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Book Reviews of Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go
Never Let Me Go
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Audio Books swap for two (2) credits.
ISBN-13: 9780307913074
ISBN-10: 0307913074
Publication Date: 8/31/2010
Edition: Unabridged
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 4 ratings
Publisher: Random House Audio
Book Type: Audio CD
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

101 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

ThreeCats avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 19
The story begins quietly enough, although there is something "off" about it that nags at you in the back of your mind as you read, and then slowly bits are revealed and explained. I can't say exactly at what point my interest turned to fascination and then horror. I have not read many dystopian novels - 1984 is the only one I recall just now. This one stayed with me and provoked a great deal of discussion in my reading group.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
Others have expounded on the plot and the book itself, but here's what I thought of the physical book: This is a trade paperback, 8"x5", with a matte paperback cover which you could probably spill something on, provided that you wipe it off right away. The actual pages are not the best quality, it is that "better than newsprint" paper that the publishers have been moving to in the last few years.

As for what's inside the book, well... people looking for your classic science-fiction novel will be disappointed in this book, and from the reviews, it seems that they are. But this is a classic Ishiguro work instead, emphasizing understatement, beauty, nobility, and that haunting feeling of impossibility.

While it has an intricate plot based on a mystery surrounding the exclusive boarding school of Hailsham, the plot unwinds slowly, piecemeal, and bit-by-bit through the character's thoughts. It takes nearly the entire book to figure out that you're in a a vision of an alternate dystopian world. So for someone who is looking for a "DaVinci Code" type of plot-driven, wham, bam, thank you, ma'am book, this is not it. Instead, you'll be treated to our main character, Kathy. She is quiet, reserved, and mostly passive to what is happening around her, although she is not indifferent; the book is written in her voice. The best way to describe this voice of this book is "controlled." You are really kept wondering through most of the book at what is going on, and what is going to happen to this trio of friends. Though it's no David Lynch movie, it's more like Atwood's Handmaid's Tale. If you're looking for a definite conclusion to an episode, you want to end up laughing, and have everything wrapped up nicely and tied with a bow, this is not your book. But if you want something thought-provoking, solid, moving, and somewhat suspenseful, it's good for that. Plus, it's a quick read at 288 pages, and one that will make you think afterward.
5ducksfans avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 15
All I can say is this - I could barely speak when I finished this book, and it was a while before I picked up another book to read. Truly haunting, especially as you learn to care so much about the characters.
Mom2EmNAbby avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
This was a book that had me from the first sentence. One of those books that I wish had gone on & on so I could keep hearing about the characters. I did NOT expect to love this book so much, to me, it is one of those "hard to give away" books. Those "generic" authors keep writing about silly crime detectives, I think they should keep writing about characters like in this novel!
Bonnie avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 412 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
What a disappointment! The story was certainly unique, of course, esp the characters. So in keeping with the difference of the characters, one would expect the details of their lives, the details of their "purpose." There were enough hints these things were coming. Alas, they did not. The book just ended.
Interesting, yes, in many parts, but too often I thought of just turning to the last chapter to see what happened and not wasting any more time.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 72 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This was a really good book. Not quite what I expected - I guess I thought it would be more semi-sci fi, more shocking. But it's a great story told in first person, very easy to read, you really get a feel for the characters and identify with them. It is a bit shocking at the end, though, don't get me wrong!
scout1968 avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This novel haunted me for weeks. It takes place in an alternate England in the late 1990's. The main protagonist is a 31 year old female who begins to narrate her growing up experiences in a boarding school and beyond. Ishiguro's style is melancholy, detached and quite lyrical. The horrific story unfolds gradually, while drawing in the reader with a gentle, yet inexorable force. I simply could not resist this compelling story. It is a very powerful book; one of the most moving reading experiences I have had in several years. I cannot recommend this novel highly enough; yet be warned; it may break your heart.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on
Helpful Score: 6
I think this is a terrific book. I have read it twice and got more out of it the second time. I have read Ishiguro's other books and love his writing style. This book does not disappoint.
MsMarquis avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I really did try to like this book, and I did finish it, although it was very hard for me to do so. I found the main character (in whose voice the story is told) to be boring and many times I wanted to smack her upside the head for reacting the way she did to some situations. The story was slow, and at the end, I just didn't care about any of the characters and what happened to them. Personally, I think the book was overrated and overhyped.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I just finished this book, and wasn't sure if I wanted to put it up on PBS, because I wanted to keep it, it was that good. (In the end I am, mostly because there's no space on my bookshelf to put it back into.)

