Darcy's Reviews > Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
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Feb 20, 2012

it was ok


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01/04/2014 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Crysta eeee - it's so good! I tore through it.


Darcy Yeah? Hmmm, maybe I'll bump it up on my TBR list. Which means I'll probably get to it around July :(


Crysta Two stars, eh? Let's discuss. :-)


Darcy Hmm . . . yeah, two stars was probably a little harsh. It's really well written in terms of the language and the character development, definitely.

I think I wanted it to be more than it was and found myself disappointed when it wasn't. Also, the cynicism of the book was really depressing. On the one hand, it's a fictional world that seems very much like our own--no major differences except the presence of organ-donating clones. And yet it is a society that, for some inexplicable reason, is pretty much okay with a.) harvesting organs from human beings, and b.) not seeing those human beings as humans because they are clones. Even the people running the home couldn't wrap their minds around seeing the kids as human beings, but there was never really much discussion about how a society would have developed such strong prejudices in such a short period of time.

I'm not saying that I can't imagine such a world existing--I totally can and we don't have to look to far in history (or even our own times) to find examples. But a lot of those prejudices are deep-seeded, go back centuries, exist because of geographical, political, religious, and economic causes, etc. Actually, I would have found the premise (and, I should add, I totally loved the premise itself) a lot more plausible had the kids been AI instead of clones. I mean, how are they raising these children, anyway? Are there surrogate mothers out there? So people are willing to birth a child, but then don't want to touch them after that? Or, alternatively, are these kids being vat raised? They've got the technology to vat raise a human being but can't otherwise figure out an organ donation system?

Also, I found myself irked by the focus on the relationships even though that was clearly the focus of the book. I think, at the base of it, I wanted it to be much more engaged with the very cool questions it raised about being human, about how people get trapped into belief systems, about how people use each other for selfish means, about which ethical boundaries we're willing to cross and why, etc. Instead it just felt like a lot of teen-angsty-sexy-time relationships with some organ harvesting going on in the background. Er, that's my professional description of this book, evidently . . . essentially, I think I wanted it to be more like the Somni 451 sections of Cloud Atlas, so I gave it two stars as punishment. Ha!


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