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Klara and the Sun

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Klara and the Sun, the first novel by Kazuo Ishiguro since he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her.

Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: What does it mean to love?

248 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 2, 2021

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About the author

Kazuo Ishiguro

56 books33.3k followers
Sir Kazuo Ishiguro (カズオ・イシグロ or 石黒 一雄), OBE, FRSA, FRSL is a British novelist of Japanese origin and Nobel Laureate in Literature (2017). 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 Holtby Memorial Prize. His second novel, An Artist of the Floating World, won the 1986 Whitbread Prize. Ishiguro received the 1989 Man Booker prize for his third novel The Remains of the Day. His fourth novel, The Unconsoled, won the 1995 Cheltenham Prize. His latest novel is The Buried Giant, a New York Times bestseller. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 2017.

His novels An Artist of the Floating World (1986), When We Were Orphans (2000), and Never Let Me Go (2005) were all shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

In 2008, The Times ranked Ishiguro 32nd on their list of "The 50 Greatest British Writers Since 1945". In 2017, the Swedish Academy awarded him the Nobel Prize in Literature, describing him in its citation as a writer "who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world".

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5 stars
69,425 (23%)
4 stars
118,647 (39%)
3 stars
85,625 (28%)
2 stars
22,684 (7%)
1 star
4,089 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 34,293 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,990 reviews298k followers
August 12, 2021
I read right to the end of Klara and the Sun to be really sure there wasn't a moment, a dark depth lurking somewhere, that would make me love it. I pushed through an underwhelming narrative of recycled sci-fi themes, waiting, surely, for Nobel Prize-worthy goodness. The kind that made me fall for Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day. But I couldn't find it.

So then I went to read the starred reviews from critics who raved about this book to see where I went wrong. I read the gushing Publisher's Weekly review that cites the author's "astute observations of human nature" as being star-worthy, pulling the following quote as an example:
“There was something very special, but it wasn’t inside Josie. It was inside those who loved her,” Klara says.

...and I couldn't help wondering why the best example they could come up with reads like something from the most saccharine of children's novels.

I turned next to Kirkus who uses examples of solar-powered androids and vague mentions of pollution to present this as some kind of climate change/dying planet parable. Despite listing few, if any, original ideas in the body of the review, and, in fact, declaring it "familiar territory" to readers of Aldiss or Collodi, Kirkus slaps a star on the work anyway.

Is it just that no critics will dare say anything bad about an author of Ishiguro's standing? Is this also why I felt such a complete disconnect between what the reviews said about Atwood's The Testaments and what I was actually reading?

Klara and the Sun takes on the same old sci-fi themes authors have been exploring for decades, and does nothing new with them, in my opinion. A girl called Josie and her mother purchase an AF (Artificial Friend) called Klara, who then observes their interactions, plus the interactions between Josie and her friend, Rick. Much time is spent looking at the sun, sketching, and navel-gazing. I cannot figure out if we are actually supposed to be surprised by the info Ishiguro reveals halfway or not, because it is obvious from the moment Klara is purchased.

The story is deliberately vague, which here feels lazy rather than mysterious. Klara's stiff AI narrative voice makes for a dull read, and it is even more disappointing to discover we are not being led anywhere remarkable.

And I would like to say here that I actually have very high tolerance for quiet character studies about human behaviour. Give me some Anne Tyler or Celeste Ng any day. But I sadly did not find this to be a very successful one of those either. Klara, Josie, Rick, and Josie's mother are not characters I will remember. This whole book lacked a spark for me.
Profile Image for Yun.
521 reviews21.7k followers
February 18, 2022
This seems to be quite a polarizing book, with everyone either loving it or hating it. But Klara and the Sun didn't elicit such strong emotions in me. It didn't wow me in any way, but I didn't hate it either. I fell squarely in the meh-meh middle.

We start off with Klara at the store, hoping to be chosen as the Artificial Friend for a family. Since she's a robot and the story is told from her perspective, her narrative comes across as a bit robotic and detached. But it fits the tone of the story, and I really enjoyed reading her growing awareness and insight. And I'm not afraid to admit that her search for her "forever home" tugged at my heartstrings.

But I got a little bit confused soon after because I'm not sure what the author is trying to say with this story. The potential for something profound is there, but the narrative doesn't get anywhere close to that. When we reach the ending, it feels convenient, as if the author ran out of steam or doesn't quite know how to wrap up all the concepts he introduced.

With this being science fiction, I have to make a comment on the science part. To me, it feels clumsy and not well-thought-out. The technology comes across as both more advanced than our current world with AI, but also less advanced with Klara's lack of understanding for how humans function. There were also concepts in here that were referred to throughout without explanation until much later in the book, and it created this artificial sense of bewilderment.

Overall, it's hard for me to know what to think of this book because it didn't say much. There was a lot of potential, but the story ended up only scratching the surface. It feels unfinished, with a fluffy slapdash ending that didn't even come close to addressing any of the worthwhile topics in here.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,302 reviews43.9k followers
October 3, 2022
Do you hear the eerie sound of trumpets informs us an unpopular review is on its way! I am not sure I read the same book everybody did. All those critics have written marvelous things about this one which made truly excited to dive into! We’re talking Nobel prize winner author! This is brand new book of the author of “Remains of the day” and “ Never Let me go”! What could possibly go wrong?

But too many things absolutely went so wrong! I felt like I stuck in mud and sunk deeper at each page! Everything I read were blurry, vague, going nowhere, no smart earth shattering twist, no sign of brilliant intelligence of the author. It was just flat and as long as I pushed harder I couldn’t get any result. When I reached the conclusion and expected to get something different at the end, another disappointment train crashed me over and over again.

The story was simple. Jodie’s mother purchased an AI( artificial friend) for her daughter to observe her and her interactions with her friend Rick. Most of the book they stare at the sun and keep sketching. If there’s some reference about climate change, air pollution or any other sensitive issues I couldn’t catch it. So it doesn’t seem like a dystopian or apocalyptic story.

After seeing those five stars and high recommendations I feel weird! Did I miss something everyone easily got? Did I lose my objective perception? Am I not smart enough to understand the deeper meaning of the story?
Maybe I was in the wrong mood and this was wrong book for me to read at the very wrong time!
But I still give my two stars, covering my ears not to hear your boos! As my final decision : unfortunately this book is definitely not for me!
Profile Image for Angie Kim.
Author 3 books9,875 followers
December 4, 2020
I tore through the ARC in less than 24 hours, and now I'm just sitting here with tears in my eyes, completely and utterly satisfied. I love Klara, the insightful and noble Artificial Friend, and I wish she were real so that I could hug her and tell her how much she means to me. This book is all my favorite things rolled into one--sci-fi, mythology, suspense and mystery, and coming of age (yes, of a robot). It's a beautiful and powerful exploration of important questions about humanity: what makes a person? What makes a life worth living and remembering? How do our beliefs and observations change the world, and vice-versa? In many ways, I think Klara and the Sun is a companion piece of sorts to Never Let Me Go (probably my favorite Ishiguro novel until this one), examining one world's solution to achieve the same type of "improvement" to society and human life that NLMG did. The goal is similar, but the means are almost opposite in the two books--two sides of the same coin. (Ugh, it's hard to express without specific references, but I don't want to even risk spoiling anything!) I cannot WAIT for everyone to read this book because I need to discuss and debate it!!!!
Profile Image for Jack Edwards.
Author 1 book205k followers
April 6, 2021
Ishiguro has an unparalleled ability to craft dystopian societies which are simultaneously shocking and disorientating, yet oddly familiar -- they are believable because they take present values or ideas and stretch them to the extreme. He also has an unmatched ability to construct scenes in which misunderstandings cause conflict, so awkward and frustrating that the reader wishes they could intervene.