The book was intriguing and suspenseful right from the start, and the characters were rich and detailed. I read most of it in one sitting. It has a sort of creepy sci fi twist, but I wouldn't call it sci fi in any traditional sense. I think the book is more about the characters than about the sci fi premise it uses.

I would recommend this book if you're looking for a literary, but light and quick, read.
susieqmillsacoustics avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 1060 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This was a really sad, somewhat haunting, but strange tale. It was absorbing from the start, but explanations were somewhat vague, mostly because of the impression this was taking place in the present and past we live in when it would be more believable as a future scenario. It is really a love story and not what I was expecting. It is a unique and interesting read though it left me feeling disturbed in the end. It stays with you after you have finished. I would say it is a worthy addition to the 1,001 Books to Read...list.
morbidromantic avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 63 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I loved this book. I should say that it's not a book for everyone since it sometimes drags along with a lot of 'every day life' detail. I can see some people getting bored, but I decided to take the book for what it was worth; I realized early on the value of the story pacing because I knew in the end it would personalize me more the characters in such a way that I could understand their mindset. I lived their life with them. There has been some criticism of this book that no character rebelled against their fate as eventual organ donors, that everyone just seemed to accept that one day they would become donors and then die. I feel that this criticism is misguided. How are people to know what the world is like when they've been conditioned to live and think one way? From the day these clones were 'born,' they were raised to believe and live one way. That they accepted their fate is no different from the way that we accept our own. One can't expect characters to manifest deep philosophical thought about something they have no knowledge of whatsoever. In so many dystopia novels, people do rebel against the order in place and this is what readers come to expect. Why should it always be the case? Why should every one of these books be about the destruction of a misguided society? Can't it just be a snapshot in the process? The lives of a few people involved but not earth shattering? The characters never went into long speeches about how unfair their lives were, they just lived life, enjoyed what they could, but always knew they would die for the sake of others. To tell the truth, I couldn't stand to read the last page. It actually hurt to read them. I didn't want the book to end because I knew what would happen, I knew what would become of the characters. It wasn't even their sadness that I absorbed more than it was my own sadness that this was all that their lives were about.
esjro avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 876 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Never Let Me Go follows the narrator Kathy and her friends Tommy and Ruth through their youth in an English boarding school to their stay as young adults in a sort of wooded commune to their ultimate reunion as adults. Sound strange? This book is!

Though their lives at the boarding school are sheltered, the three children and the reader receive subtle clues that all is not well. I don't want to spoil anything, so suffice it to say that Never Let Me Go is a strange mix of sci-fi, social commentary, and a coming of age story.

This may not be an enjoyable read, but it is certainly a unique one.
ktleyed avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 72 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Excellent, haunting tale - such eloquence, it's such a pleasure to read anything by him.
althea avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 774 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This book absolutely should have won the Hugo award for 2006. It wasn't
nominated. Why? Because it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize? Because
the author's other novels aren't science fiction? I don't know. But it is
definitely the most significant, disturbing, haunting - and enjoyable -
recent SF novel that I have read.
In an alternate-reality England of the 1990s, a woman named Kathy
reminisces about her childhood at a school called Hailsham. Her experiences, at first, are those that might seem normal both the joys and travails to anyone familiar with British boarding schools. And of course, Kathy does perceive her experiences as having been normal, because, like everyone, she sees her past only in the context of her own experiences. But, as we quickly realize, from our perspective, Kathys life is not normal at all. She, and all the students at Hailsham, are clones created solely for the purpose of organ donation.
Whats exceptional about this book it how Ishiguro created a tense book, with a creeping sensation of growing horror, solely through the voice and perceptions of Kathy who, although intelligent and creative, is essentially a passive character, a product of lifelong conditioning and training to accept her fate as inevitable duty.
Nearly everything is told to the reader between the lines The characters themselves are naiively unaware of the dreadful pathos of their lives. We never even really see the villains in this society (although the reader is led to think of questions of bioethics and what people in our own reality are also willing to do - people in this world do already die because others want their healthy organs).
The title works as a metaphor for the whole book, in a way if we asked Kathy what Never Let Me Go means, she would tell you it was the title of a song on a secondhand tape that she listened to (and misunderstood) as a girl but as readers, we can see that it refers to the creation of a situation where, even without guards or electrified fences, human beings are trapped so deeply by their own selves that the concept of fleeing a dreadful end (which they do realize is dreadful) doesnt once even occur to them.
It is clear that it has occurred to Ishiguro, however, when he gives us a scene where children are discussing prison camps with electrified fences, and the guardians are explicitly uncomfortable. The fences around these people are not electrified, nor tangible, but they are just as real - and they continue to exist even when physical 'freedom' is granted.
thundergodraiden avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Kind of dull at times, but a fascinating portrayal of what it means to be human. To love, hate, bicker, and die. Ishiguro has some of the best character interactions I've ever seen in a novel.

