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Never Let Me Go

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  241,216 ratings  ·  17,047 reviews
In one of the most acclaimed and original novels of recent years, Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewered version of contemporary England.

Narrated by Kathy, now 31, Never Let Me Go hauntingly dramatises her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School, and with the fate that has alway
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published January 8th 2009 by Faber and Faber Ltd; Export Ed edition (first published 2005)
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Daryl Anderson I think this book was primarily about the power of culture. It is always most difficult to see the truth that is right in front of you. In his…moreI think this book was primarily about the power of culture. It is always most difficult to see the truth that is right in front of you. In his autobiography Frederick Douglass observed that when he was a slave, he could not understand slavery. Only after he escaped, did he comprehend the full horror of his enslavement. Enlightenment requires distance.(less)
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Mark Johansen I don't recall that ever being spelled out in the book. There are certainly a number of "donations" a person could make and survive: a kidney, a lung,…moreI don't recall that ever being spelled out in the book. There are certainly a number of "donations" a person could make and survive: a kidney, a lung, one or both eyes, bone marrow, fingers and toes or whole limbs, etc. People have had operations where part of their liver or part of their intestines were removed, but not the whole thing and the rest was able to function. I don't know if there's ever been a transplant of such a partial organ, as opposed to removing a portion because it was diseased, but I'd think it would be possible, at least given sufficiently advanced medical techniques. (less)
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Nov 30, 2007 Trevor rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: almost anyone
Shelves: literature
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I can see Never Let Me Go being great for book clubs because it will generate a lot of discussion.

That being said, I didn't care for the book, for a couple of different reasons. The writing style is very conversational -- very much like you're having a discussion with the protagonist. The thing that annoyed me the most about this was the fact that the things that happened (so bob and I went walking to the store and we had a fight about the tree at school) and then the writer would tell you abou
Ian Klappenskoff
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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
It's very important, if you're intending to read this book, that you don't read any reviews or listen to any talk about it first. I had no idea what this book was about before I read it - and the blurb gives you a very different impression, actually - and so I slipped easily into a story that was as engrossing as it was revealing.

If you know something about what to expect, though, I don't think you'll enjoy it nearly as much. It's a bit like an art installation that requires audience participati
Esteban del Mal
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Let me start by saying that my review might contain some plot spoilers. However I personally don't think that knowing the plot in advance will in any way diminish the enjoyment of this story. The beauty of this book is not in the plot, but in its execution.

Another friendly warning: Never Let Me Go is for some reason often classified as science fiction. This is why so many readers end up disappointed I think. This novel is literary fiction at its finest. So if you look down on literary fiction an
I did not like this book, in fact I think I could say I hated it, I am sorry to say I even read the whole thing (except for all the pages I skimmed over because they were boring). The premise sounded interesting, intriguing... So I kept reading wondering when the author would drop the bomb, this is why I kept reading. Well it never came. For the most part he gave you bits and pieces the whole time but nothing really surprising. Maybe that is his style and his point but I didn't care for it. Afte ...more
Seth Hahne
I'm always excited when I run across a novel that is, so far as I can tell, essentially perfect. Never Let Me Go is one of those. There is not a single thing wrong with this book. Ishiguro is a master craftsman and it shows here.

The novel's characterizations are pitch perfect. Its narrative flow reveals things in exactly the right order. Mystery is preserved until it no longer matters and then, under the light of revelation, we discover the mystery was never the thing that mattered. Ishiguro pla
As a child, Kathy H. attended Hailsham, an elite boarding school where children were raised to be both healthy and artistic and taught to believe that both their health and creativity were essential to themselves and to the world they would one day enter. Now an adult, Kathy reflects back on her life. She charts the very slow progression of her growth, her friendships with fellow students Tommy and Ruth, and her knowledge, as she herself gradually began to learn about her role in the outside wor ...more
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You know those random stock characters in sci-fi/action movies, the ones who never get names or any lines? They're always spending their precious few minutes of screen time getting shoved out of the way as the hero hurtles desperately down a hallway, or watching from a safe distance as a climactic fight goes on, or diving out of the way whenever a murderous cyborg smashes through their office window. Have you ever wondered what those people's lives were like? Have you ever thought to yourself, " ...more
Despair. That's what I felt after reading this book. The kind of despair that suffocates you, that makes you want to break things, or, at the very least, go out for a run so you can let out the agony bubbling inside you.

It's ironic, but Never Let Me Go is about three friends who are destined to let go of everything - their bodies, their dreams, their lives and the people they love. And there's NOTHING they can do to avoid that fate.

I hate what this book did to me. I hate the author for creating
Very disappointing, despite a promising opening. It is a ridiculous story that is increasingly badly told. If you don't want to know the key plot point, beware of reading the back cover of some editions. :(

Although often classed as sci-fi, I think that's more because dystopian fiction is often categorised that way, rather than anything inherently sci-fi in the book itself. In fact, it doesn't even feel dystopian for a while. In many ways, it's more of coming-of-age novel: coping with loss o
Nandakishore Varma
I loved this novel not so much for its gothic darkness, but for the questions it raised. It seems chillingly plausible that any cruelty, carried on long enough, will be accepted as the norm by humanity-especially if it benefits the majority (like providing an endless supply of organs). We manage this by dehumanising the victims. India's untouchables and America's slaves are just two of the examples. Even when we, as "enlightened" human beings, look back in disgust at such historical injustices, ...more
Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro's Examination of Science and Morality

It was a warm spring afternoon, late in the semester. The windows of Ten Hoor Hall were open. The swarms of honey bees could be heard, hard at work in white blooms bursting from the hedge of abelia that ran across the front of a concrete and brick neo-classical building that housed the history, philosophy, and speech departments on the Campus of the University of Alabama.

