zaterdag 24 juni 2017

"Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro

"All children have to be deceived if they are to grow up without trauma."

It isn't easy to review this book without giving away spoilers, but I'm going to try anyway. Really, you have to discover what's going on yourself to really appreciate the book. Superficially, the beginning of the novel might make you think "Never Let Me Go" is a standard coming-of-age story, told by Kathy, a young woman who looks back on her childhood in a boarding school. She tells us about friendships, love and first sexual experiences - things that every youngster growing up finds important. But then there are signs that not everything is at it seems to be. From the beginning she tells us she's a 'carer' but she doesn't tell us exactly who or what she cares for. She also uses words like 'donors', 'possibilities' and 'deferrals' - but it takes a while before we fully understand what they mean. And then there's the enigmatic 'Madame' and her mysterious 'gallery'. Although the story takes place in the 1980s and 90s, it's clear that we're actually reading about an alternate Britain and of a society that is in some ways very different from ours. Or is it?

Kazuo Ishiguro is a British author of Japanese descent. He's probably best known for his novel "Remains of the Day", which was filmed with Sir Anthony Hopkins.  In "Never Let Me Go", Kathy tells her story in a very casual, conversational way. The information is fed to the reader piece by piece. Her na├»ve point of view is endearing, but once you realise what is actually happening, you really start feeling for her and her friends. The "Never Let Me Go" is a clever novel about hope, the destruction of hope and of resignation. This will stay with me for quite a while.

Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Title: Never Let Me Go
Publisher: Faber and Faber, London
Year: 2005
Number of pages: 263 p.
ISBN: 0571224121

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