Klara and the Sun imagines what the future of artificial intelligence and genetic-engineering could entail in this incredibly suspenseful novel which presents a myriad of ethical dilemmas without providing answers or solutions. This ambiguity is deliberate, encouraging the (probably pretty confused) reader to make rational connections between our present society and this imagined one. What steps would have to be taken right now to reach that state?

I found the first 100 pages a little slow as the plot didn't seem to be developing any further than what the blurb described -- it was just a book about AI -- but stick with it, as the narrative soon unravels in subtle and complex ways.
Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews116k followers
April 11, 2021
I was super into this book in the first half and could have easily given it 4 stars. It was charming to see the world through the eyes of an innocent and optimistic AI, and the audiobook narration added to the whimsy. I was excited to see all the potential developments unfold among the protagonist and the family she lives with. Unfortunately, the story didn’t go anywhere from there. There weren’t any groundbreaking observations of human nature, nor enough emotional stakes to make the book special.
Profile Image for Bill Gates.
Author 10 books514k followers
March 21, 2022
I love a good robot story, and Ishiguro’s novel about an “artificial friend” to a sick young girl is no exception. Although it takes place in a dystopian future, the robots aren’t a force for evil. Instead, they serve as companions to keep people company. This book made me think about what life with super intelligent robots might look like—and whether we’ll treat these kinds of machines as pieces of technology or as something more.
Profile Image for Nataliya.
782 reviews12.4k followers
June 3, 2021
This book made me sad. Sad not because of the story but because I read it expecting the brilliance that the author of The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go can deliver in spades — and instead I got... well... this. A dull and lackluster book that slowly fizzles out under the burden of its unengaging narrative voice that neuters most of the impact from its bleak ending hiding inside the world’s saddest, most delusional servile optimism.

Because by the time I plodded to the end, exhausted from the oppressive naïveté of the childlike servile narrator, this banality (that inside it, admittedly, packs a bit of a punch) actually started to make sense at its face value, because I had no desire left to care:
“There was something very special, but it wasn’t inside Josie. It was inside those who loved her.”

It’s a frustratingly vague story about a childlike AI - the titular solar-powered Klara - who is made to be a faithful and servile companion for a young teenage girl. Klara is a robot who is devoted to her kid Josie, observing the life around her and worshipping the Sun in the manner that stops being cute and becomes a bit disturbing.

Klara’s voice full of childlike innocence mixed with some stilted “robotic” constructions, sadly, does not help create an interesting narration. She’s supposedly very observant and apparently very intelligent — but I know it only because we are told so by the other characters while Klara herself, through her inner monologue and actions, comes across as little but a humanoid teddy bear.

For the life of me I could not understand what made her such a great companion, and how supposed supreme observational skills and intellect coexisted with such bland and dull inner (and outer, really) voice.

Me, after 250+ pages of Klara’s pensive yet unrelentless optimism.

And the vagueness of so many things in the story — the things that Klara’s narrative attention just slides off before anything becomes interesting — is really irritating. It’s not vague in a way that lends mystery feel but in a way that makes me wonder if the author himself had no idea about how certain things are supposed to work in this world, therefore sticking with just the blurry outlines and barest bones of worldbuilding. The focus is on Klara and Josie and maybe Rick — but they are not interesting enough to compensate for the vaguely futuristic dystopian sketch of the world around them. And all the potential in the relationships around Klara - the awful mother-daughter dynamic, the mother-Rick confrontation, the strange mother-son relationship, the absent father, the tensions between the elite and those left behind - all that was barely a glimpse as we kept circling back to Klara’s obsession with her owner and the Sun.

The story itself lacks much of the subtlety that I came to expect from Ishiguro. Things that are warped and wrong are telegraphed loud and clear (think those interactions at the party between both children and adults, and most of Josie’s mother’s actions, and the lifted/unlifted contrasts through Rick and all the others who have the privilege he does not). The lines are painfully clear, drawn starkly like those frustratingly often appearing boxes in Klara’s overwhelmed vision — all giving it a feel of a story that wants to make itself obvious for a younger audience, but can be a bit trite and simplistic for older readers. Not to mention that the idea itself of is a concept too ridiculous to ever really take seriously for adults, but something that can be tried and debunked for younger readers. I do wonder if it was conceived as a sad tale for kids and got aged up to appeal to a wider audience?
I expect better from a writer who penned The Remains of the Day - with all the subtlety and nostalgia and criticism of the unfair social order and musings on human nature and love and servility. Read that one instead.

It seems to have hit a perfect note for many readers, but for me it fell flat. And its denouement, meant to be pensive and bittersweet and maybe a bit anger-provoking behind the facade of sweetness made me just sigh in sadness that I got through all those pages for *this*. Because I kept hoping for the story to redeem its stiff bland journey by suddenly growing some metaphorical teeth in the end — and yes, Klara’s end was quietly heartbreaking and said a lot about us humans — but at that point my senses were too dulled by all the pages of Klara’s obsessively naive narration to really care and feel the impact as it should have been.

Sadly, the story ended up apathetically lifeless, and that’s unfortunate.

Maybe I’m too much of a cynic, and overwhelming majority of readers, judging by the overall rating, would disagree with my gripes, but it is what it is.

2 stars. It pains me to rate a book by Ishiguro so low.

Buddy read with Stephen and Barbara.

A much better story about an AI obsessed with the Sun is The AI That Looked at the Sun, a short story by Filip Hajdar Drnovšek Zorko (my review of it is here).
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
431 reviews4,224 followers
June 30, 2023
One of the worst editing jobs I have seen.

Klara is an artificial friend, AF, who is powered by the sun and sits in the store waiting for a little boy or girl to take her home. Until one day, Klara sees a child approaching the store....

This book could have been great, but it was B O R I N G and S L O W! It didn't even have chapters. It had Parts. On the audiobook, each of these parts was between 1 and 2 hours long.

The prose was horrible. It was very staccato because it was supposed to sound like a robot. "I did this. I did this. I did this."

As an introvert, the opening of this book intrigued me, because it was filled with Klara's observations of the world. However, it lasted way too long to the point that it was getting painful. The author also lost the emotional appeal of this book by trying to go for more a robot feel, very mechanical. The ending was also so lackluster and didn't have the emotional payoff that I was looking for. And ugh Ishiguro needs to get some original material for his next book (if you read Klara and the Sun and read Never Let Me Go, you will know what I am talking about).

Overall, Klara and the Sun would have been better off as a short story. And I'm angry. I'm angry because Ishiguro can write but this book didn't reflect that. The editor should have given better review notes and cleaned up this book before publication. Ishiguro has proven that he is a great writer. He has the writing chops so this book is such a tragedy.

