Never Let Me Go

“All children have to be deceived if they are to grow up without trauma.”

It has been a while since I’ve had the means to write a book review.  Ever since my MacBook decided to meet its maker, I have been thumbing away at my phone and making do.  Right now, I’m using a computer that isn’t mine (shh!).  I don’t expect sympathy for my distinctly First World dilemma, but I felt an explanation was needed.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is a very, very interesting novel because if you know anything about it whatsoever before reading it, you already know too much (according to some people, anyway).  If you don’t want to know anything about this book, stop reading… now.  However, if you read on, I’m only going to tell you what your friends probably told you after seeing the big screen adaptation with Keira Knightley.

Speaking of movies, this novel reminded me of The Island.  You know, the movie where the two people in white jumpsuits try to escape an island after learning that they are clones whose only purpose in life is to provide organs for their human counterparts, should they need any.  Anyway, take away the explosions, the escapism, and all of the other bogus blockbuster bullshit and you have Never Let Me Go, a story about a unique boarding school located in the English countryside called Halsham.  The three main characters of the story, Ruth, Tommy, and Kathy, are all friends at the school and through the story we watch them grow – together and apart – as they deal with the pains of adolescence.  It’s all too easy to get caught up in the teenage soap opera and forget what big plans the school has for every child in attendance, but Ishiguro has a way of taking us off guard as we are practically pulled through the book chapter by chapter, on a series of cliff-hangers and drawn-out explanations.  Many might find this frustrating, but the emotional payoff is well-crafted.

Each section of the book charts out, chronologically, a section of the narrator’s life.  While going through her personal history, it’s impossible not to feel a connection with her and understand her struggle and confusion with the hand she was dealt.  The unsettling atmosphere only intensifies as the story continues.

I still have yet to see the film, as I’m a little worried it will detract from the book’s excellence, but I’ll get around to it eventually.  In the meantime, I would suggest everyone read this book.  It was an easy read and a huge page-turner, so really, you have no excuse not to.

-Tavis

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