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Never Let Me Go

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

24 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

NEVER LET ME GO

This amazing, intriguing novel really works the mind and is intricately plotted and very well thought-out. A group of human clones are trapped in a society devoid of moral conscience. The characters grow, blossom, fight and love. There are so many human emotions to deal...
This amazing, intriguing novel really works the mind and is intricately plotted and very well thought-out. A group of human clones are trapped in a society devoid of moral conscience. The characters grow, blossom, fight and love. There are so many human emotions to deal with. At one level this is a deeply moving and sad love story told by a young woman, the sole survivor of a love triangle. At another level, it's an accumulative horror story. In a special boarding school where, in total isolation, they are being prepared for an early death by organ donation to the terminally ill. The plot is rather simple, a woman in her 30s starts recalling her youth at this boarding school after meeting up again with an old friend and her friend's ex-boyfriend, who she had a crush on. Through her work, she cares for both of them and learns more about why they were born, and what is in store for them. There is sorrow, poignancy, mystery and suspense, not to mention totally unique!

posted by poosie on September 10, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

Worst book in recent memory

I realized what was going on in the first couple chapters, as I hope anyone else would!
The writing style is SO repetitive. Its like a 6th grader wrote this- and not a very bright one. The one time in 280 pages ishiguro tries to use some interesting imagery, the author...
I realized what was going on in the first couple chapters, as I hope anyone else would!
The writing style is SO repetitive. Its like a 6th grader wrote this- and not a very bright one. The one time in 280 pages ishiguro tries to use some interesting imagery, the author destroys it by basically explaining the metaphor/symbolism step by step for you in the very next paragraph! So: the plot is terrible- the writing style is pathetic, the whole book is terribly boring, I don't know what else to say except I'm furious I wasted my time on this dribble.

posted by nickWILSON on October 18, 2010

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  • Posted September 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    NEVER LET ME GO

    This amazing, intriguing novel really works the mind and is intricately plotted and very well thought-out. A group of human clones are trapped in a society devoid of moral conscience. The characters grow, blossom, fight and love. There are so many human emotions to deal with. At one level this is a deeply moving and sad love story told by a young woman, the sole survivor of a love triangle. At another level, it's an accumulative horror story. In a special boarding school where, in total isolation, they are being prepared for an early death by organ donation to the terminally ill. The plot is rather simple, a woman in her 30s starts recalling her youth at this boarding school after meeting up again with an old friend and her friend's ex-boyfriend, who she had a crush on. Through her work, she cares for both of them and learns more about why they were born, and what is in store for them. There is sorrow, poignancy, mystery and suspense, not to mention totally unique!

    24 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A True Masterpiece

    The thing about Never Let Me Go is that it is best to go in completely blind. I had no clue what the book was about, I wanted to see the movie, so I figured I'd read the book first. Going in blind about the plot, about the entire novel, made it that much better for me.

    Told by Kathy, a thirty one year old 'carer,' in reverent back and forth memories from her present to all the tiny, yet meaningful moments that spattered her life in the past, makes the book feel very conversational which makes it more personal; like Kathy is reliving her past with the reader. She recalls her days at Hailsham, the boarding school that she shared with others like her; with Tommy and Ruth, her two closest friends. Getting to know these three is like getting reacquainted with an old friend, but the fact that they are special never eludes the reader.

    The plot for the book is not hard to guess once you begin reading it. The hints about what is going on are not very subtle at all, but the execution of getting to the final reveal is done so beautifully and delicately. Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy's fate is inevitable. They know it, but we, as readers, will understand it more than they ever seem to. We are the ones who feel the ache of innocence lost and the heartbreak of the future to come.

    Life, love, and death are all monumental moments in our lives, but this book tackles the brevity of life and the notion that we are stuck in our roles, in the lives that have already been forged for us. Hailsham students have a purpose and it may not be one we are all comfortable with.

    Ishiguro goes beyond the loss of innocence and makes you question the meaning of life, who deserves it, and just how large a role fate plays in life. Never Let Me Go is a powerful, moving portrait of humanity at its best and worst; with all the splendor of childhood innocence and the harsh reality of the cruelties the world has to offer. It's not simply a book about human mortality and loss; it is about the nature of human beings and the ethical dilemmas that could easily arise in the world we are developing. This book will make you feel something and only the best ones can do it so well. It's been hailed as the best novel of the decade and I can only agree because this is truly a masterpiece.