2023 Reading Schedule
Jan Alice in Wonderland
Feb Notes from a Small Island
Mar Cloud Atlas
Apr On the Road
May The Color Purple
Jun Bleak House
Jul Bridget Jones’s Diary
Aug Anna Karenina
Sep The Secret History
Oct Brave New World
Nov A Confederacy of Dunces
Dec The Count of Monte Cristo

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Profile Image for Henk.
875 reviews
June 6, 2022
Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2021

Human callousness and the cruelty of forgetting and changing. All captured in a near future America with some very faint glimmers of hope intertwined
“Sometimes,’ she said, ‘at special moments like that, people feel a pain alongside their happiness. I’m glad you watch everything so carefully, Klara.”

One does not read Kazuo Ishiguro his works for literary fireworks on a sentence level. This is especially true for Klara and the Sun, told from the perspective of a quickly learning AI (or AF, artificial friend in the world building of Ishiguro). Her narration is initially childlike and naive and does not change that much, even with better of understanding of humanity. In a sense the writing is a bit like Haruki Murakami, with the themes being what pulls you into the book. Not to say Klara hasn't got an endearing and immersive narrative voice, because I was definitely hooked to keep on reading.

Ishiguro describes a near future world were inequality of changes are entrenched by genetics and artificial friends are companions available to the elite, to assist in homeschooling and keeping children company. The first part of the book details how Klara is selected by Josie, and reminded me quite a lot in feel and tone to the Sonmi-451 section of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. After this initial chapter we return to more familiar Ishiguro themes like servitude (The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go both come to mind) with Klara interacting with Josie and her mother, slowly learning more of the world and her purpose in it.

Klara as AI has a lot of magical thinking, and in contrast to the more familiar Terminator AI version or the Matrix, she is set on strictly following her designed goal to care for fragile Josie. There are important themes of loss and coping woven in, and questions on what make humans unique, if anything, in a world where artificial intelligence becomes ever more potent.
There is also a tint of doomed love with neighbour Rick and Josie, almost anime like (I was reminded a bit of Makoto Shinkai's your name.), but with a poisoned dagger edge embedded in it. The gravity of the world as it is, Ishiguro seems to say, is maybe too strong even versus all our good intentions. Also quite filmic is a meeting at the end of the book in an Edward Hopper like restaurant, where there are decisions made over dreams and futures, based on events and interactions from long ago.

Without self regard, Klara truly embodies love, in a way that feels superior to what we humans seem to be able to muster. She does not fundamentally change, but her surroundings do and people and time move on.
Hence the ending felt for me emotionally impactful and a perfect illustration of something the author said during the digital launch events: There is something very cruel about the human condition
Profile Image for emma.
1,866 reviews54.3k followers
January 20, 2023
Sometimes, you have to put your fate in the hands of the universe.

I am not a person who believes in manifestation, or fate, or signs. I am not spiritual or mystical or otherwise kinda kooky. I do not know anything about astrology - I can barely remember my main one, and the words "moon" and "rising" make me break out in hives.

But I do have one prevailing belief system in this life, and that is taking advantage of every book sale, even if you do not know the books-for-sale in question.

When I happened upon a vaguely Black Friday-related book sale involving the words "buy 2, get 1 free," I blacked out immediately. I blindly navigated the universe until I had three paid-for books (at 66 point 6 repeating percent cost) and a receipt in my hand.

This meant buying the following:
- a book I didn't really like in a series I kind of did
- a book I had previously had no intention of reading, but which was on many must-read-in-a-lifetime lists, one of my many weaknesses
- this book, whose title sounded vaguely familiar, and whose cover I liked, but whose synopsis I knew literally nothing about.

And yet...look how well it worked out for me. Another point for my personal religion.

I did not at all care for the other book I've read by this author, but if you had told me there were two working authors named Kazuo Ishiguro and Never Let Me Go was by the boring one...well, minus the same very specific niche of sci-fi they both exist in, I wouldn't have known.

Where that book bored me to a light and tender sleep, this was compelling always. While the writing of that one did nothing for me, I found this one pretty lovely. While the characters in that book instantly leapt out of my memory, these have lingered at least a little. And while the relationships and dynamics between those bozos were the worst part of Never Let Me Go, for me, they were the most interesting part of this.

And okay, yes, this still dragged a little for me, and okay, yes, it wasn't perfect, and okay, yes, I'm simplifying how much I liked even the above list items for the sake of comparison...

Even so, this was a nice boon to several clauses of my book beliefs, namely:
a) read books that don't sound good to you
b) read books by authors you haven't historically liked
c) judge books by their covers
d) judge books by their titles
e) go in blind
f) buy books, all the time, always, with any excuse or reason

Bottom line: I love when things that should go wrong for me go right!


judging a book by its cover wins again.

review to come / 3.5 stars

currently-reading updates

you've heard of buying a book for its cover, but what about buying a book for its title / cover combo?

clear ur shit book 33
quest 15: read a book with a female or non-binary MC

tbr review

happy thanksgiving! i am thankful for the buy 2, get 1 free sale i acquired this during
Profile Image for Eric Anderson.
686 reviews3,392 followers
August 18, 2021
“Klara and the Sun” is the first novel Ishiguro has published since he won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature which – of course - means that this is one of the publishing events of the year, but given this author's output producing a new novel roughly every five years means it's also coming right on time. I was entranced by his most recent novel “The Buried Giant” which reads like the most psychologically-compelling fable or fantasy tale. Yet, even though I have a high regard for his work, I was initially skeptical of the premise of “Klara and the Sun” which is told from the perspective of an Artificial Friend or AF who at the beginning of the story is waiting on a shop shelf for an adolescent child to purchase her. It sounds similar to the film series Toy Story or perhaps a bit like Pinocchio. This isn't a coincidence since Ishiguro described in a recent interview how he initially conceived of this story as a children's book. Additionally, given that this new novel is also about genetic engineering, the question of what it means to be human and it's set in an unspecified future point means it's also reminiscent of his novel “Never Let Me Go”. But the magic of Ishiguro's writing is that any reservations I had were quickly forgotten as I got into the drama of this suspenseful and moving story.

It's difficult to discuss this book without giving spoilers, but I'm going to do my best to avoid them. This isn't simply a saccharine tale because it's sweetness is also what makes it unsettling as we follow Klara's gradual understanding of the world around her and the expectations placed upon her. She's a naïve, highly perceptive and well-intentioned AF who has no qualms with the purpose she's been designed for: to support, nurture and give unqualified friendship to her child owner. When she is eventually purchased she does exactly that and her loyalty means that she goes to great lengths to be the best companion she can. Her faith in the power of the Sun drives her to perform a charmingly ardent act to help her child and around this time we also learn about the deeper purpose for which she was purchased. This means that these two narrative threads which are light and dark intertwine at almost the same point making the reader feel beguiled as well as horrified. It's a powerful effect which makes it a gripping story as well as one which raises lingering questions about the binding force of love.

Read my full review of Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro on LonesomeReader
Profile Image for Jessica Woodbury.
1,639 reviews2,149 followers
January 16, 2021
If NEVER LET ME GO is your favorite Ishiguro, he is serving up something very similar here. Ishiguro can hop between genres, but this is surprisingly close to that familiar territory, though with enough differences to be its own unique thing.

What you may recognize: the near-future setting that is mostly similar to the present but gradually we learn of some astonishing differences; the first-person narrator that is a kind of outsider who doesn't fully understand the world they live in; themes of loneliness and what makes a person human. Even the style of the prose is familiar, Klara and Kathy H. can feel quite similar sometimes. (I re-read NLMG just a few months ago so it's very fresh in my head.) With all that said, this is a slower book, one that focuses more on parents and children, and one that examines class.

