Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro has been on my "to be read" shelf for a while, and when the book finally came into my local Chapters outlet, I immediately picked it up. However, this novel is not exactly what I expected.
Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go is in many ways an odd novel: on one hand, it presents a dystopian world, where clones ("students") are created and harvested by humans for their vital organs; conversely, Ishiguro focuses mainly on the innocence of three of these students as they grow up in a private school and the love -- and conflict -- that arises between them.
Never Let Me Go was certainly a page turner, and I would bill it as "gothic science-fiction": a strange -- yet not too unbelievable -- world is presented through the eyes of Kathy -- a student -- as she tries to comprehend what exactly is going on outside of her sheltered perception. In this unknowing way, Never Let Me Go presents more questions than straight answers until the last 30 pages, and I was left feeling that the story wasn't heading anywhere until that point.
Overall, the last 30 pages do make the previous 230 worth it and are great areas for discussion and personal contemplation about the loss of innocence and -- most importantly my opinion -- the sheltering of knowledge and its potentially dreadful excesses. While it's not as frightening as Huxley's Brave New World or Orwell's 1984, as despondent as McCarthy's The Road, or as strictly allegorical as Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Ishiguro does well to create a truly thought-provoking work.