Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go

byKazuo Ishiguro

Kobo ebook | March 19, 2009

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From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human.

Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it.

Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it’s only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.

Never Let Me Go breaks through the boundaries of the literary novel. It is a gripping mystery, a beautiful love story, and also a scathing critique of human arrogance and a moral examination of how we treat the vulnerable and different in our society. In exploring the themes of memory and the impact of the past, Ishiguro takes on the idea of a possible future to create his most moving and powerful book to date.

Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan on November 8, 1954. In 1960, his family moved to England. He received a Bachelor's degree in English and philosophy from the University of Kent in 1978 and a Master's degree in creative writing from the University of East Anglia in 1980. He became a British citizen in 1982. His first novel, A...
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Title:Never Let Me GoFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:March 19, 2009Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307371336

ISBN - 13:9780307371331

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Never Let Me Go A haunting novel of love and loss. Slowly building, the story leaves you thinking about humanity and what it is to be human.
Date published: 2015-10-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Haunting tale I was not familiar with the author before reading this book. It took me some time to settle in to the story but when I did I was unsure of where this telling was leading. It is a very powerful story and I found my emotional response to the characters quite strong. The author leads you through strong arguments dealing with life and living. I was quite touched by the characters and sad to come to the end of the story.
Date published: 2015-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Absolutely amazing. It touches a subject that may have been our possible future, and might still be. It's such a beautiful book about humanity, love, memories, LIVING... More than well worth the read. Some parts do drag, even if they are necessary.
Date published: 2015-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Never Let Me Go Excellent book. I WAS enthralled to the end Makes one think. What are the ramifications of human manipulation?
Date published: 2015-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Delightfully unsettling I love books that become more unsettling the more you read - Never Let Me Go is one of them. Cathy's world becomes more and more horrifying as you learn about it, with great suspense and pacing. A delightfully creepy dystopian take on modern medicine.
Date published: 2014-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read it. You’ll be glad you did. Amazing tone. I felt like someone was talking to me, telling me the story rather than me reading it.
Date published: 2014-11-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Poignant Wow. Disturbing, heartbreaking , thought provoking.
Date published: 2014-09-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty ok It's written like someone is telling you the story over a pint, but they keep digressing when you really just want them to get to the point. Still interesting though.
Date published: 2014-08-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty ok Very good read nice flow and story line.the book has you wondering what happens next and wrapped up in the main characters life.
Date published: 2014-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very interesting Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy go to a special school that's on for kids like them. They live there and learn there and, in many ways, they are like normal teenagers. But some things don't seem to make much sense to those three and as they slowly start to peel away the layers, they learn more about what their future is going to be like. As they learn about their future, they also need to go through regular teenage problems, like betrayal, gossip, and sex. Years later, Kathy meets up with Ruth and Tommy to re-live some of their good times together and some of their more passionate arguments. They still have a lot of questions about what happened while they were at school and what's still to happen to them in the future. This book is a very subtle science fiction. The way Ishiguro presented the more science fiction elements of this book were slipped in to the book like they were no big deal and as if they are secondary elements to the story. Not only were these elements the odder parts of the story but they were also the twists in the story and I don't recall ever having read a book where the author is so nonchalant about the twists of his story. One thing I never understood about the book is why the characters just accept their fate. Why don't some of them run away? Some of them would dream of running off to the USA and becoming actors. Why didn't they try? Also, why did Kathy put up with Ruth all that time? I would have given up with her and found other friends.
Date published: 2012-05-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Loved the Idea I loved the idea of this book, and I loved the characters. I even loved the story...however...It seemed to me like I was reading an outline of a story. There was just never "enough" of anything. I could have read 200 more pages, if only more information had been included throughout. I was disappointed.
