A slightly dull dystopia

9 07 2006

Book front cover

Title:
Never Let Me Go
Author:
K. Ishiguru
ISBN:
0571224121
Rating:
2 out of 5 stars

Never let me go – Kazuo Ishiguro

I was slightly surprised that this one was actually on the 2005 Booker shortlist. It is very well written and the narrative does have a certain energy which pulls you along nicely, despite most of it being in recollective mode.

The three main problems with it though (and am trying to avoid giving too much away here) are that:

  • first, the central idea of Ishiguro’s “darkly skewed” version of contemporary England just isn’t terribly clever (it feels like a second–rate scifi notion);
  • the ‘real’ history behind the central shocking premise, which is only revealed to the protagonists at the end, is, unfortunately, somewhat of an anti–climax;
  • finally, despite the excellent writing and pace, it doesn’t, I feel, really live up its ambition to tell us something profound about the fragility of human existence.

So, a bit of a disappointment really.

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