Most other people in my book club really didn't like this one, but for me I loved the moral and ethical gray areas expressed. Even though things this extreme aren't happening in the world right now, it does relate on some level to medical advances and the question of how far is too far?
HBNole avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 53 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Starts off intriguing, but the writing style gets extremely annoying very quickly. Also, the plot has a lot of common-sense holes that are never explained. Ultimately VERY unsatisfying to read. I can't believe I had this book on my wish list for a year!
MerryHearted avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Haunting was the right word for this book. Well written and I will be looking for other books by Ishiguro now.
SG avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I've been an Ishiguro fan ever since The Remains of the Day - he writes beautifully, and is a master of subtle characterization. He's able to reveal his characters' inner lives, even when they don't even seem to understand themselves very well. This book did not disappoint, it is that rare combination of gorgeous writing, interesting characters, and suspense -- enough to be a real page-turner. In fact, I ended up staying up all night to finish it!

As others have said, I don't want to give anything away about the plot, as the details of this alternate universe are unwound slowly throughout the book. About a third of the way in, you're given enough of a quick jolt of information to guess at what might be coming. But the book is less about a "surprise ending," and much more about exploring how the decisions of the larger world have impacted the characters. It is essentially a coming-of-age story about the main character (who is the narrator) and her two friends, and their lives at a boarding school in the English countryside. Because we only know what the narrator knows for most of the book, as readers we're left to pick up clues about why their community seems so isolated and circumscribed. I had a terrible feeling of foreboding the entire time I was reading it, which is part of what drives the suspense and makes it such a page-turner.

I think folks are right when they compare this book to The Handmaid's Tale, there are many similarities. It's not really a standard scifi or mystery novel per se, although it has elements of both. Instead, it connects you to its characters and the world as they experience it. Because it is not a world they fully understand, as the reader you're left trying to fill in the gaps, until you find out "the truth" at the end. This is a haunting and thought-provoking book, and I'm still thinking about it days later. Immediately after I finished reading it, I went right back to the beginning to re-read some of the early sections to see how they fit in to "the truth." I did feel a little frustrated that Ishiguro opens a Pandora's box without giving us a little more insight into the dystopian world he's created - even the revelations at the end feel a bit unsatisfying, and I wondered why some of the characters didn't react more strongly to their situation. I would guess this is a source of dissatisfaction for some readers who are looking for a more scifi-type read (and as a scifi reader, myself, I can see where they're coming from). But this novel is much more about getting you to care about and understand the characters, than describing the world they live in. Overall, this is a mesmerizing and highly-recommended novel.
Erin2288 avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on
Helpful Score: 3
If you love alternate reality fiction as well as well-developed characters and storylines, this book delivers!

I've always loved Ishiguro and his superb writing style. He intricately weaves the stories of his three main characters against the backdrop of an English boarding school where the students are extremely sheltered and have little knowledge of the outside world, until they find their purpose in life. These children have an inescapable and horrific destiny. However, even as they learn the truth of their future, Ishiguro enchants us with their fiendship, love, and passion for life. We learn to become invested in his characters as their losses are our own, especially as we reach the sad, but touching conclusion.

~Erin Martin
ellsinore avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I loved this book!

You have a good idea pretty early as to what is going on -- but it's all so strange and odd in a subtle sort of way! The narrator's matter-of-fact manner creates the impression that everything is normal when it clearly isn't. I was asking "Why?" the whole time -- and I wasn't disappointed. I realized about halfway through that the writing style *should* be irritating to me -- but it wasn't!

I have little time to read, and got this book from my library, so I was afraid I would be returning it late. Not so. I almost couldn't put it down. This book was not an adrenaline rush. If you're looking for over-the-top scenes that would require computer generated special effects, hair-raising car chases, bombs, or gore, you won't find it here. This book is quietly disturbing and intriguing.