It's interesting to me that in NLMG and KATS, Ishiguro takes on two common tropes of science-fiction: clones and robots. He also both addresses and never addresses the most common questions books about them explore: whether and to what extent they are human. Here, Klara is our first-person narrator guiding us through the world and there is never a question that she feels empathy and hope. The book still explores the ways Klara sees the world, how she is more or less human, but it is not the book's central question, and yet it also is. As you'd expect if you have read Ishiguro, it's quite a delicate business, the way he works in his themes, and here he beats around the bush a little less.

This is also quite slow, Klara's plot unfolds gradually but the real plot that Klara doesn't quite understand doesn't really unfold until nearly 80% of the way through the book. You definitely need to be ready to invest some time in this one. But it does all come together and from there it's quick.

I wouldn't say this is up there with my favorite Ishiguro's--I still like NLMG better, I would say REMAINS OF THE DAY is my favorite but I haven't read it in at least a decade so I'm due for a refresh--for me it falls in the middle. But an Average Ishiguro is still something to be happy about.
Profile Image for Marchpane.
296 reviews2,166 followers
July 26, 2021
Longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize

Klara is hyper-observant, always watching those around her closely. Noticing if, say, a flicker of sadness passes across someone’s features. Klara is also an Artificial Friend, a lifelike android destined to become a companion for a human child. Is it empathy, the way she notices, observes, adjusts her behaviour accordingly? Or something else?

Ishiguro excels at narrators who are detached, almost affectless, without being cold. Of this type, Klara is both exemplar and simulacrum. Her sensitivity to other people’s feelings is heightened to an ‘uncanny valley’ degree that makes her both deeply sympathetic and a little creepy. Her narration is formal, punctilious, scrupulously accurate. Her machine’s eye view of the world—which in unfamiliar or confusing settings, renders visually as a bizarre, tessellated jumble—keeps the reader slightly off keel.

As Klara and the Sun plays out, it feels almost like a Victorian-era novel: a friendless girl of low means is engaged by a wealthy family to act as a companion for their ailing daughter; the household mostly treat her as invisible but then start to take her into their confidences; there is a budding romance across class lines, and hints at dark family secrets.

The final act brings back the sci-fi with a unique dilemma for Klara. Without getting into spoilers, it’s a fresh and original A.I. tale, one that isn’t just another variation on Pinocchio. Faith and rationality; love and devotion; loneliness and grief. Which, if any, traits are uniquely, unprogrammably human? Big philosophical questions that are posed with Ishiguro’s typical subtlety and understatement.
Profile Image for Talkincloud.
171 reviews3,355 followers
August 21, 2021
Moja intuicja podpowiadała mi, że to powieść idealna dla mnie i się nie pomyliła. Właśnie takiej książki potrzebowałem: napisanej z wielkim wyczuciem, inteligentnej, przemyślanej, stworzonej od początku do końca z wielką gracją. Pierwszoosobowa narracja z punktu widzenia SP (Sztucznej Przyjaciółki)/androida wyszła autorowi naprawdę dobrze i wiarygodnie. To historia, która trzymała mnie w napięciu. Śledziłem losy Klary z wielkim zainteresowaniem, a z czasem nawet trochę zakochałem się w tym, z jaką wrażliwością patrzyła na świat. Klara jest bytem niewinnym, bystrym, bardzo prawdziwym i niejednokrotnie podczas lektury zastanawiałem się, kto bardziej "po ludzku" odbiera rzeczywistość — Klara, android, czy ludzie, którymi się otaczała? Ta powieść złamała mi serduszko i śmiało mogę powiedzieć, że to jedna z moich ulubionych historii tego roku.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews596 followers
March 9, 2021
Audiobook.... read by Sura Siu

“Klara and the Sun” is sooooo GOOD...
Absolutely MAGNIFICENT!!!

There’s already a myriad of reviews describing the plot,
and/or analyzing Kazuo Ishiguro, or comparisons to Ishiguro’s other novels,
and ‘more’ analyzing of the characters, the narrative, and book cover....
Dozens of marvelous reviews...
I’m just going add that “Klara and the Sun”, is one of my 2021 favorites!!!
....loved, loved, loved every second of it!!!!

The audiobook was as wonderful as can be!

It doesn’t matter what a readers genre preferences are...
....every man, woman, and child can find enjoyment in “Klara and the Sun”.

The Sun shines through loneliness and love.... and after listening to this powerful wonderful novel....
I listened to “The Sunhine Song”, by Jason Mraz...
to linger my melancholy mood a little longer.


....Klara rates top artificial friend in 2021.
Profile Image for marta the book slayer.
427 reviews1,060 followers
April 20, 2021
Wearing sunglasses for this review because I am anti-sun and anti-Klara

I wish I had quotes to put at the front of this review but nothing remarkable grasped my attention long enough to want to highlight it. I have such a strong dislike of this novel, I will not be caring about spoilers in my review. Read at your own discretion


Klara and the Sun is such a fitting title for this novel. I mean it is literally about Klara and the Sun. The novel begins with Klara, an artificial friend, in a storefront. Because this novel is in her POV, the dictation is very straightforward and simplistic. She knows she needs the sunlight to survive (is she a plant?) and values its importance. Therefore the first 1/4 of the novel is Klara in the shop window and her observances of the sun.

Once she is finally purchased by a sickly child who promises her a home with plenty of sunlight, Klara's immediate focus is on the child. Let's not get too carried away though, KLARA IS STILL OBSESSED WITH THE SUN. She is convinced that pollution has blocked the sunlight causing Josie (her human friend) to be sick. It has become Klara's sole responsibility to provide enough sunlight to replenish Josie to full health.

Then for 600 pages all we read about is the sun.

Klara wants to destroy the pollution causing machine.
Klara prays to the sun.
Klara thinks about the sun.
Klara meets different people and somehow manages to convince them to help her with her sun plan.

I mean maybe there are some secondary plot lines (????) aka Josie almost dying and Klara becoming her as an artificial child. What the fuck "lifting" a child even means ??? Why is Josie an annoying prick ??? (Sorry more questions than secondary plot lines because nothing was explained or fully developed)

Forget writing an interesting novel. When you pick a title just stick to it and make sure your novel repeats the wordsKlara and the sun as much as possible.

How do people actually get emotionally invested in this bootleg Westworld existentialist artificial robot praying to the sun, I have no idea.

thank you, next.
Profile Image for N.
23 reviews127 followers
August 15, 2021
Meh. To be entirely fair though, when it comes to Ishiguro I am like an addict forever chasing that first high. Never Let Me Go was the first novel of his that I read and nothing measured up ever since.
On a less subjective note, this book is great. Ishiguro looks at humanity from a slightly different angle than in Never Let Me Go, but seeks the answer to the same question: What makes us human?
Are we merely sophisticated machines held together by a bundle of data or is there something inside us that can't be replicated? Or is it perhaps the love we are able to ignite in others that makes us special? This theory was put to test however, when this particular reader started developing feelings towards our sweet and innocent narrator, the AF (artificial friend) Klara.
In the end, even though Klara herself tries to get to the bottom of it, we get the feeling this is one question we will forever try, and fail, to answer.
Profile Image for Jenna ❤ ❀  ❤.
809 reviews1,264 followers
March 14, 2021
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One day a couple years ago I was sitting at my desk at the library when a colleague came in and excitedly told me there were two men in a rowboat coming down the creek.

