet book to me. I thought he really under-emphasized the dystopian element. It was more about adolescence to me, despite the dystopian thing. In fact, I kept thinking, "this would be SO different as YA"

    I know Susan... I may have to wait on the movie for that very reason.

    Yes Aleeza- and Carey Mulligan, who is just so good at what she does.

    Thanks Erin- would love to know what you think.

    Thanks Elle- I am SO loving the TIME!!!

  13. I read the book a few months ago and loved it. Nothing was overdone, which was quite interesting considering the subject matter and where he could have taken it. I really want to see the movie now, but time as been against me.

  14. I've heard of the movie, but didn't realize it was based on a book. Sounds excellent! I've added it to my To-Read list. Thanks!

  15. I don't normally go for heartbreaking books, but you make this sound compelling!

    And I'd never heard of it before. Is it YA? Or adult fiction?

  16. I haven't read the book and didn't realize it was a movie. I'd probably LOVE this book. I'll check into it. Thanks

  17. True Elena, I think his restraint was an interesting way to handle it.

    @Katy- cool, I'd love to hear what you think of it.

    Joanne- it's technically adult, but about teens for the most part. The author also wrote The Remains of the Day.

    Julie- then definitely check it out.

  18. I saw a trailer for the movie recently, and was torn between thinking it looked fascinating, and being a bit of a chicken about it--I'm not sure I'm up for so much sadness. It did look wonderful, though--perhaps I'll have to give the book a try.


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