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Never Let Me Go

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  323,935 Ratings  ·  21,937 Reviews
As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life, and for the first time she ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 5th 2005 by Knopf (first published March 3rd 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)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Henry Tegner Actually - my own response is that to speculate over this is to miss the whole point of the book! The details of the technologies that have been…moreActually - my own response is that to speculate over this is to miss the whole point of the book! The details of the technologies that have been developed in Ishiguro's dystopia he leaves to his readers to ponder. It is their effect on the human experience that is far more profound and worthy of our consideration.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Trevor
Nov 30, 2007 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.
Michelle
Apr 02, 2007 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
...more
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
...more
Fabian
Oct 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Ah, fuckin' British writers! My inclination to adore everything from Evelyn Waugh to Charles Dickens, from Alex Garland to Zadie Smith seems ingrained deep in me, & there must be a reason why I find most English fiction so alluring. I think it has mostly to do with mood.

The best book I've read all year (not including Graham 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 an
...more
Ian "Marvin" Grayejoy
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
...more
Tatiana
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
...more
Esteban del Mal
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Seth T.
Oct 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Bookdragon Sean
The thing I enjoy most about Ishiguro’s writing is the sheer level of depth he gets into his characters; he captures all the intensity of real emotions whether they are self-serving or destructive. His writing style is simple, plain even, but he builds up many layers within his story telling to unleash the full symphony of conflicted feelings in powerful bursts. However, for all his talent, I don’t think this novel was as effective as The Remains of the Day or even When We Were Orphans.

This i
...more
Juushika
Apr 23, 2008 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
Madeline
Dec 04, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maxwell
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Jen Campbell
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Still remains one of my all time favourites.
Scarlet
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
...more
l a i n e y
My very first Kazuo Ishiguro's work. Certainly not the last.

This book aggressively provoked emotions in me without ever being that emotional at all. It didn't whine; didn't scream at me, just smoothly narrated the story to me, very matter-of-factly, even at times in a detaching way. And yet, the sadness I felt after finishing it, and even before that, was so disproprotionate, it took me wholly by surprise.

It wasn't a love at first sight by any means, I needed a whole month to finish it. The firs
...more
Cecily
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. :(

GENRE
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
...more
Stephen
Jul 03, 2008 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.
Nandakishore Varma
Sep 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
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
Lisa
Originality? Functionality? Individuality? Community? Friendship? Love? Justice?

What is the defining feature of humanity? And who is entitled to that definition? Raising harrowing questions in a dystopian England, "Never Let Me Go" seems to be one of those highly divisive books that you either love or hate with a passion.

I loved it, every single word of it, from the beginning to completion.

To complete, a word that implies a special kind of duty and function in the strange alternative post-194
...more
*TANYA*
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Um...I'm sorry but I just didn't like it. (Insert frowny face) A few times I thought "okay, here we go!" But then nope, nothing, nada. The majority of the book felt like an epilogue.
Pooja
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK.

I adore this book like anything.

As I was reading this, 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 foun
...more
Lawyer
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
...more
Kevin Ansbro
Aug 16, 2016 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
...more
Jessi
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.

Photobucket

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
...more
Annet
Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fascinating book... at the start I had problems getting into the story, but when I picked it up again after some time, I was totally intrigued by the story. In these last times, I have been working long hours and had really little time to read. But when going to bed I read a couple of pages before going to sleep, two, three, four... and more. And I ended up really looking forward to reading these few pages at the end of the day, getting slowly to the end and in some wonderous way taking a ...more
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book absolutely should have won the Hugo award for 2006. It wasn't nominated. Why? Because it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize? Because the author's other novels aren't science fiction? I don't know. But it is definitely the most significant, disturbing, haunting - and enjoyable - recent SF novel that I have read.

In an alternate-reality England of the 1990s, a woman named Kathy reminisces about her childhood at a school called Hailsham. Her experiences, at first, are those that might se
...more
Marita
Imagine the life of a clone bred purely for the harvesting of vital organs when said clone reaches maturity. Imagine that this cloned person - yes, it is a person, a human being with human failings and feelings - knows what the future holds and is groomed for it. Imagine the longings and the hope. Imagine the isolation, the knowledge of being different, of never being able to lead a normal life. Imagine anticipating impending 'donations'.

See where Kazuo Ishiguro's imagination takes him...
"‘Neve
...more
Victoria
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
...more
AC
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
...more
brad
Apr 24, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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.” 2495 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.” 1438 likes
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