Lee's Reviews > Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
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's review
Oct 10, 11

Recommended for: pretentious twats
Read from October 05 to 11, 2011

Very bland. An interesting concept and world, but the idea was poorly executed. The author could have done so much more with it.

The writing style can be interesting if you're in the mood for it, but if it's something boring (like how much Kathy wuvs Ruth) the endless meandering is beyond irritating.

The main characters are Ruth, Tommy, and Kathy. It's hard to like a book when you feel little for any of the characters. They evoked no sympathy, no disgust, certainly no love. Tommy was probably the most endearing, Kathy is okay, and Ruth... it's pathetic how much the book is about her, and watching Kathy being a little suck-up doormat around her.

(view spoiler)

I don't mind a character you can hate, or a truly despicable character, but it never fails to bug the crap out of me to see someone who likely be dropkicked off a cliff in real life or universally shunned; treated by the characters as normal or nice or likeable, with no irony or hint of a skewed perspective.

Essentially, this is book without purpose. All style and no substance. It will lead you on in the beginning, but it's going nowhere. If you read the first third of the book, you've read the best part and the rest is pretty much worthless. You may get some answers to the questions the beginning teases at--but there's few nuggets of enlightenment amidst a landfill of bland rubbish.

Do yourself a favor and just skip this book. It may not be the worst book you could spend your time reading, but there are so many good books with stories of substance and beautifully developed characters. Why settle for crumbling, stale saltless crackers when you could go to a rich buffet?


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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Blake Fraina Pretentious twats, eh? I loved this novel - gave it five stars in fact. Each to their own, I suppose. LOL.

Zack Me too.... Even though I barely ever read books in this genre I loved this book

message 3: by Lee (new) - rated it 1 star

Lee Zack wrote: "Me too.... Even though I barely ever read books in this genre I loved this book"

What did you love about it though? What is it that made you like it, that made it different or better than other books to you?

message 4: by Blake (last edited Oct 11, 2011 10:31AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Blake Fraina I know you asked Zack, and not me, but I'll respond anyway. I think the trouble with reading literary fiction strictly for the story is that it isn't necessarily intended to be taken for surface value. A writer like Ishiguro is telling a story, but in service of a larger [more universal] theme.

You didn't ask, but here's my review with a very different take on the novel than yours. I think I sort of address the "meandering" quality that you objected to, since I strongly suspect that the characters' "pointless" concerns were just their way of dealing with death - no different than everyone else on Earth. But I invite you to read my review and share your thoughts.


message 5: by Lee (new) - rated it 1 star

Lee Blake wrote: "Pretentious twats, eh? I loved this novel - gave it five stars in fact. Each to their own, I suppose. LOL."

You said in your review "A good book is rarely about what it’s about, if you know what I mean."

Which I am taking as "this book can be good if you read a bunch more into the book than is really there."

To me, a book shouldn't rely on symbolism to stand. Which is not to knock symbolism, but there are plenty of books that have *more* than just symbolism to offer. Moby Dick maybe would not be a classic without symbolism, but it would still be a ripping good yarn to we who love nautical novels.

'Twats' may have been harsh :) I hate when other people put people down for their reading tastes, so I shouldn't tolerate it in myself. I guess when I don't like a book I shouldn't run off and write a review when I'm still steamed over it...

Blake Fraina No, I actually loved the twats part! That was my favourite bit of the entire review! But then, I'm a bit of a prat and I adore a healthy dose of vulgarity. :)

Leave it.

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