Date published: 2011-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from As close to perfect as I have ever read! Ok, so there has been a lot of praise for this novel over the last decade or so, and I always figured I'd get around to it, but to be truthful I was expecting this to be one of those novels that was so pretentiously written you'd need a Masters in English to decipher it. This was what I expected. However, what I actually got was a complex, haunting, heartbreaking, beautifully written story about sacrifice, love, friendship, and morality that touched me deeply. Ishiguro walked the razor's edge throughout this entire novel, and proved himself worthy of the label "Best Novel of the Decade". It is a rare thing to have a literary experience like Never Let Me Go...don't deny yourself any longer!
Date published: 2011-03-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quietly Shocking I was drawn to the title of this book. I think being a romantic at heart, the title just captures you. But there is so much more to this novel that the covers only elude to. This book touches on humanity in a way that no one wants to face and yet is on the verge of becoming reality. This book draws you in quietly, bringing you into the characters and eventually revealing tthe darkness that all of the characters are forced to face. It's breathtaking, tragic and deeply compelling. It leaves you exposed and brings you to face questions and realities in yourself that you otherwise would have overlooked.
Date published: 2011-03-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from A Big Disappointment I loved Kazuo Ishaguro's "The Remains of the Day" and had high hopes for this book. I am at a loss as to the positive reviews... I didn't like the writing style, plot, or characters. One of the worst books I have ever read.
Date published: 2010-12-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from good read good read
Date published: 2010-11-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Unique Story It was a good read that wasn't quite a page turner for me but was well written and had an engaging plot. I found that the author did a great job building relationships between characters, rather than individually, through describing social interactions in detail. His first person style of writing was slow to take hold, but once it did, it felt like a more intimate storytelling. What stands out to me, however, is the unorthodox plot and setting of the novel. While the story has a conclusion, it leaves readers asking questions about the world that they read about, and whether such a world is possible in our real lives. I read this book as part of a book club. WIthout giving anything away, this book deals with a theme all humans can comtemplate on some level or have an opinion about, particularly for me. Thus, it generated very good discussion during the book club meeting.
Date published: 2010-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from You won't forget Kathy This is easily one of the best books I have read this year. It is haunting and beautiful and quite frankly it is also frightening. I have suggested this novel to countless friends. Ishiguro has created a truly memorable narrator in Kathy H.
Date published: 2010-11-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Horrible A real page turner - couldnt turn the pages quickly enough! A booker prize book? Both the plot and characters were empty. Could not finish it. Would not recommend!
Date published: 2010-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very moving Incredible book, changed me after reading it. Really recommend it!
Date published: 2010-09-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Didn't Grab Me There's no denying that this book has great potential. The storyline is solid, but the writing style never drew me in. I wanted to like it. Maybe it was something about Kathy's narration. She would go on for ages about little things that I thought might come back later to become important points, but they never did. The characters themselves lacked that special something that really makes you feel for them. I'm not one to leave a book unfinished, but this one was a struggle. I kept holding out that maybe it would start to get exciting if I just kept reading, but nothing about this book drew me in or gave anything to be looked forward to. It has great potential, so maybe the movie will be better.
Date published: 2010-09-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not what I had expected This book was hyped up for nothing, although I do give credit to the author for his imagination and ability to describe settings with wonderful detail; I thought this book could offer more due to its topic. Def. recommend My Sister's Keeper in terms of a book dealing with using another person's body parts to save another. I was quiet disappointed in this book; as I read I found nothing to look forward too.
Date published: 2010-08-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Suspenseful and eerily suggestive 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.