When I'm almost finished with a book and it's time to start tying up the loose ends, I find myself asking, "But. . . do I really *care* what happens to these people?" Too often, of late, I don't. That was not true in this case. I really wanted to know what was going to happen to them, and wanted a happy ending.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on
Helpful Score: 2
I am not sure what to say about this book. Very well written.(Also wrote "The Remanins Of The Day".) This book is somewhat disturbing. Very realistic. Not too unbelieveable in these times. It is a quiet and I think a powerful read. I am not reposting, because I do not want to let go.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 109 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Never Let Me Go is a very interesting book with an interesting premise. It centers around Tommy, Kathy H. and Ruth, who have all grown up in mysterious circumstances at an elite school called Hailsham. Although Tommy and Kathy share an intense connection, their friend Ruth manages to insert herself between them and manages to date Tommy throughout their teen years. The mysterious reason for their presence at Hailsham and their disassociation from the outside world is something that a reviewer shouldn't spoil for the reader. As the trio gets older and goes out into the world they manage to find their way back to each other and truths are revealed. I really admired the author's choices in this novel and I felt that his writing was sublime. This book was written in such a stylish, easy manner - it was a gem of a book.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 224 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This has got to be one of the weirdest books I've ever read, and I've read lots of weird books. I don't know exactly what to make of it. Haunting, absolutely. Well-written, interesting in a sci-fi sort of way, I couldn't decide if I wanted it to go on and on or end. I have to admit I was relieved when it ended. Hmmm.
JimMag avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a moving thoughtful book and is extremely well written. I have no intention of "letting this book go." It is going on my shelf of treasured books to be re-read some day.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was an astonishing book. To describe why would spoil the plot, but once the reader catches on, EVERYTHING that occurs in the book from that moment on takes on an entirely new meaning. A very unsettling meaning. A must read, absolutely.
cary avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on
Helpful Score: 1
Wonderful prose and story structure are just the beginning of the enjoyment that 'Never Let Me Go' is to read. The characters are realistic: aggravating, heartwarming, likable and hateable in turns. Ishiguro wrestles with the moral issues his setting and theme lay out skillfully and without preaching. Highly recommended.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
disturbing. A great bookclub discussion book. An exclusive boarding school in the English countryside is more than what it appears to be. Something strange is going on. The author clues you in slowly, often dropping hints before you are able to connect them to anything you can use to figure out the mystery. Young people mature from innocence to adulthood without understanding the meaning of life.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 91 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Plenty of good buzz on this unusual novel. Booker prize finalist and on many "best" critical lists. Gothic and unforgettable. Reminds me a bit of "Brave New World."
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 136 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very strange.
JTG avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 280 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I thought this book was slow and a little heavy handed.... not my cup of tea.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on
Helpful Score: 1
This book is very well written. It drew me in and got me thinking about life and childhood and education. A poignant topic and a good read all around.
jeepers avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was a strange, but intriguing novel. The author skillfully feeds you just enough information to keep you moving through the book and leaves you with enough unanswered questions to keep you thinking and imagining possibilities.
TropicAtHeart avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you like books with alternate realities and/or future societies (such as Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale), then you will probably enjoy this book. It is set in Britian, approximately the 1980-1990s. In the book the main character recounts her childhood and past experiences, and how she grows to perform the duties her society has groomed her to fullfill. I won't go into anything too specifc so as not to give anything away. The book is fast-paced. The author creates suspense then immediately gratifies the reader's curiosity, over and over, so that each new revelation flows into the next. A very enjoyable, quick read, even with the serious themes on which the book is based.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on
Helpful Score: 1
The first hundred pages were gripping and tight but the book seemed to lose focus after that. It's not a bad book, just one of those where I think you have to identify with the main character to truly love it--something I was unable to do. However, I've thought a lot about the story since I've finished it: it has stayed with me, which says something.
Leigh avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 378 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
*spoiler alert*

Touching, sad, and in the end just horrible, this novel tells the story of a woman with a purpose. Her purpose was chosen before birth, as a body full of parts for "donation" to humans. All of this woman's friends were the same and one by one, she watched them go.

I couldn't understand why they all didn't rebel and make the others understand that they were human, with human feelings and emotions and thoughts. Why must they be relegated to this life of divvying up their body parts for the greater good of humanity? This part frustrated me but I suppose it was nobler of them to continue on their path than to desert it.

