Tuesday, August 31, 2010

never let me go by kazuo ishiguro

i picked up this book because the preview for the forthcoming movie gave me chills. the book . . . . not so much.

the most frustrating thing about the book is that it had so much potential but didn't deliver pretty much on any account.

its a story about three friends. they are clones, raised for the sole purpose of organ donations. the story is told in first person by kathy. she meanders through memories of them growing up in a boarding school and later she cares for ruth and tommy as they go through their organ donation procedures.

my problems with the book were these:

- ruth is supposedly kathy's best friend. in fact, it's the relationship she talks about the most in the book. but all of the stories kathy tells about ruth reveal her to be selfish and malicious and manipulative. i couldn't find anything to like about her.

- tommy and kathy's relationship is supposed to be the main relationship in the book, but so much time is spent elsewhere you end up just kind of being told they love each other, you don't really see or feel it happen. it almost feels like they're only in love because ruth tells them to be. there was so much room for that relationship to be expanded and backed up.

- when the book started off i liked kathy. she seemed like a sweet girl. but by then end i was annoyed by her complacency and passiveness. i wanted her to get a spine, to do something, anything!

- the book is supposed to make you think about/question science progression and souls and stuff. i can see where it was headed, but it just got lost in all the mess of the story. there are two or three chapters toward the end where the real point of the book comes through, but then it just drifts off into . . . . well, nothingness. no questions really get answered. nothing is resolved. nothing is changed.

- the whole time i was reading the book i kept thinking, "what is the point of this narrative?" it felt like it was supposed to be directed to someone specific. i expected some kind of thesis or objective to come through in the end, but, again . . . . nothing. after i read the last sentence i thought, "seriously, that's it? . . . "

the book left me feeling frustrated and like i had wasted my time.


i originally put that i didn't like this book. and i can't say that i enjoyed it; i felt really let down by the ending. but i can say that i haven't stopped thinking about it since i read it a year and a half ago. it haunts you. it makes you think. i makes you question. so i have to acknowledge that it is an accomplished book; an important book. i would like to read this again with a group so i could discuss it with people. 

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