    Opening line(s): My name is Kathy H. I'm thirty-one years old, and I've been a carer now for over eleven years. ~ pg. 3

    Favorite lines/passages (I've got two):
    "One day, maybe not so long from now, you'll get to know how it feels." So you're waiting, even if you don't quite know it, waiting for the moment when you realise that you really are different to them; that there are people out there, like Madame, who don't hate you or wish you any harm, but who nevertheless shudder at the very thought of you - of how you were brought into this world and why - and who dread the idea of your hand brushing against theirs. ~ pg. 36

    And this one:

    It never occurred to me that our lives, until then so closely interwoven, could unravel and separate over a thing like that.
    But the fact was, I suppose, there were powerful tides tugging us apart by then, and it only needed something like that to finish the task. If we'd understood that back then - who knows? - maybe we'd have kept a tighter hold of one another. ~ pg. 197

    16 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2005

    Unlike anything else you've read lately

    What makes this book a page-turner (I read it in two-days) is the way the author lets the details of the story unfold so gradually, constantly making the reader want to know more. The book is very well written, and though I've not read anything else of Ishiguro's, my interest in his work has been piqued by this novel. My only complaint is the rushed ending, which seems rather staged and hollow, not at all in keeping with the rest of the book. Still, a fascinating read, incredible subject matter (I won't give anything away, because for me, at least, it was perfect going into this read with no preconceived ideas) and a must on your bedside reading table!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2012

    A Thoughtful Read

    To start off, this book is not about clones, or stem cell research. I cringe when I read reviews that focus only on the Sci-Fi aspect of this book. IT'S NOT ABOUT THAT! If that was the only thing you noticed about this book, then you only read it superficially. The reason everything surrounding the clones and program was so laid out for the reader, was so he or she could focus on other, more pertinent points of the book. The author is not trying to make a point of whether or not something such as these 'clones' is ethical, but the book is supposed to provoke you into thinking of humanity, and how you live your life. This book, by the end, will make you want to have someone to talk through the book with, to better comprehend and realize the majesty of this great novel. It's also necessary to point out to the reader that the author is Japanese (though also English). Therefore his story does not have the Northern American "can-do" attitude. Many readers argue that the students should have rebeled, and escaped their fate. That's what any U.S. citizen would have done. But, in Japan, it is thought more noble and heroic to accept your fate. You can kick and buck against this novel, but it's useless. Never Let Me Go is a beautifully worded, thoughtful book. I GREATLY recommend this book to anyone who is over the best-selling fluff out today.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read!

    This book was an absolutely devastating read. I knew after the first or second chapter exactly what the "reveal" was, but it isn't a story meant to conclude when you learn what happens behind the curtain.
    It also isn't science fiction, which, upon learning the substance of what challenges the characters, one would assume it to be. It's hard to pigeon-hole it as anything definite - neither political, dramatic, etc; it seems, instead, to explore a number of themes. The story itself has a life and no life can really be explained away as being mono-thematic.
    I was particularly disturbed after finishing the book, having never felt such sadness and loss after reading something. It was a loss that seemed irreconcilable and irredeemable, and I didn't know quite how to feel about it. I had a lot of questions that I felt were purposely ignored, that bothered me throughout the book, and yet that didn't seem to ruin the story for me. I think the question that will pop up for whomever decides to read this - where is the survival instinct? how are these people so expressive in their humanity, and yet without the will to escape? - is meant to leave you feeling the way you do, as you can assume it probably leaves the characters you are reading about feeling the very same way. There is the question of nature versus nurture (are we born believing we possess certain rights innately? or is this something we are taught? are we born to believe we must strive to live on and on, even if someone tells you that is not the case, from the very moment you are born?) and the question, cliched as it seems, of what it means to be human, but more importantly, what it means to live, what is a life, what events define it, what must occur for one to definitively say "I have lived a life in full."

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2010

    Worst book in recent memory

    I realized what was going on in the first couple chapters, as I hope anyone else would!
    The writing style is SO repetitive. Its like a 6th grader wrote this- and not a very bright one. The one time in 280 pages ishiguro tries to use some interesting imagery, the author destroys it by basically explaining the metaphor/symbolism step by step for you in the very next paragraph! So: the plot is terrible- the writing style is pathetic, the whole book is terribly boring, I don't know what else to say except I'm furious I wasted my time on this dribble.

    3 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2007

    Let Me Go . . . PLEASE!