It's a slender and shallow creek and you wouldn't expect to see a rowboat coming down it, so I could understand her delight. She went to take some photos while I went about my work, declining to check it out myself.

That evening at home I told my partner about it, how Christy had seen two men in a rowboat in the creek behind the library.

"Wow!!" she exclaimed, asking if I'd gone out to see them. When I responded that I hadn't, she wanted to know why not. "Well, I'm not interested in rowboats nor two men in a rowboat," I replied.

S (in her sexy Italian accent):  "Yes you are, Jenna! You love rowboats!"

J:  "Um, not really. Why do you think I like rowboats?"

S:  "You always say how much you want to get one and how cool they are."

J:  "Um... no...." (scrunching my face in confusion). "Why would I want a rowboat?  What the heck would I do with one?"

S:  "You could talk with it, and have it do things for you, and......"

J:  "Oooh! A robot! You're talking about a robot!! No, it was a boat! You know, with oars? That you row? A rowboat!"

We both started laughing, me imagining her confusion over why I suddenly had lost interest in robots and both of us picturing an X-Men figure traipsing down the creek behind the library, supported on either side by two burly men.

The letters r-o-b-o-t are pronounced in Italian the way we English speakers pronounce "rowboat". Maybe you had to be there but it was incredibly funny.  When I asked why she didn't think it odd that there would be a robot in the creek, she shrugged, "This is America. Anything can happen in America".

She's got a point.

Given my love of robots, I've been eagerly awaiting Kazuo Ishiguro's new book Klara and the Sun. Unfortunately, it did not provide nearly as much enjoyment as that discussion about the rowboat. Perhaps I had too high hopes for it, but it just didn't deliver.

Klara is an Artificial Friend, a robot made to be a companion/babysitter for children. Klara is amazing and I would love to sit down and have a conversation with her.

Her observational skills are sharper than most humans' and the story begins with her in the window of a shop, watching the world outside.

She observes the Sun and the taxis and the Beggar Man with his Dog. She notices different facial expressions on people's faces as they hurry by. She is abhorred by a machine that produces Pollution, blocking out Sun's rays.

Klara is purchased for Josie, a young girl with some sort of illness, and it was easy to figure out, almost from the beginning, what the trajectory of the story would be.

I won't say more about the plot because I don't want to give anything away. This had the makings of an incredible story but unfortunately didn't live up to my expectations.

I enjoyed hearing Klara's thoughts and learning how she saw images differently than how humans see them. She sees through cameras and is programmed to differentiate shapes. Things appear two-dimensional and sometimes it takes a few seconds before she can figure out what something is. For instance, two humans embracing is a different shape than two humans not touching, and she might at first think they are a wide mug.

Walking down a path is easy for most people, but for Klara it can be a challenge. If the path is uneven, strewn with rocks, or overgrown with high grass along the sides, it can throw her off. It's easy to appreciate, reading this book, how difficult it is to enable robots to walk over a variety of surfaces.

Things like this in the book I loved. Unfortunately, there was so much dialogue that dominated these pages. Though I had to resort to it myself with the story at the beginning of this review, I dislike dialogue in books.

Also, the dialogue was sometimes stilted and sometimes unbelievable, especially when the children were talking.

There's not much that happens, which would have been ok had the book been limited to Klara's observations, thoughts, and feelings. I like introspective books and don't need a lot going on. However, the book just kept heading -with the overuse of dialogue - towards a "shocking" climax that I had figured out early on and thus wasn't shocking.

If you like futuristic stories and don't mind constant jibber jabber between the characters, you'll probably enjoy this. Klara is a remarkable character and kept me interested in the story, despite knowing where it was going and despite having to sometimes skim through pages of chit chatting.

I'm glad I read this even though my enjoyment was only three stars. Klara is a memorable character who I adored and who makes me look forward to the day when I can have my very own robot. (But no rowboat, please.)

And just in case you think it's only Italians whose accents confuse English words.... imagine my partner's amusement when I ask for a "penna" (pen) and pronounce it as "pene" (penis). She has told me I am absolutely not allowed, ever, to ask for a pen when we're in Italy. I suppose I'll be stuck writing with matiti (pencils, not my titty).
Profile Image for ✨ A ✨ .
432 reviews1,794 followers
August 13, 2021
There is something unnameable about the way Ishiguro’s books make me feel. I cannot explain it in words. They feel like a breath of fresh air on a crisp autumn day. Seeing an old friend after a long period of separation. That moment of complete silence in the early hours of the morning.

The writing was the author’s usual, simplistic style that never fails to captivate me. Full of subtle hints that leaves the reader desperate to figure out what our characters are going through. Pages rich with nuance and deeper meaning.

Ishiguro purposefully omits detail and specifics which allows the reader to flesh out thier own version of how to perceive Klara’s world (honestly this is my favourite part of his writing!! I like forming my own ideas and theories).

The futuristic setting doesn’t feel far fetched, but fills one with kind of feeling of foreboding. A look into where things are headed for us.

Klara was such an interesting narrator — naive and wise and full of hope.

Her observations of humans and the way she makes sense of the world were fascinating.

I’d begun to understand also that this wasn’t a trait peculiar just to Josie; that people often felt the need to prepare a side of themselves to display to passers-by – as they might in a store window – and that such a display needn’t be taken so seriously once the moment had passed.

Her reverence of the sun was most captivating. Despite being a robot, her faith felt genuine and the spirtual aspect of her personality was unexpected but engaging to read.

There was something very special, but it wasn’t inside Josie. It was inside those who loved her.

Ultimately this is a story of love and hope and all that we would do to hold on to those we love.

If you’re looking for a complex sci-fi novel — this is not it. I’d recommend this to literary fiction lovers and anyone who enjoys poignant slow paced reads.

Rating 4.5

thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy for review

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Profile Image for Jenny Lawson.
Author 6 books17.5k followers
December 20, 2020
I couldn't put it down. An examination of the beautiful and terrible human condition by way of a robot.
Profile Image for William2.
758 reviews3,075 followers
October 22, 2022
Is this a YA novel? The language is beautiful but supremely flat. It reminds me of Never Let Me Go in its dystopian setting and grueling humorlessness.

I’ve real all of Ishiguro’s novels. My favorite is The Unconsoled, among others reasons because of its wit. For example, in one scene set in a cinema Clint Eastwood stars in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

There’s nothing like that here. And I am reminded of what Martin Amis recently said about the necessity of wit (be it subtle or broad) in fiction.

The AI story in its moral ambiguity seems to me roughly analogous to what Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley did for vivisection in Frankenstein.

Klara is often treated like a cipher. Despite having some confused ideas about the world her capacity to read humans is startling. She’s sentient with a sense of the spiritual.

Guess her fate.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews46 followers
March 30, 2022
Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro

Klara and the Sun is the eighth novel by the Nobel Prize-winning British writer Kazuo Ishiguro, published on March 2, 2021.

Klara and the Sun, tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her. The book is narrated by one such Artificial Friend (AF) called Klara. Although exceptionally intelligent and observant, Klara's knowledge of the world is limited.