That was the day I determined not to pursue my intended c
In "Never Let Me Go," a fictional story focusing on three classmates from a unique boarding school, author Kazuo Ishiguro deals with questions of loss and mortality that each of must eventually confront. As we get older, as we lose our friends and family, as the environment around us changes and things once familiar to us disappear or become unfamiliar, as we cling to our memories of how things used to be, how do we come to accept the fact that our lives are finite and attach some meaning to our ...more
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May 26, 2008 Rose added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
This book certainly made me think, but perhaps not quite as I was intended to. I like my fiction in line with Philip Pullman's view of things:

"...If I'm reading something I happen to know and gets it wrong, I just don't trust the book any more. What I ask of a novel I'm reading is that it should know a fraction more about the things I know than I do. When I'm writing...I ask myself: would I be convinced by this if I read it? If I knocked against this bit of scenery, would it feel solid?"

Somtimes sad is ok. If you are looking for something "Ok sad", might I recommend Sad Keanu.

See it is sad, but kind of funny and people can have fun and have had fun for quite sometime.

Sad Keanu in a boat

Sad Keanu watching football

and my personal favourite Sad Keanu with panda.


With "Never Let Me Go" there is no fun to be had here,none. Not only is it sad and depressing as shit, it is also cold. It is set in England which goes without saying...damp(the worst kind of cold). The teachers are c
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I didn't want to read this book. The standard covers made it look very unappealing... creepy, in fact.

And the cover of the copy that I got is even worse...

Teenage soap-opera...?

I'm not that interested in reading about England -- or about childhood, for that matter; and English childhoods really bore me to tears... I don't read books that have "daft" in them.

I also hate SF (as my GR friends know), and never read horror -- I just criticized a book yesterday (Maurizio de Giovanni) for hanging on a
Shayantani Das
4.25 stars

There may be spoilers!

How would you feel if someone came up to you and very calmly started reminiscing about the time when, he/she had her fingers chopped off by this other person? There is no misery or fury or even regret in this person’s voice. He/she might as well be telling you about how someone spilled coke. I think that is what would make this person’s words more scary.

Kathy is exactly that kind of a narrator; she is excruciatingly calm and maddeningly passive. Perhaps that is
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 23, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: TIME Magazine 100 Best Novels; 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006 version)
Shelves: ex-1001, sci-fi, drama, booker
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 special--and how that gif
I finally finished reading this book. Finally - is the key word. At first I thought the problem was with me - too busy to read, but now that I've finished it, I realise that the book itself was the problem. I've never read any Kazuo Ishiguro's works before, but this book is just pure boredom.

Now don't get me wrong, the idea, the story, the characters are amazing. But the writing itself is simply horribly tedious. Right after finishing the book I downloaded the movie based on it. It's one of thos
Oct 18, 2010 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Impossible Souls
Recommended to Mariel by: Vesuvius
I both love and hate this book. I couldn't stop thinking about it when I read it in 2006. It was sorta a "random" find because I saw the book cover and thought it looked interesting. I'd read Ishiguro years ago, The Remains of the Day, and liked him. Didn't remember the name, though, so I'll categorize this in my mental list (I'm a mentalist) as an almost-never-was random read of mine. I almost wish it was a never was, because I've gotta keep a close watch on my moods lest I get to feeling too s ...more
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
This is no way I could put the words down how I feel about this book. In fact, I won't even try. The beauty of this book and how you feel about it, is not in the words on the pages, but the words that aren't on the pages. It is not what was said, but what wasn't said. It is tragic and though the setting might be based in fantasy or make believe, we would be fools to believe that what happens in this book (not literally what happens but on a greater scale- what happens)is not all around us. It is ...more
Jennifer (aka EM)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paquita Maria Sanchez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The style of this novel put me off from page one. Once again, Ishiguro was very effective at conveying the mind of the character he was attempting to draw. Perhaps I just didn't like that character very much. I found her very disorganized and difficult to understand. I found his prose far too sterile. Polished, clean, shining.... but shining like a hospital corridor under the light of faint fluorescent beams. It resists all human connection, even while relating ostensibly poignant vignettes from ...more
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Kazuo Ishiguro (カズオ・イシグロ or 石黒 一雄) is a British novelist of Japanese origin. His family moved to England in 1960. Ishiguro obtained his Bachelor's degree from University of Kent in 1978 and his Master's from the University of East Anglia's creative writing course in 1980. He became a British citizen in 1982. He now lives in London.
His first novel, A Pale View of Hills won the 1982 Winifred Holtby
More about Kazuo Ishiguro...
The Remains of the Day When We Were Orphans The Buried Giant An Artist of the Floating World A Pale View of Hills

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“Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.” 2279 likes
“I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding on as hard as they can, but in the end it's just too much. The current's too strong. They've got to let go, drift apart. That's how it is with us. It's a shame, Kath, because we've loved each other all our lives. But in the end, we can't stay together forever.” 1208 likes
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