The last scene, referencing her childhood joke about finding lost things in a particular place really touched me.

Upon further reflection, I find myself enraptured with this book. I find myself identifying so well with the clones. I donate blood, I am an organ donor, I wouldn't hesitate to give a kidney to a friend in need. It made me question whether or not I am just "parts" or is there a synergy that creates something larger in life with those parts? These clones, at least, never had to struggle with their purpose in life; they never had to question and fret and break down over what they "should" be doing with their lives. They knew. They knew when their lives would be over. They knew their lives and bodies would be given for the greater good of humanity. This is a life truly in service of others. Perhaps they did question that and ultimately decided that the cause was noble enough to proudly go through with it. Our own lives are more similar than we care to admit. We each want purpose, we each (most of us) want to help humanity and leave our mark, and we each have the ability to physically give a part of ourselves after death. We all know what the natural lifespan of a human is; that's the assumption we work under every day. Given these things, we are, essentially, the characters in this book and Ishiguro did an amazing job of pointing this out.
missyh avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 85 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was really hard for me to get through. I almost gave up. Several times. It seemed to take sooooo long to get to the point. In the end, im glad i read it. I 'think' i liked it. Its hard to say. Not something i would ever read again though.
paigu avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 120 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book develops at a slow, snail's pace and it almost gets to its destination...but just misses. This is a very strange book, science fiction in a proper, English boarding school setting. It's so odd that unfortunately it just doesn't connect. I enjoyed the mysterious, ominous tone of the narrator for 2/3 of the book, pretty much up until the first of many "shockers" are revealled. Actually, due to the languid writing style, none of the shockers are all that, well, shocking. The scene where one of the main characters, Ruth, reveals her big secret comes across as boring. The confrontation with the boarding school teachers (called Guardians) was an overlong monologue that was more laughable than not. I think the philosophy behind the plot is interesting, but the delivery was terrible. This was one of the most disappointing books I've ever read.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 63 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I'm not sure how to explain this book without giving anything away. It's too sentimental to be a horror story, too creepy to be a drama, too sad and sweet to be science fiction. But it's all of those things, the premise is science fiction, the underlying themes are horror, the actual day to day story is drama. It's difficult to forget when you are done, issues of morality and mortality, how far you would be willing to go to save a loved one or yourself, how you would be willing to treat sentient creatures for your own benefit, what defines a human and how much you value human life. Yet the story itself, if it were not for these themes and the fate of the ones involved, is in itself a pleasant enough tale of growing up, friendships, obligations and letting go. I find it hard to say too much more without giving away important, but uncomfortable, parts of the book. I thought the book was brilliant - disturbing and ghastly, but you are still drawn into the day to day musings of the main characters. They would be so absorbed in the cliques of their school, the meanings of a sideways glance from another student or a harshly worded upbraiding from a teacher, yet all along they march closer to an utterly hopeless and starkly painful fate. The children are treated kindly and gently, at least until the point where they are necessary for the next step, then they are coldly used, discarded and forgotten. I'm going to look for more books from this author, I have high expectations now. Amazing work.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was not what I thought it would be but I was pleasantly surprised. I usually don't like books on this subject but the way it was presented made the subject seem possible. Quick read.
emma56 avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on
Quick read, very captivating.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 22 more book reviews
This book is one of those that moves very, very slowly, leaving the reader waiting to know what it is about. Upon finishing the book, I reflected upon how it might have been made better. My recommendation would be to eliminate the first 2/3 of the book. As a short story this might have held my interest. I realize this author has written some acclaimed books. I just wish I'd spent my time elsewhere.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 13 more book reviews
One of the best, most thought provoking books Ive read in a long long time.
dbo avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 74 more book reviews
It took me a long time to get into this book, and I did not like the way it jumped out of sequence, but the ending definitely moved me. I think the reader is supposed to get to know the main characters as "normal" people first, before more is revealed about them. This book had some very thought-provoking ideas that would be good for a discussion.
mnorth avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 31 more book reviews
I do not understand why so many people like this book or this author. It's tedious. I could not relate to the characters at all. Why anyone would be friends with Ruth is incomprehensible to me. Tommy never fully matures. Kathy is far too passive. The mystery of why these children are special is quite clear to me very early in the book (unlike other reviewers who didn't see it coming until the explanation half way through the book).
wiltinglilly avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 33 more book reviews
I loved the way the author wrote this book. It takes place in a futuristic world and the author writes the story in such a way that assumes that the reader knows about it. But rather than confusing and annoying me, it just kept me intrigued. I couldn't wait for it to be finally spelled out for me! And the author does it in such a good way too. That said, it is such a good story. I definitely want to reread this book again.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 70 more book reviews
I had a hard time getting through this book. The subject matter was disturbing and thought-provoking, but I just couldn't connect with the characters or the plot. I wish I would have felt what other reviewers had.
ReneeGK avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 14 more book reviews
Written by a master. Creepy both times I read it. Movie is supposed to be very faithful.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 1417 more book reviews
Musing over this read I'm trying to decide what messages the author was sending to readers. Should cloning be allowed to harvest essential organs? Would clones have souls? How can others determine the life path of anyone, even clones, who could have a life of his/her own? I loved the story - sad though it was - and recommend it for reading. There is so much to ponder in this read. The friendship of Ruth, Kathy and Tommy is strong and true to life. All of us have friends with problems of communication and understand such as they encounter. Ruth, however, is quite selfish or perhaps she is so insecure that while she understands that Kathy and Tommy were meant to be together she manages to prevent this from happening until they are much older. So much time is lost for these young lovers before they find each other.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 289 more book reviews
Never Let Me Go is a poignant, thought-provoking dystopian work by Japanese-born British writer Kazuo Ishiguro. Like his earlier Remains of the Day, this story is told by a semi-reliable first person narrator. Kathy H. is a young woman reminiscing about her childhood friends Tommy and Ruth and their trajectories since leaving Halisham, an elite boarding school-like institution. Her tone is conversational, with many passages starting with "I don't remember exactly" and "when I think about it now," and slight loops back to provide context. Her grasp of the details of their particular dystopia are hazy, but I think that's the point. Ishiguro wants us readers to focus on what we have in common with the characters: how we find and create meaning in our lives, deal with fate, and care for our friends. It's a shame that this Booker prize finalist was taken off the list of 1001 books you must read before you die.
chaclaw avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 22 more book reviews
This was so touching and beautifully written that I will not let it go! I don't plan to re-post this until I have read it one more time.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on
Very interesting. A real page turner.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on
This book was a bit disturbing once you learn what the school was about. My only complaint was I wanted to learn much more from and about these characters than what the author wrote, however, it is a good read despite that.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 13 more book reviews
This seemed like a young adult book to me. There was so much drama about these young lives and one manipulative girl Ruth. It is interesting and descriptive but pretty slow. This book had been spoiled for me in reading some reviews so I did not get to feel the full effect so review readers please beware!
elissaslibrary avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 6 more book reviews
When is this book going to get interesting?! I'm at chapter 7 and about to chuck it. Its got to get can't get much worse or slower.

