Shayantani Das's Reviews > Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
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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 why, especially after turning the last page, I feel the need to go back and read this novel all over again. That might be why I feel so shocked and sad.

Never Let Me Go starts with Kathy remembering about her time at Hailsham, especially the relationship that develops between her, Ruth and Tommy. Ruth is the extrovert, dominating girl, while Tommy is the sensitive one with a bad temper and even from her childhood, Kathy is the resigned one, the observer. There are heart breaks, betrayals, friendship, loyalty, and amidst it all the omnipresent dread among the characters that, at the end of the day none of that will matter.

The language is simple and the overall tone lucid. Still, Ishiguro manages to convey such hard hitting emotion and paints such a vivid image of Hailsham, its fields, the sales, the guardians. Many times his language made me forget that organ harvesting was fictional and I got all worked up about it. I felt like how Miss Lucy must have felt: helpless and furious.


The novel’s climax, especially Kathy’s acceptance of her fate is very very depressing. How can such subtle language and a narrator like Kathy move a person so much? Frankly I have no idea. I am still in shock. Maybe I will read the last 2 chapters again.

Anyway, highly recommended!


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Reading Progress

01/12/2012 "why do people tolerate Ruth?" 1 comment

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Srinivas this book is in my this month reading list..i hope this book is like what u reviewed...


Shayantani Das Opinions about this book differ greatly. Some people have found it boring; others have thought of Kathy as too passive. Anyway, as long you don’t expect it to be super thrilling, you won’t be disappointed. :P


message 3: by Mikki (new)

Mikki Nice review, Tanu. This book has been on my living room shelf for too long. Must get to it.


Michelle I'll just tag your review rather than writing my own because you have eloquently explained the way I feel after finishing this book.


Shayantani Das Thanks Michelle.


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