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Never Let Me Go

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  294,825 Ratings  ·  20,115 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 30, 2007 Trevor rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Apr 02, 2007 Michelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2007
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
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
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Imagine a restaurant, London, mid-2003.

Publisher: Hey, K, we need another novel and we need it quick.

K: I know, I know.

Publisher: Another “Remains of the Day”. Something Hollywood can turn into a hit.

K: I’m working on it.

Publisher: Any ideas?

K: Well, I’ve been reading some Jonathan Swift.

Publisher: Who?

K: You know, “Gulliver’s Travels”.

Publisher: Oh, yeah, Jack Black. It's in pre-production.

K: Well, he had a modest proposal about how to stop the children of the poor being a burden…

Publisher: I’m
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
Esteban del Mal
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Seth T.
Feb 08, 2013 Seth T. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub
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
Oct 17, 2016 Fabian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Fucking British writers... ! My inclination to adore everything from Evelyn Waugh to Charles Dickens, from Alex Garland to Zadie Frost seems ingrained deep in me, and there's a reason why I find most English fiction so alluring. I think it has most to do with mood...

The best book I've read all year (not including Greene's "The Quiet American") is about a microsociety of students in a boarding-school hybrid named Hailsham. While there they do rounds and rounds of arts and crafts and come of age t
Apr 23, 2008 Juushika rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: status-borrowed
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
Dec 21, 2015 Maxwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I'll admit, reading a book that you love for the second time is a scary thing. I read Never Let Me Go for the first time 2 and a half years ago, and I loved it. I read it within 24 hours on a vacation, and it whisked me away from that trip I was on, taking me to 1990's England, and into the lives of these children growing up and learning the harsh reality of their world. But it also reminded me of the beauty of friendship, the complicated nature of relationships, the importance of art, and most ...more
Dec 08, 2009 Madeline rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jul 04, 2008 Stephen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, overrated
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Simona Bartolotta
Apr 23, 2016 Simona Bartolotta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
(Italian review down below)

Notice to mariners: in the review, I mention or refer to some general notions about the plot, while not specifying them with further details, and thus a couple of passages may seem confusing for those who have not read the book. I apologize, but you know how tedious I find it to rattle off the plot in my reviews. Anyway, about the references: they are not spoilery and I didn’t mark them as such, because I think they are all things you can find in one blurb or the other
May 01, 2016 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buddy read this with Mike from Slice of Mike!

I really enjoyed this book a lot. The story telling and writing is absolutely beautiful, and it's just mysterious enough for you to question everything up until the end.
The world building is so interesting since you're really on the inside and don't see much of the outside world with the characters. And the characters were fantastic and really well written
[i just added that last part because when I type my reviews in the app it keeps cutting them off?
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
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin


My name is Kathy H. I'm thirty-one years, old and I've been a carer now for over eleven years. That sounds long enough, I know, but actually they want me to go on for another eight months, until the end of this year. That'll make it almost exactly twelve years.

I own this movie and have watched it many times (including today). I always thought it was so very sad and I never knew there was a book about it until friends on Goodreads had it listed. The book is just as sad and of
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
Nov 16, 2008 Krenzel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ala-notables, 1001
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
Apr 15, 2008 brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kevin Ansbro
Aug 21, 2016 Kevin Ansbro rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with far more patience than me.
You know those irritating people who talk to children - and old people - as if they were babies, in a puerile, singsong voice?
Well, those idiots sprang to mind as I endured the narrative voice of this glacially slow yawnfest of a novel.

This is a book so plodding, so dreary and so pretentious that I gave up on it one third of the way through!
With a less-than-pleased harrumph, I shoved it into a slot on my bookshelf alongside The Remains of the Day, which I'd bought at the same time, anticipating
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
Mar 02, 2008 notyourmonkey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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?"

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
Oct 07, 2016 Pooja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I adore this book like anything.

I went on weeping, crying as Kathy, Tom and Ruth's story bestowed melancholy and grief upon me. I will never forget that evening. Whole night, I read it in one seating and when I was finished, I looked around me, it was morning 7 O'clock, I was not sure if I felt sleepy or not.

I was awestruck with its concept and attached to Kathy.

I tried to look for some happy memories attached with me while reading this,

None found.

Wounded, I tried not
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 23, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it  ·  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: booker, sci-fi, drama, ex-1001
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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 the 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 Ho
More about Kazuo Ishiguro...

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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.” 2408 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.” 1366 likes
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