Customer Reviews for

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 16 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2012

    Love a book that really takes you

    I wish I hadn't watched the movie first I think the mystery would have been really good if i hadn't known all the little secrets already. I love this book it is so haunting and really puts perspective on life and living it. It is dark and moving book that has left an impression. Read it...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2012

    Don't waste your time

    I truly wanted to like this novel... However, it reads like it was written by a fifth grader and is a series of very boring recollections of their childhood. All the "stories" are mundane and trivial... ruining a favorite shirt, loosing a cassette tape and where did my friend get their new pencil case. I kept waiting and hoping for it to get better (I like to give every book a chance) but it just didn't. I was skimming after the first 10 pages... Don't bother.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    An amazing read

    I had to read this for a college english class and i absolutely loved this read. It will have you asking the same question brought about through Frankenstein: "what does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to one another based on our own premise of humanity?" I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good psychological read, or anyone who wants an interesting yet concept challenging novel in their collection.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Incredibly Addictive Novel

    This book reminds me a lot of the Giver, at least what I can remember of that book back in elementary school. Overall, Never Let Me Go is a very impressive narrative that hooks you. The characters are fantastic, and the details of this possible future are revealed at the perfect pace.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2011

    DO NOT recommend

    Easily the worst book I've ever read. Cannot believe this was on any kind of "best" list. Boring, poorly written - would not read anything else by author.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 14, 2010

    DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME

    BORING AND ANNOYING.........It was literally painful reading this book and NOT because the plot was so intriguing. It's because it was so damn boring. The writing was annoying. Just when you got into one storyline you get the same "oh let me go back to the month prior to this happening". It annoys me to waste time reading something like this book when there are so many other GOOD books waiting to be read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An interesting premise

    Never Let Me Go is a somewhat surreal novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, the award-winning author of The Remains of the Day. It is an unusual tale told in the first-person by a 30-something woman named Kathy. Kathy reminisces throughout its pages about growing up as a young person in Hailsham, an unusual boarding school for "special" children. Here, the children have no parents, no last names and only a shadowy understanding of what it is that makes them so "special," yet they are continually reminded of their uniqueness by their guardians.

    Health and creativity are strongly encouraged, a mysterious woman periodically appears to take away the students' best art and one troubled teacher seems to want to tell the children more. but cannot bring herself to do so. Meanwhile, the author does a splendid job of relating the mundane complexities of juvenile friendship, bonding and growth so familiar to any reader. The central characters are well-developed and the small details of their inexplicably sheltered lives keep the reader turning the pages with enthusiasm.

    Never Let Me Go is a well-told story that quickly draws the reader in to an atypical world that is, at the same time, very ordinary as it follows the familiar trials and growing pains of a small group of young people passing from childhood to adulthood. Any reader will doubtless identify with the commonplace details of the lives of these seemingly typical children. Yet a sense of secrecy and an implied ominous fate hang over the entire narrative, only to eventually lead the reader to a revelation of just how atypical these young people really are. Ultimately, the reader is challenged to consider the lines between scientific progress and scientific ethics, between what is right and what is wrong in the preservation of our very lives.

    Sometimes touted as a modern mystery, Never Let Me Go is unlike any mystery in the traditional sense. The mystery here lies in the journey of self-discovery upon which the three central characters, Kathy, Ruth and Tommy, embark, as they grow up together and progress with their peers toward the fulfillment of their unusual purpose in life. In other words, the mystery lies not in "whodunit?", but in "what does it all mean?".

    The final unveiling of these answers, while bordering on science fiction, may leave the reader feeling a little empty. This is perhaps partly because the author is a bit heavy-handed with his earlier cues and partly because a lot of questions remain unanswered. But the reader will likely forgive this in thanks for an otherwise flowing and engaging read, full of well-crafted characters caught up in a somewhat disturbing tale.

    This review originally appeared in both the Midwest Book Review and on The Lit Witch: A Book Blog.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2008

    Never Let Me Go ¿ Book Review. !Spoiler Alert!

    In the story Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro raises important issues about today¿s society and the definition of life and when it begins and ends. The story takes place in Kathy¿s childhood home of Hailsham, a prestigious boarding school. There she met Tommy and Ruth, two of her best friends that help her through some of the toughest and most confusing times she has throughout her childhood. The school was in the secluded English country side where no-one from the outside world, except maintenance workers and the head of the boarding school itself, was allowed into the premises. This seclusion brought up many questions over their years at Hailsham, but the ¿guardians¿ were sure never to give the students more information than they needed to know. That is until one day when a guardian named Mrs. Lucy told them the dark secret of the place they called home. She told them that they were all clones and that when the time came they were going to go through the process of donations the donation of their vital organs to those who needed them from the outside. All the years of the teachers telling them that they were special finally made sense. They were indeed special, but only in their ability to prolong the lives of others at the expense of their own lives. Throughout this story Kazuo Ishiguro brings up important issues that are going on in today¿s society. For one, we can¿t play God. It¿s immoral to make clones of someone and then when they have experienced life brutally kill them by harvesting their vital organs. This brings up the point of, when does a life, really become a life. Just like when is it wrong to harvest stem cells from the fetus, when is it wrong to harvest organs from a clone? Ishiguro uses the interesting story of Kathy and her life, and the life of her friends to make a point. I would recommend this story to anyone who feels strongly about the topic of cloning, or to anyone who just really likes a good sci-fi suspense story.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2008