Update: I finished the book, and would not recommend this. The "deep, dark secret" is pretty obvious from the get go. Its not at all shocking, and the characters aren't shocked or appalled by what goes on in the book so why should the reader be?

Wouldn't recommend it, but am interested to see the movie adaptation. Perhaps its more compelling.
Yoni avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 327 more book reviews
A very riveting novel...if you don't know the plot, don't look for it. I found way too many spoilers out there (and not on purpose). I couldn't put this book down. So understated and at the same time heartbreaking. Another beautiful novel by Ishiguro. He is a master.
boomerbooklover avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 419 more book reviews
Well written novel about students at a special school where things are just not quite right. Reminded me of the Midwich Cuckoos, later renamed Village of the Damned.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 43 more book reviews
Evocative and moving, from the author of The Remains of the Day
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 40 more book reviews
Intriguing! But I would have ended the story differently.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 48 more book reviews
Excellent effort by Ishiguro, in a similar vein to The Remains of the Day, but involving an alternate history for 20th century England.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 10 more book reviews
One of the best books I have read in years. It is not easy to read, but I promise you will never forget it - both hopeful and heartbreaking. For what it is worth, Time Magazine named it one of the best books of all time.
itownkid avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on
This book is awesome.
lovescoffee avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 50 more book reviews
I'm not a big sci-fi fan, but I couldn't put this one down. It's written like a memoir with tantalizing hints throughout the book. The only thing I didn't like was toward the end when the girl is reminiscing about reminiscing! But it was only mildly annoying.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 140 more book reviews
Very interesting and thought-provoking.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 813 more book reviews
Caregivers, donors, a recovery center, guardians, a private school with little or no contact with the outside world, completions. A bizarre Charlie Brown world: no mention of parental influence, or even of parents yet. A world straight out of Shelley, Zamiatin, Orwell, Huxley, even Vonnegut. A prophecy of what cloning may lead to. Read on, if you dare.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 46 more book reviews
This was my first Kazuo Ishiguro novel, and I
enjoyed it. Very creative and thought provoking
premise. I will definitely seek out his
other work.
bigrachwoowoo avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 23 more book reviews
Ishiguro uses an intriguing style throughout the book; introducing a hint of a topic that will be more fully discussed later, and then eventually getting to it. In the meantime, you wonder and come up with your own theories. Most of the loose ends are tied up at the end, but the ones that aren't allow you to feel a sense of mystery even after the book is over. His other books that I have read (The Remains of the Day and A Pale View of Hills) had a similar style, with details left untold.