From the window of the store in which she is for sale, Klara learns about the world outside, and watches the sun which she always refers to as 'he' and treats as a living entity. As a solar-powered AF, the sun's nourishment is of great importance to her. On one occasion she notices that a beggar and his dog are not in their usual position; they are lying like discarded bags and do not move all day. It is obvious to Klara that they have died, and she is surprised the next morning to see that they are living and that the sun has with his great kindness saved them with a special kind of nourishment.

Klara comes to fear and hate what she calls the Cootings Machine (from the name printed on its side) which stands for several days in the street outside, spewing out pollution that entirely blocks the sun's rays. Klara is chosen by 14-year-old Josie, who lives with her mother in a remote region of prairie. Soon after joining them, Klara learns that the lifting process carries some risk: Josie's older sister Sal had earlier died, and Josie herself is gravely ill.

Josie's only near neighbor and childhood friend is Rick, a boy of about her own age. Although academically able, Rick has not been lifted and faces discrimination and reduced career prospects. In spite of this, Josie and Rick have always known that they will be together forever. From Josie's bedroom Klara has a good view of the sun's progress across the sky, and comes to believe that he goes to his nightly rest within a farmer's barn that stands on the horizon. With Rick's help, she makes her way there one evening across the grasslands. Although surprised to find the sun's resting place is not actually in the barn, she pleads with him to pour his special kind of nourishment onto Josie and to save her life, as he did the beggar. She offers in return to find and destroy the pollution-creating Cootings Machine.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز دهم ماه آوریل سال2021میلادی

عنوان: کلارا و خورشید؛ نویسنده کازئو ایشی‌گورو؛ مترجم شیرین شکراللهی؛ تهران، کتاب کوله پشتی‏‫، سال1399؛ در378ص؛ شابک9786004614603؛ موضوع داستا��های نویسندگان ژاپن تبار بریتانیا - سده21م

عنوان: کلارا و خورشید؛ نویسنده کازوئو ایشی گورو؛ مترجم شیوا مقانلو؛ تهران: نشر نیماژ‏‫، سال1400؛ در319ص؛ شابک9786003677081؛

داستان رمان «کلارا و خورشید»؛ در مورد رباتی به نام «کلارا» است، که میخواهد با انسانها دوست شود؛ داستان رمان، در مکانی ناشناخته روی میدهد؛ «کلارا» از جای خود در قفسه ی فروشگاه، مشتریان را می‌نگرد، و به این امید است تا کسی پیدا شود، و او را برگزیند؛ «کلارا» ربات دوست‌ داشتنی و مهربانی است، که همانند ربات‌های دیگر، نیرویش را از نور خورشید می‌گیرد؛ او در یک مغازه، کنار ربات دیگری به نام «رزا»، برای فروش گذاشته شده است؛ ربات‌ها فرصت دارند در مغازه، برای مدت کوتاهی پشت ویترین بروند، و در آنجا منتظر بمانند، تا خریده شوند؛ این ربات‌ها برای کودکان ساخته شده‌ اند؛ «کلارا» پشت شیشه منتظر است، تا کسی او را بخرد، اما جدا از خریده شدن، بر خلاف دیگر ربات‌ها، او عاشق این است که خیابان را ببیند، دوست دارد آدم‌ها و پیاده رو را ببیند، و بفهمد دیگر ربات‌ها چه کارهایی می‌کنند، و چگونه زندگی می‌کنند؛ او پشت ویترین می‌آید، و چند روز دیگر، با دختر بچه‌ ای به‌ نام «جوزی» آشنا می‌شود؛ «جوزی» دختری رنگ‌ پریده و لاغر است، که از درون یک تاکسی، «کلارا» را دیده و فهمیده او را می‌خواهد؛ این آشنایی داستان را می‌سازد، و شخصیت «کلارا» را در داستان شکل می‌دهد

نقل از متن از کتاب «کلارا و خورشید»: (من آن‌موقع هنوز خیلی تازه‌ وارد بودم و نمی‌دانستم که چطور باید پاسخش را بدهم، با اینکه همین سؤال ذهن خودم را هم درگیر کرده بود؛ بالاخره نوبت ما رسید، و من و «رزا» صبح پا به ویترین گذاشتیم، و بر خلاف دو «ای‌.اف» که هفته ی پیش اینجا بودند، سعی کردیم هیچیک از وسایل تزئینی در ویترین را نریزیم؛ فروشگاه هنوز باز نشده بود و فکر می‌کردم کرکره کاملاً پایین باشد، ولی وقتی روی مبل راهراه نشستیم، دیدم پایین آن به اندازهٔ شکافی باریک باز است – حتماً مدیر وقتی داشت بررسی می‌کرد که همه‌چیز برای ما آماده است کمی آن را بالا برده بود – و نور خورشید مستطیل درخشانی تشکیل داده بود، که تا بالای سکو می‌آمد، و درست مقابل ما در یک خط صاف پایان می‌یافت؛ فقط کافی بود کمی پاهایمان را دراز کنیم تا گرمایش را حس کنیم؛ فهمیدم جواب «رزا» هرچه که باشد، قرار بود برای مدتی تمام انرژی‌ ای را که لازم داشتیم دریافت کنیم و وقتی مدیر کلید را زد و کرکره بالا رفت، نوری خیره‌ کننده ما را فراگرفت؛ اینجا باید اعتراف کنم که من همیشه دلیل دیگری داشتم که می‌خواستم پشت ویترین باشم، دلیلی که هیچ ربطی به خورشید یا انتخاب شدن نداشت؛ برخلاف اکثر «ای‌.اف‌»ها، برخلاف «رزا»، من همیشه مشتاق بودم که بیرون را بیشتر ببینم – می‌خواستم همهٔ جزئیات آن را ببینم؛ بنابراین وقتی کرکره بالا رفت، از فهمیدن اینکه حالا فقط یک شیشه بین من و پیاده‌ رو بود، و از اینکه حالا می‌توانستم از نزدیک بسیاری از چیزهایی را ببینم، که پیش از این فقط یک گوشه‌شان را دیده بودم، آن‌قدر هیجان‌زده شدم که لحظه‌ ای خورشید و مهربانی‌ اش نسبت به ما را فراموش کردم؛ برای اولین‌بار می‌توانستم بب��نم که ساختمان آر.پی‌.او در واقع از آجرهای مجزا ساخته شده بود، و برخلاف چیزی که فکر می‌کردم سفید نبود و رنگ زرد ملایمی داشت؛ حالا می‌توانستم ببینم که بلندتر از چیزی بود که تصور می‌کردم – بیست‌ودو طبقه – و همه ی پنجره‌ های مشابه‌ اش لبه‌ ای مخصوص به خود داشتند؛ دیدم که خورشید خطی کج روی ساختمان آر.پی‌.او انداخته، و یک طرفش مثلثی که تقریباً سفید به‌ نظر می‌رسید تشکیل شده بود، و طرف دیگرش خیلی تیره بود، اگرچه الان می‌دانم که تمامش زرد کمرنگ بوده است؛ علاوه بر اینکه می‌توانستم تمام پنجره‌ها را تا پشت‌بام ببینم، گاهی افرادی را که در داخل ساختمان ایستاده، نشسته یا در حال حرکت بودند، تماشا می‌کردم؛ می‌توانستم افرادی را که در خیابان از مقابلمان عبور می‌کنند، ببینم، مدل‌های مختلف کفششان را، لیوان‌های کاغذی، کیف‌های رودوشی، و سگ‌های کوچک؛ اگر می‌خواستم می‌توانستم با چشم‌هایم هر یک از آنها را دنبال کنم، که از خط عابر پیاده عبور می‌کردند، و تا بعد از تابلوی حمل با جرثقیل و جایی که دو مرد تعمیرکار کنار یک زهکش ایستاده بودند، و با دستشان اشاره می‌کردند، به آنها دید داشتم؛ وقتی تاکسی‌ها سرعتشان را کم می‌کردند، تا عابران از خط عبور کنند، می‌توانستم داخلشان را ببینم – دست راننده‌ ای را که به فرمان ضربه می‌زد، یا کلاهی که بر سر یک مسافر بود؛ در طول روز خورشید ما را گرم نگه می‌داشت، و «رزا» به‌ نظر خیلی خوشحال بود؛ ولی متوجه شدم که خیلی به چیزهای دیگر نگاه نمی‌کرد، و چشمانش را به علامت حمل با جرثقیل مقابلمان دوخته بود؛ فقط وقتی چیزی به او نشان می‌دادم، سرش را برمی‌گرداند، و بعد جذابیتش برایش کمرنگ می‌شد، و دوباره به تابلو زل می‌زد؛ فقط وقتی که کسی جلوی پنجره توقف می‌کرد نگاهش را به جای دیگری می‌دوخت، مدت زمانش هم اهمیتی نداشت؛ در این شرایط هر دویمان همان‌طور که مدیر به ما آموخته بود، عمل می‌کردیم: لبخندی «خنثی» می‌زدیم، و نگاهمان را روی میانه ی ساختمان آر.پی‌.او در آن طرف خیابان ثابت نگه می‌داشتیم؛ خی��ی وسوسه‌ انگیز بود، که به عابری که مقابلمان ایستاده، نگاه دقیق‌تری بیندازیم، ولی مدیر برایمان توضیح داده بود، که ارتباط چشمی در این لحظات بی‌نزاکتی است؛ فقط وقتی که رهگذری مشخصاً سیگنالی به ما می‌داد، یا از پشت شیشه با ما صحبت می‌کرد، می‌توانستیم پاسخ دهیم، ولی نه قبل از آن؛