    This book was a total disappointment. I cannot believe that so many reviewers praised it highly and were 'surprised' by the truth revealed in the last pages. Really? In the first few pages, the now-grown children are referred to as 'Donors' and 'Carers'--what did you THINK that meant? No surprises for me--just a lot of boring details about adolescents in an exclusive school with a supposed 'secret.' I stuck with it, but when I was done, I wished I had spent my time on something else.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    NEVER LET ME GO stands out as one of the most remarkable books I

    NEVER LET ME GO stands out as one of the most remarkable books I have ever read. It is difficult to say whether this book is sci-fi or plain fiction. Whatever, it is unique in the sense that it would satisfies any high-minded reader who is versed with present day developments and what could happen in the future. The lesson learnt is that the meaning of life is best achieved when we find joy, joy which comes from the soul. That joy from the soul surpasses blind faith, unsubstantiated materialism and an idealistic purpose of life that is based on discrimination. Ishiguro successfully weaved this story through characters that we can easily relate to, characters who in their pathetic states mirror man at the height of his false sense of achievement. In its portrayal of the futility of life, I got reminded of Disciples of Fortune, Frankenstein. This is a recommended read for a deep-thinking person.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2012

    Unique

    I first heard about the movie then learned it was adapted from a novel so I thought I read it first. It was an interesting novel, definitely never read anything like it before. The ending was sad, though for some reason I couldnt get attached to the novel, I found myself at times forcing myself to read it because I wasnt really into it. But still a nicely done book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    The worst book ever

    I had to read this book for class and i absolutly hated it the authir did such horrible job on writing this book you get confused throughout the while book
    Jelena forever

    2 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    Anti-Climactic

    Felt like I was waiting for something that never happened. Confusing at times regarding organ donation since he leaves a lot of it to inference. Mostly slow. Wouldn't recommend, but watching the movie helps answer some questions.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A sad story.

    This novel is about young people who are called special and they are all Hailsham students. Hailsham is some sort of an orphanage because the students don't have any family. They are clones and were created to donate organs to cure 'normal' people. Their life span is about 30 years and yet they get an education at Hailsham as if they were destined to a fulfilling live as intellectuals.

    It's rumored among the students of Hailsham that when a boy and a girl love each other sincerely, they are allowed to have two years for themselves before the final stage of their short life. The two main characters find the person who can give the permission but she says that it was only a rumor, nothing more. This makes me angry and sad. Something you and I take for granted are not allowed to this persons and the fact that they are 'special' becomes an empty phrase. They were never given a fair chance to lead their own lives.

    What is the meaning of this novel? I said that they were never given a fair change to lead their own lives but are we able to do so? We have our loved ones to take care of, we live in a troublesome society and we are easily destroyed by incurable diseases. Is our live better or easier? I believe that in the end, Kazuo Ishiguro has written a symbolic novel about the fragility of our lives regardless of what or who we are.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2008

    Tour de force

    Expertly crafted and paced, NEVER LET ME GO is nothing like the other author's book, REMAINS OF THE DAY. I loved the character development and way that all the people reacted to situations. It was at once real and at the same time atmospheric and surreal.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2005

    an amazing story

    In simple prose Ishuguru weaves his story slowly giving out one detail at a time.It is a story of childhood friendship,love and quite original.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2013

    Never Let Me Go is the sixth novel by Japanese author Kazuo Ishi

    Never Let Me Go is the sixth novel by Japanese author Kazuo Ishiguro. It is narrated in an almost conversational style by Kathy H., a thirty-one-year-old carer. Kathy reflects back on her life so far: her childhood at Hailsham School, a transitional period at The Cottages with her closest friends from Hailsham, and her working life caring for donors. In many ways, Hailsham resembles a typical English boarding school, giving its residents a sheltered upbringing, although it is soon apparent that this is no ordinary academic institution, and these students are, in fact, destined for a vastly different fate. Kathy’s narration concentrates on interactions between the students themselves and with their guardians, dwelling on incidents, conversations and reactions; it sounds, for a woman of her age, quite immature. It may have been shortlisted for the 2005 Man Booker Prize, and has been described as brilliant. Never the less, some readers will find the characters unappealing and the whole execution rather tedious.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A short and easy read, yet very enjoyable. There was never a poi

    A short and easy read, yet very enjoyable. There was never a point where I felt bored, and I was practically glued to the pages as I tried to gather more and more clues as to the mystery of what was taking place in this dystopia-like society. Although it was very simple, I felt that my emotions were significantly impacted, which I love in books.

    The only criticism I had was that the writing style was not a particular favorite of mine. It read more like young adult fiction than I prefer, but the overall story made up for it. Every now and then it was hard to keep up with what the narrator was talking about, since it tended to switch focus rather quickly, but whenever that happened it was easy to get back on track. I'd say it's worth reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    Gulfport

    This book is crushing in a way that will have you thinking for a very long time. How much of who we are is moulded by our culture? Individual freedom is a fantasy? Very disturbing and much more than cloning.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    AWESOME BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This was a great book i am about to be a freshmen and 1 book was a requirement to read so I choose this book because the cover looked interesting and when I got into it I actually stared liking it and I must say this book is for 13 year old and up I recomend it to you guys I know it seems ife to get but trust you will like it :p

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    Overrated

    Did not enjoy this book nearly as much I would have thought. Difficult to get through--too much detail for unimportant things.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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