    Never Let Me Go Headline

    Never Let Me Go is a book I would recommend for no one, mainly because it lacks an explosive beginning. also, though you are entitled to your own opinion, I do not agree with Debra Bruno of the Chicago Sun-Times when they said that 'This is a novel worth reading. It's disturbing, mesmerizing, thought-provoking.' also, I do not think that I would recommend this book for freshmen in college. One review that I do agree with is Mark Harris of Entertainment Weekly, 'After you read it, give it to a friend. You'll want to have someone to argue with.' [8 April 2005, p. 69], yeah ya'll would argue, about how bad this book is.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2006

    Read if you must...

    but beware you have been warned. This absurd, dull novel about these children's hum-drum existence is on my worst-book-of-the-year list. It's hard to believe that Ishiguro also wrote the beautiful 'Remains of the Day.'

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2006

    Dull and Pointless

    This is the most boring book I've ever read. The only reason I finished it was to see if it got better (it doesn't) and because I was reading it for a book club. The plot is absurd and very slow moving. The narration style is unfocused and annoying. For instance, Kathy will start telling some anecdote and then stop and say but let me get back to that I have to tell you this other boring thing first. I agree with the other reviewer - don't waste your time!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2006

    Don't waste your time

    A dull, forgettable novel filled with pointless anecdotes recounted in a haughty fashion. It¿s disappointing because the author could have done so much more with the subject matter. The novel is basically a series of recollections from the narrator, who came of age at an exclusive boarding school tucked in the English countryside. Problem is, the memories she shares are so trivial and mundane, the reader can¿t help but become exasperated¿quickly. Pages and pages are devoted to silly episodes like losing a favorite cassette tape, helping to calm down a good friend down after his classmates play a trick on him, pondering the origins of a friend¿s new pencil case¿and so on. The author might argue that these instances reveal something more significant overall about the school and narrator¿s experiences, but to me, the only thing they reveal is that he has completely lost touch with the reader. The conclusion, which could have helped redeem the book, was also disappointing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2006

    hated it

    really boring writing! Only reason I continued with the story after the first chapter was that a friend told me I needed to read this book...and it is a rare book that I can not finish. But it seems to me to be more of the 'same old same old'... a rewrite of a human story. It is rewritten as if it were a new and important concept. Not so. Replace the 'clones' in the story with slaves from Africa centuries ago... or of what happened to, say, Irish, German, or Swedish immigrants to the US... what is the difference? Alien is alien! Outcast is outcast. Pain is pain...None of the characters were treated as human yet they were given human attributes...(and I hope that is the point of this story) Students, carers, guardians, donors... just more of all of our everyday lives. We study, we care, we lead, we give.. we die. sorry nothing new here.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2006

    Boring

    Started reading this book for book club. Starting skimming the first half,(a bad sign!) hoping that the middle part of the book would reveal something interesting once the kids got to adolesence. WRONG! Skipped to the end.....still nothing. I would say, don't bother with this book even if it's for a book club!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2006

    Don't Bother

    I don't know why the critics touted this as such a great book. There simply was no plot, no real disucussion of how the 'school' came to be or why, no resolution. When the book ended, I felt gyped and totally left in the cold.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2006

    Never Read This Book

    This book,in addition to being boring and repetitious, is extremely derivative. Furthermore, it takes a stance on an issue, cloning, that requires complex consideration. I am sure that if Mr. Ishiguro had relatives or close associates who might benefit from stem cell research, that he might have reconsidered his approach to this trendy topic. If you want literate science fiction, read Margaret Atwood or Doris Lessing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2006

    Uninspired

    The subject of cloning for the purpose of providing organs for donation is a fascinating topic. I'd love to have a group of imaginative, intelligent, creative people join me in a discussion of this scientific and moral quicksand. Mr Ishiguro would not be invited, however. In Never Let Me Go he manages to drag his long-suffering readers through 288 pages of uninspired, unexplained and unexplored pablum on the subject without providing even one tiny spark of insight or a sense that he is even mildly interested in the subject himself. His bland and wooden characters and eighth grade level prose suggest that clones, should they ever exist, will have no useful intelligence, personalities, emotions, depth of character, curiosity, souls or advocates.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2006

    Never Let Me Go

    Required to read Never Let Me Go for a book club, I began reading Monday and finished Wednesday. Lest I give the impression the book was a page turner, it was not. I found the early years of the children overloaded with endless details. Without arousing curiosity as to why the children's daily lives and art participation are such big deals, the story drags endlessly on. The few adult years are less detailed, but at least more interesting. A more dramatic ending might have helped. Instead, the author abandons the main characters, one by one, leaving the reader to dangle in a vacuum of 'completion'.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2005

    Great Listening

    I listened to the cd version of this book while driving my Mini Cooper - felt like I was transported to England surrounded by the exquisite voice of Rosalyn Landor. A rather chilling tale but its dark theme is cushioned in the perfect prose for which Mr. Ishiguro is famous. Set against a background of an imaginary but believable English boarding school, it took on a sort of reality read as it was in the perfect upper-class English voice of Ms. Landor.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2005

    Never Let Me...read another book like this!!

    What a disappointment and, except for the fact that i was committed to read this for my book club, i would have put it down after 40 pages! A story with no real plot or point, characters I didn't care about, and writing that just plain boring to read!! So many good books, so little time...don't waste it reading this!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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