بعضی از افرادی که آنجا توقف می‌کردند هیچ علاقه‌ ای به ما نشان نمی‌دادند؛ فقط می‌خواستند کفش ورزشی‌شان را دربیاورند، و کاری با آن بکنند یا اینکه وسیله‌ های مستطیلی‌ شان را فشار دهند، اما بعضی از آنها خیلی به شیشه نزدیک می‌شدند، و به داخل زل می‌زدند، اکثرشان بچه بودند، و در سن‌ و سالی که ما برایشان مناسب بودیم؛ به‌ نظر می‌رسید که از دیدنمان خوشحال هستند؛ کودک با هیجان نزدیک می‌شد، تنها یا با بزرگ‌ترهایش، بعد به ما اشاره می‌کرد، می‌خندید، شکلک درمی‌آورد، به شیشه می‌زد، دست تکان می‌داد؛ من خیلی زود یاد گرفتم که هم‌زمان با زل زدن به ساختمان آر.پی‌.او به افرادی که جلوی ویترین هستند هم نگاه کنم، هر از چند گاهی کودکی به ما زل می‌زد، ولی اندوهی در چهره‌ اش بود، گاهی اوقات هم خشم، طوری که انگار ما کار بدی انجام داده بودیم؛ کودک به‌ راحتی می‌توانست یک لحظه بعد رفتار دیگری داشته باشد، بخندد یا مثل بقیه‌ شان دست تکان دهد ولی بعد از روز دوممان در ویترین خیلی زود متوجه تفاوتشان شدم؛ بعد از بار سوم یا چهارمی که کودکی با این حالت به ما نزدیک شده بود، سعی کردم با «رزا» در موردش صحبت کنم ولی او لبخند زد و گفت: «کلارا، تو زیادی نگران می‌شوی؛ مطمئنم که آن کودک کاملاً خوشحال بود؛ چطور می‌توانست در چنین روزی خوشحال نباشد؟ همهٔ شهر امروز خیلی خوشحال‌اند.»)؛ پایان

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 21/01/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ 09/01/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Valeriu Gherghel.
Author 6 books1,442 followers
July 9, 2023
Cronicarii literari anglo-saxoni mi s-au părut paralizați de faptul că Ishiguro a primit toate premiile posibile. Ei propun ca recenzii niște rezumate amănunțite (ca să dea impresia de analiză), lungi, ca o zi de post, terne, ca predicile arhiepiscopilor nonagenari, după care conchid suav: De la „nobelist-ul” Kazuo Ishiguro nu te poți aștepta decît la o capodoperă. Klara și Soarele este, neîndoielnic, o capodoperă, încă o dovadă a cunoscutei sale forțe narative. Sigur, nu e cel mai bun roman al lui etc. etc.

Ce-aș putea să spun? Tot așa: nu e cel mai bun roman al lui Ishiguro. Mitul androidului malefic și despotic e înlocuit în acest roman cu mitul androidului bun, milos, angelic, iute săritor la nevoie, optimist. Klara și Soarele e o replică a Sfîrșitorului malign. În plus, mă întreb galeș: ce e nou în acest roman prin raport cu Never let me go? Nu-mi dau seama...

În distopia din Klara și Soarele, oamenii par o specie decăzută, pe cale de dispariție; sînt complet storși de vlagă (a se vedea portretul Mamei, excursia la cascadă). Încep să aibă defecte la sistemul cerebral și locomotor (li se umblă la gene). Sînt uzați, morocănoși, țepeni și suferă de un deficit de vitalitate și afecțiune (Josie, Mama, Rick nu ies din acest tipar). În plus, par a fi lipsiți de orice speranță. Noroc de androizii inocenți și afectuoși (dintr-o serie mai veche), de la care pot reînvăța să-și iubească aproapele și să adore vechea divinitate a Soarelui (care încă nu s-a răcit complet).

Nu mai e ca în romanul SF clasic. La Ishiguro, nu găsim deosebirea fermă dintre om și robot. Omul se comportă și gîndește ca un robot, robotul, în schimb, are trăsături umane: Klara e, uneori, mai umană decît Josie. Poate învăța, simte tristețe și bucurie, discriminează între bine și rău, are intuiții, speră. În lumea din Klara și Soarele, există această ambiguitate: nu mai știm cine e android și cine e om. E limpede că romanul lui Ishiguro nu se încadrează în modelul canonic impus de autorii SF. Asta îmi aduce aminte de cărțile lui Kurt Vonnegut. Și ele greu de clasificat într-o specie literară.

În fine, s-ar cuveni menționat faptul că naratorul poveștii e Klara, deși Klara nu vorbește deloc ca un robot. Mai degrabă, Menajera Melania vorbește așa, sacadat, rece, în enunțuri aspre, fără propoziții secundare...
(20.01.23, vineri).
Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan (Dasfill).
1,265 reviews2,439 followers
June 3, 2021

(Throwback Review) The story of Klara, an artificial friend with extraordinary observational skills, and Josie will touch our hearts. This is a book which most of my friends and some well-known critics didn't like. But I simply loved it.

