Mirabelle's Reviews > Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
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Aug 03, 12

bookshelves: general-fiction
Read from July 10 to August 03, 2012

I... liked this. God knows why, since I can only think of bad things to say. It might have been the movie. Yes, the movie. The movie was fantastic and I loved it. And I think that's the reason why I did, in the end, enjoy this book. Since I saw the movie first, I was definitely associating the characters with their movie counterparts - who were done much better.

So, I had a lot of issues with this book. Mainly the narration. It was just so.... flat. There was absolutely no emotion. This book had so much angst and sadness potential, but it totally flopped. I mean, it was a first-person narration. You expect things to get personal and emotional. I had a much stronger reaction with the movie. It almost felt like Kath was impartially recounting some story she had once heard. There was no emotion. I do understand that she was looking back on her life, and I expected that some things wouldn't have been as important as she once thought, but gah. it was just so badly done. I mean, she NEVER GOT ANGRY. Not really. Ah! There you go, one emotion I did feel. Anger. Not even on behalf of her character. On behalf of that fact THAT HER CHARACTER WAS A FREAKIN' ROBOT. Not that she was terribly unsympathetic, but she just felt too flat for me.

Which brings me to Ruth. Who did in fact anger me. But not as much as in the movie, of course. Her character was done much better in the movie. So much better. I really disliked her in the movie, but in the books I felt mostly indifferent. I wish we could have seen more on her bond with Kath, because I really didn't understand it at all.

And now Tommy. Oh, Tommy. He was such a precious character in the movie, and Andrew Garfield played him so perfectly. He had great chemistry with Carey Mulligan, which was a big part of the movie and overall plot. And yet was completely lacking in the book. There was no spark or chemistry whatsoever between Tommy and Kath. If it hadn't been for the movie, I probably would have been totally puzzled by the ending. IT DID NOT MAKE ANY SENSE. Besides one or two hints, it seemed totally out of the blue. For the ending to have worked, the would have needed an actual history and really feeling out of Kath.

And this is why I still haven't quite figured out what the whole point of the book was.

My last complaint was that I still don't understand a single thing about this alternate universe. It was a totally brilliant idea, and I wish it would have explored. By the end of the book, we know barely anything of it. When Miss Emily was talking about Hailsham, its history, the history of the donations and everything I was totally intrigued. But it was never expanded on or explained in more detail. I was really disappointed.

I did, in the end, like this novel, but I'm convinced that it is because of the movie. I kept thinking back to the movie and associating the similarities with it. Definitely read the book before the movie. Maybe that was my mistake.

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07/21/2012 page 164
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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rameau A book that's mostly either love it or hate it and you... like it. Because of the film of course.

For me though, it was definitely a mistake to read the book after having seen the film. I might have liked the text better, hadn't it been for the movie.

(view spoiler) No.

Mirabelle Right? Haha. No, I really think it was because of the movie. It's weird how that worked out for me.

I just felt like the book never really had any destination... like it was just kind of floating around. It could have almost ended anywhere. Whereas in the movie, there actually seemed to be a purpose.

rameau That is true, that is very true. I just remember reading it and thinking: "Where's the substance?" Vaguely. Mostly I try to forget.

Mirabelle Hahaha. I don't blame you!

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