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Never Let Me Go

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  349,438 Ratings  ·  23,892 Reviews
From the acclaimed author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, a moving new novel that subtly reimagines our world and time in a haunting story of friendship and love.

As a child, Kathy – now thirty-one years old – lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to beli
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by Vintage Books (first published March 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
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
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
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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
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Fabian
Oct 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Ah, f**kin' British writers! My inclination to adore everyone from Evelyn Waugh to Charles Dickens, from Alex Garland to Zadie Smith seems very ingrained deep in me, primordial, & there must be SOME 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
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Ian "Marvin" Graye
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
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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
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Esteban del Mal
Jan 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Seth T.
Oct 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Madeline
Dec 04, 2009 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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Juushika
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Jim Fonseca
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had this book on my TBR shelf for years without realizing that it was essentially dystopian science fiction.

The main character is a woman in her early thirties reflecting back on her life as a child at a private school in England. Kids in the school grew up in an isolated but almost idyllic setting; not knowing their parents but realizing somehow they were “special.” After finishing school they live together in small groups in cottages before heading out into the world on their own. The story
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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
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Adina
Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Just announced as Winner of the Nobel Prize 2017!!! Well deserved.

****

I believe a good book transmits a feeling, happiness, sadness, outrage etc. Of i do not feel anything after I read a certain book I do no consider it was worth it. And this book defenitely made me feel something. What? I cannot put it into words. A feeling that made me take a break from the for two weeks but also made me return to it when I felt I was in the right spirits. I do not know why but I really liked this book. It is
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Maxwell
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Still remains one of my all time favourites.
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
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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
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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
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Stephen
Jul 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, overrated
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nandakishore Varma
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
Kevin Ansbro
Aug 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
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 dual
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Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
The first note I want to make about this book is to clarify from the Publisher's Summary that it is not an "edge-of-your seat mystery." I wouldn't even factor the mystery element of this story into deciding whether or not you want to read it.

The primary categorization I'd use is Dystopian. I must admit that when I picked it up, I was looking forward to a dark & mysterious tale, and that isn't altogether what I got from this book so I can't help but feel let down in some ways. I am hoping th
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*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
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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
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Emer
Thought provoking.
Life shattering.
Gut wrenching.
Searingly painful.
Utterly beautiful.

A story about what it means to be truly human.

five stars

"So you’re waiting, even if you don’t quite know it, waiting for the moment when you realise that you really are different to them; that there are people out there who don’t hate you or wish you any harm, but who nevertheless shudder at the very thought of you and who dread the idea of your hand brushing against theirs. The first time you glimpse yours
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Jessi
Aug 27, 2010 rated it liked it
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
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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
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Emma
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopia
'When I watched you dancing that day, I saw something else. I saw a new world coming rapidly. More scientific, efficient, yes. More cures for the old sicknesses. Very good. But a harsh, cruel world. And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind world, one that she knew in her heart could not remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go. That is what I saw. It wasn’t really you, what you were doing, I know that. But I saw you and it broke ...more
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Around the Year i...: Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro 21 127 Feb 14, 2018 04:36PM  
Reading 1001: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro 4 24 Jan 31, 2018 01:49PM  
EVERYONE Has Read...: Never Let Me Go - *SPOILERS* 76 313 Jan 31, 2018 12:46AM  
BIBLIOGNOSTS: Club Meeting day. When and Where - Never Let me Go 1 3 Dec 26, 2017 03:46AM  
  • Alien vs. Predator
  • The Unit
  • The Collected Poems
  • The Man Who Loved Children
  • Dear Diary
  • Oh the Glory of it All
  • The Year of the Flood  (MaddAddam, #2)
  • Call Me by Your Name
  • A Home at the End of the World
  • Anthony Bourdain Omnibus: Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour
  • The Deptford Trilogy: Fifth Business/The Manticore/World of Wonders
  • The Group
  • Elizabeth Costello
  • In the Forest
  • Everything You Need
  • How to Cook Everything: The Basics: Simple Recipes Anyone Can Cook
  • The Death of the Heart
  • Astonishing Splashes of Colour
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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 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
...more
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.” 2595 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.” 1510 likes
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