Monday, 1 November 2010

Never Let Me Go- Kazuo Ishiguro Book Review

I bought this book so I could read it before the film came out, hearing how good it was supposed to be. I was not disappointed at the overall book, but do feel for the tragedy that this is and in this way, it is definitely a successful book.

The cover of the book features a [young] girl in a turquoise dress in motion, supposedly dancing, and if you read the book, this image and its significance will dawn on you, making this an extremely relevant and heartbreaking cover. Every time you see it, you will think about the story and how it unfolds.

Split into three parts, this book follows the lives of three Hailsham students through the eyes of Kathy H, as she retells their life at Hailsham, their relationships in the Cottages, and the revelations of becoming a carer. The way this book is set out and the way it is told is also significant, in that Kathy specifically retells it like she retold one of her patients.

Hailsham students were special. They were made for a purpose and there was little or no way to avoid the fate that awaits them. After Hailsham, being a carer was almost inevitable, before they started "donating", but a rumour about deferrals started giving the three hope for a different future.

I am especially impressed with the way the book is written. There isn't a fluid progression from the events mentioned in this book, and they are captured almost in episodes. In this way, the memories of Kathy H are relayed just as she thinks of them, and having read the book, these memories almost become our memories. 

At first, I was not at all happy with this. It was difficult to read and grasp what happens. What Kathy refers to on the first page may only be revealed a few pages later (after lots of setting and scene and rambling) or precursored in the first part, only to be explained in the next. I suppose again, this was almost how the students were taught at Hailsham, always aware but never told and they only find out at a later stage what all they learnt previously meant. 

The ending was of course tragic, but the way everything unravels near the end, you were grasping to know the truth, which kept being delayed. There was almost a sense of rush throughout the book that you wanted to just read on to find out more... until you ran out of pages. This ending in a way could leave you unfulfilled and disappointed, but the way it did end fulfilled the purpose of the book. I shan't spoil it for you, but you will be flipping the pages when you reach the end, wanting more.

The book may not be the most exciting, but it intrigues you and grabs you from beginning to end. The obvious twist doesn't shock you as much as the sheer pace of the end, and how it just stops, making you want more and not getting it. A modern day tragedy. Now I can't wait to see the film starring Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield. Check out the trailer here.

1 comment:

  1. This is a thought provoking book, quiet in its power. Read it before you see the film. Better yet, read it instead of seeing the film.

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