One of the controversial topics discussed just after this book was published was the writer's jinx after winning a Nobel Prize. Some were also comparing this book with the author's initial works. I can understand why some people didn't like this novel. Maybe they are true that this book is not as good as his earlier works. Still, I think that Kazuo Ishiguro's works are all unique in their own way, which are unsentimental to a certain extend and can't be compared with each other.

The plot is nothing extraordinary, and the worldbuilding is not perfect. The narration flows at a slow pace. Despite all these flaws, there is something in this novel that will keep us glued to it. The way this novel ended won't be alluring for many people. But in my opinion, the ending doesn't matter at all. This is a novel where you can apply the concept of "journey is the reward." In this modern world where we are addicted to speed, books like this are indispensable to slow us down and teach us to live in the now to relax and savor the smaller moments and beauty of our lives.

“Sometimes at special moments like that, people feel a pain alongside their happiness. I’m glad you watch everything so carefully.”
Profile Image for Baba.
3,618 reviews986 followers
September 6, 2023
Klara is normally at the back of the store, but finally gets her big chance in the shop window and sees more of the world and soaks in empowering sun rays. When Klara is chosen by a little girl, she is warned not to invest too much in humanity. Klara is an AF, an Artificial Friend, an AI construct, an older model, but one with exceptional observation skills!

The utter beauty of Ishiguro's speculative fiction works are that he has zero interest in the science and writes all about the emotion, thoughts, wants, needs etc. A wonderfully weighted tale delightfully told from the perspective of Klara, ultimately making her an unreliable but literal narrator? I have no doubt that now I am fully versed with this read I will Five Star my re-read, but there was so much mystery and nuance this read was all about discovery and acclimatisation.

And to top all this off, Ishiguro, in this book is asking, what is love? Yet another haunting read of the same ilk as Never Let Me Go, a speculative fiction that dwarfs almost everything ever written in this genre for its focus on humanity and the world class writing. A 9.5 out of 12, Four Star read.

2023 read
Profile Image for Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer.
1,820 reviews1,378 followers
August 9, 2021
The Nobel Laureate discussed his latest book on a Guardian Live event the evening of publication (with an audience of 3500+) – his first event of what he calls a virtual world book tour.

Alex Clarke hosted with questions asked by pre-recorded video by Daisy Johnson, Bernardine Evaristo, David Mitchell and Emma Thompson.

Here are my notes on the evening.

The genesis of the story is a children’s story – for children of 5-6 years old that Ishiguro had developed. He has always been fascinated by the link between the hopeful and sweet illustrations and the text – which, with a wish not to deceive our children too much, hint partly at the darker side of reality.

He ran the short story past his daughter (Naomi – of course a novelist in her own right) in 2014-15 and was hold he could go nowhere near children with it as he would traumatise her. The story was about a stuffed toy bought by a girl in a shop – the girl was not well and the two of them watch the Sun pass from one side of the room to the other.

The novel is more optimistic than the original children’s story.

The Science/Artificial Intelligence idea is something he is also interested in – and he felt if the book was in an adult part-dystopian world – the teddy bear could be an AI Robot.

Ishiguro enjoys writing with a distanced or alienated narrator which allow him to bring an external perspective on humanity and to focus on the oddness of the narrator. Klara fits this well – her entire role is to prevent loneliness in teenagers so her entire focus (initially) is on loneliness and what it means in humanity. This approach – a distanced narrator - allows him to focus on the themes he wants to explore in an economical way.

He does not think of the setting of this novel as dystopian in the same way as “Never Let Me Go” – this is a confused world, in flux and trying to work out how to re-organise itself in response to rapid technological change.

Historically – effectively his first three novels - he had very stable backgrounds (country houses for example) and tended to focus his novel on the darker sides of humanity.

He then had a (his words) “rather odd” midpoint of his career when he focused on dream-scapes.
In his last three novels including this one - he has (which he thinks is a process of maturity) to have a darker background but in his novels to celebrate the better parts of humanity. Klara believes in some form of innate goodness – and focuses on the Sun as a benign presence.

His narrators often do not realise how lost they are until much later in the novel – or how little they are in control of their emotions and decisions. A lot of his books feature narrators (Stevens, Kathy, and now Klara) who do not realise until later that what they consider their best efforts are part of something different and less benign. He likes this idea as it captures how difficult it is for all of us to get a real perspective on the present and metaphorically the reality of our own lives.

His early novels were written by narrators looking back at their life – trying to make sense of their life and their decisions. As he himself has got older he has realised you don’t even really see a clear path even in retrospect where critical decisions and mistakes can be identified – he now realises luck and circumstance have much greater effect. So he know sees this as a convenient storytelling device but as something he no longer wants to rely on.

As someone who explores themes (and sees settings as secondary) he feels he has the freedom to try genres. He described his like for genre as slightly childlike – and a little like someone who likes to try their hand at cooking different types of food, he enjoys trying his hands at different genres. He then finds that some of the constraints and forms of the genre give his ideas more strength.

His early models for great artists are people who switch genres – he mentioned Dylan’s switch from folk to electric which he was “in awe“ of as a 14-15 year old (by which time Dylan’s greatness as someone who switched genres was already established) . He also mentioned Stanley Kubrick (horror, science fiction, cold war satire), Miles Davis, Picasso. From an early age he understood that great artistry meant moving on – after writing “Remains of The Day” he felt he needed to go on an electric tour and get boo-d by his previous fans – something that happened a little with “The Unconsoled”.

He likes to mention Worcestershire in every novel. David Mitchell (at the time on tour for his debut novel “Ghostwritten” asked him why he always mentioned it) – at the time he did not recognise this (and still does not think he did it in his first novel) but as a result he chose to make this his signature (as standing for a traditional part of England).
He always writes in a first person style, addressed to some form of audience, because he still thinks of himself as a folk singer/songwriter performing his songs to a small pub (which was his original impression)

He tends to start his book with the ending as the after-effect of a book, the emotions and ideas a reader is left with after reading, is the crucial thing he is aiming it. He thinks too much critical writing advice concentrates on how you keep a reader engaged as they read the book – he is far more interested in how to stay in the mind of a reader long after they have finished the book. He is far more interested in longevity than engagement and as a result sacrifices something of the reading experience to achieve this.

Last year has shown a clear divide between two different views: a rational, evidence based version of the truth and an emotional version of truth (where what you feel and believe to be true is true) – and this divide (shown between the science of COVID-19 and the reaction of Trump supporters to the election) has made him fundamentally question what he does. Does fiction even deserve a Nobel Prize – are artists and fiction writers on the wrong side of the fence of this divide over truth.

Is it enough anymore to simply say fiction is important because it contains emotional truth (which is what he says in his Nobel acceptance speech).
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,404 reviews11.7k followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
March 8, 2021
My days of enjoying Ishiguro might be forever over. For a literary fiction writer to take on the subject of AI is already too heavy a lift as it's been explored so thoroughly in genre fiction and TV, and explored well. However, I thought Ishiguro would be able to add some special magic and find a new angle, like he did in Never Let Me Go. Alas, this narrative and perspective are incredibly boring and a tad twee and I am not interested whatsoever.

I feel like many aging authors, once great, like Ishiguro, McEwan, Atwood, think that they have something new to say in the world of SF, but they really don't, maybe they did, back in a day, but not anymore.

I'll let people unfamiliar with SF go on and shower praise on Ishiguro. I'll just stand here and marvel at the travesty.
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