The characters are described through their words and actions. There is little physical description given, which allows you to picture them however you like. Ruth is a particularly interesting character, and the contrasts and conflicts between Kathy (the narrator) and Ruth are the most complex parts of the story.

If you have enjoyed anything else by Ishiguro, you will like this book also.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 16 more book reviews
Couldn't get into it and found it a little creepy
reviewed Never Let Me Go on
The BC read Never Let Me Go, which at the time I thought was the eeriest, bizarrest (if that is a word) book on human DNA, cloning, organ harvesting I could have ever read (which a few others books that I have read made this one not seem not so weird).

This book will be a movie Fall 2010. I will pass on the moviecant imagine it on the big screen
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 9 more book reviews
An interesting read. Shortlisted for the Man Booker prize.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 14 more book reviews
A page turner with a very different ending. An alarming story of childen brought into this world for one purpose only.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 337 more book reviews
I had no idea of the subject matter of this book, and found the unrealistic storyline nonetheless gently and engagingly told.
jenvalet avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 47 more book reviews
Snooze. I don't get it. I picked up this book on vacation and had no idea what it was about. I won't spoil it, it's an interesting concept, but the ending was so unfulfilling, as was basically the rest of the novel. Spare yourself.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 51 more book reviews
Like the movie "The Island", without the cheesy explosions or Michael Bay ;)
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 15 more book reviews
Kind of a strange book... took me awhile to get into it
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 32 more book reviews
A haunting, tragic, beautifully written mystery with deft humor and wry observation on what makes someone truly special.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 22 more book reviews
Strange and sad story of children who grow up for a specific scientific "purpose."
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 7 more book reviews
A page turner. He keeps giving you clues, but you can't believe it!
ClareS avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 87 more book reviews
Author does a great job of portraying social relationships of his adolescent characters.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 5 more book reviews
Too much rambling thought.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 12 more book reviews
I agree with another reviewer in saying that about 2/3 of this book could have been eliminated. There were so many little details that didn't need to be there. It took me over 2 months to read because I just couldn't get into it. The last 40 pages were the best. There were also so many grammatical errors and typos that it was distracting. Overall, this book was "OK" only because the ending was truly haunting.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 166 more book reviews
This book infuriated me from about page 50 all the way to the end. Very very disappointing read. I think I was finally and forever turned off when I realized that the book, ultimately, would simply never deliver the pay-out it promised. By this I mean, the plot was enticingly "dangled" before me over and over again, and then the prize never materialized. It was like eagerly fishing. The line is cast out over and over and over in high hopes, but the fish just would not be caught.

The book is chronicles a nightmarish future--one involving "carers" and "donors". This prospect was a grabber at the outset, and for a while it kept the pages turning. I specifically expected the idea of being a "donor" to be fully presented. Yes, I will admit I wanted to read the gory details. But I was never allowed the gritty details. Just some maddening hints. The truths when they were revealed, were all mentioned off-handedly, in one or two meager sentences, and then the author moved on and away. Frustrating does not even begin to describe it for this reader. Annoying, disappointed and angry come much closer. Repeatedly I found myself thinking gleefully, "finally--finally--we are about to get down to it"--but then no. A hundred times no.

This book won the Nobel Prize for Literature?? It says so, right on the cover. I simply can't believe it.

* 1/2 One and a half stars. Because....huh?
reviewed Never Let Me Go on
I really enjoyed it... now I need to watch the movie!
reviewed Never Let Me Go on
This book is very well written and has excellent pacing. A definite page turner. I enjoyed this book quite a bit and recommend it.
megt avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 178 more book reviews
Well, at least I can say I finished this book.  I guess I get why it is so popular and is considered a "must read" .  The writing style is unique and the premise is thought provoking, but I did not enjoy it. 
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 988 more book reviews
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human. â Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it.

Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it's only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.

Never Let Me Go breaks through the boundaries of the literary novel. It is a gripping mystery, a beautiful love story, and also a scathing critique of human arrogance and a moral examination of how we treat the vulnerable and different in our society. In exploring the themes of memory and the impact of the past, Ishiguro takes on the idea of a possible future to create his most moving and powerful book to date.
raksha38 avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 203 more book reviews
This is a beautiful, delicately written book. It's a really interesting, unique take on a subject thats kind of a scifi staple. The story is very un-scifi-like, in fact, so even if you don't usually care for the genre, you'll probably really enjoy this book.
jenvalet avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 47 more book reviews
Snooze. I don't get it. I picked up this book on vacation and had no idea what it was about. I won't spoil it, it's an interesting concept, but the ending was so unfulfilling, as was basically the rest of the novel.

I just don't understand why they accept their fate. Why don't they just leave???? Maybe I'm not smart enough to understand :)
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 113 more book reviews
The topic of this book is quite unique and disturbing. It reminded me a little of the premise for "My Sister's Keeper" I was rather disturbed by the implications and found the story creepy all around. I cannot believe that it is a required summer reading for my Senior in HS. I'd have thought there'd be better ones! Because I found this story painful and haunting, I did not enjoy the book overall.
tigger5677 avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 42 more book reviews
Ishiguro's novel "Never Let Me Go" is a social commentary in fictional memoir form. The narrator Kathy H. takes us through her child hood and young adult hood in a group home, while never quite explaining the interesting difference between the residents of the group home and the rest of the world. Hailsham and it's resident are "special" to say the least. While I found the book compelling enough to finish, I think the social commentary fell flat and the true distopian nature of the book was muddled in the often rambling, esoteric nature of the story. If Ishiguro has been upfront in the description of the residents of Hailsham I might have enjoyed the book more. To be honest 85% of the book was superfluous to the novel and I felt like the book would have made a great short story, but it was much too cumbersome to be called a "great" novel.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 4 more book reviews
Interesting, but not nearly as good as Remains of the Day.
jenvick avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 34 more book reviews
4.8 out of 5 stars

This was very close to a 5 star read for me, but for some reason I cannot shake the passive aggressiveness of the main character. It really bothered me that over and over in this book Kathy wanted to say things but held back. Or she felt things, but pushed them away. I was waiting for a really good moment to come up where she would confront Ruth about the way she acted all the time. Kathy just walking away from all these little tiffs drove me nuts. Overall this was a beautiful story and the end made me cry. I really enjoyed the mystery that the place called Hailsham represented.
ellzeena avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 149 more book reviews
WOW was I disappointed with this one! Ishiguro, of all people.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 42 more book reviews
odd,I often wonder who picks "Notable books". This book has been so many newspapers, I just had to buy it (I actually bought two of them, one of them was sitting in a book pile and I forgot I had it). I just could never really appreciate what the author was trying to do.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 28 more book reviews
Very hard to describe, but I loved this book.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 102 more book reviews
Very interesting, quick read. I didn't really know what this book was about until I started reading it, so I won't give anything away, but it's really good!
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 2 more book reviews
This book was a rather lame drama revolving around three people growing old together. As for being compared to other science fiction classics, this book really only used its science fiction as a background to the story and never really brought it to the forefront until the rather lackluster ending. If you want a novel about three immature friends growing old and arguing over nothing then this book may interest you.
Bibliocrates avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 252 more book reviews
I liked this book, but it was very strange.
Munro avatar reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 95 more book reviews
Superbly unsettling, impeccably controlled . . . . The books irresistible power comes from Ishiguros matchless ability to expose its dark heart in careful increments. Entertainment Weekly

Book Description
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day comes a devastating new novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were.

Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them specialand how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is another classic by the author of The Remains of the Day
Man Booker Prize Finalist
reviewed Never Let Me Go on + 21 more book reviews
A coming of age story of a group of clones raised to be organ donors. The story is alternatingly poignant, heartwrenching and inspiring, but the portrayal of mankind's lack of conscience lends the story a subtle undertone of horror.
reviewed Never Let Me Go on
Signed by author. Really good read
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