Date published: 2010-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Never let this go I have read the synopsis on the back cover countless of times, but it did not seem to be the kind of book I would have been interested in. How wrong I was. I had to read it for a book club and I instantly fell in love with it. Not to spoil the plot too much for those interested, it has a dystopian setting yet it is handled in such an ordinary manner that it is as though reality has presented itself and you are expected to know what it is. Hints are dropped here and there as to what this mystery could be, while an air of secrecy still constantly shrouds the reader's mind till it is directly dealt with. The sociology, mentality, dilemmas, in the context they were set in, lead one to ponder since they are very applicable to our current society itself. Despite the unexpected setting, what the story truly is about at the front and center is the friendship of three friends through time and the revelation of what their lives are about. Memories are recounted, sometimes in a slow and articulated way, sometimes rushed and repeated - isn't that how our minds work when we want to savour a memory or when thoughts of the past come gushing back to us? These anecdotes and the language they were written in really moved me. The final paragraph of the book was so delicately penned that the impact of the words reverberate on beyond the conclusion of the novel. It has been on my mind and will continue to be; I suppose this is what it means by "Never Let Me Go".
Date published: 2010-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A rare gem. There are few books like this in the world. Few stories that can make you ashamed of a world that doesn't even exist. Few characters that you love and pity and ache for this much. The author unravels the truths behind the lives of Kathy and Tommy and Ruth gradually, drawing you in, making you care for them even while you see them at both their best and their worst. You watch them hurt each other -- sometimes intentionally -- and you watch them love each other. And then, when their truths are fully revealed, you wonder why they don't rail against the injustices done against them. A calmly-paced yet gripping novel that is a love story, a mystery, a shocking portrayal of worldly greed and complacency and apathy, an indepth examination of what it means to be human, and a bold reflection of society's fears and prejudices.
Date published: 2009-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from captivating! A wonderful book - I was absorbed in it immediately! The themes and characters intertwined to create a frighteningly real story that I had to finish as quickly as possible. The moral dilemmas presented throughout the text were very relevant to our current social context, and gave much to reflect upon after reading. The book, however, was rather depressing, and the ending was certainly not uplifting, but this did not diminish how powerful a read it was as a whole!
Date published: 2008-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderfully Seductive This novel was superb, it created an entire world for me to become submersed in. Everytime I set it down I was plague with questions that could only be answered by reading. The author slowly gives out answers like chocolate mints on my pillow. I would recommend it to all my friends.
Date published: 2008-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Haunting WARNING: THIS BOOK IS VERY DEPRESSING, AND IT WILL HAUNT YOU FOR DAYS AFTER READING IT Never Let Me Go is a brilliant book. It is perfect in every aspect. Ishiguro's prose slowly builds up to the explanation parts of teh book, and through the whole constantly carries a feeling a dread. I don't know how hed oes, but that's just how it is. Second: DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT READ ANY OF THE OFFICIAL REVIEWS, AS THEY ARE SPOILERIFIC. DO NOT READ ANY OF THE PLOT DESCRIPTIONS, AS THOSE ALSO SPOIL THINGS. I CAME IN WITHOUT ANY KNOWLEDGE OF THE PLOT, AND WAS SHOCKED BY THE TWISTS. IF YOU WANT TO ENJOY THIS BOOK COMPLETELY, DON'T READ ANYTHING ABOUT THE PLOT. Anywho, brilliant book overall. It was very affecting and moved me.
Date published: 2007-12-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst Book Ever This book is bad. I cannot figure out why there are such rave reviews about it. The characters are annoying, the plot makes no sense in the end. It's a slow read and you will feel as if you wasted your time reading it.
Date published: 2007-11-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just didn't connect... Margaret Atwood says Never Let Me Go is "a brilliantly executed book by a master craftsman who has chosen a difficult subject: ourselves, seen through a glass, darkly." The Independent (UK) called it "an exquisitely nuanced, and extremely moving process of revelation. Never Let Me Go is a novel about love and goodness and the hopes and fears of the human heart." Time Magazine named it one of the greatest 100 novels since 1923. Ishiguro's novel tells the story of Kath, Ruth and Tommy three students at an exclusive English boarding school called Hailsham. There is something odd about Hailsham and the reader comes to understand its secrets at just about the same time as the story's main characters. It's actually quite difficult to say any more without giving away plot points which are essential to the novel. Despite the fact that there is a sense of urgency to understand just what is going on at the school, Never Let Me Go is not a mystery story. Ishiguro does a great job of stringing the reader along, sure, but the true genius of this novel is what he says about hope where there can be none and love where there shouldn't be. And despite the fact that it does tackle larger issues- of morality and the consequences of science- the novel is also about these three friends, their triangular love affair and their hopes and dreams for the future. It's a remarkable novel. But I didn't like it very much. I found it somehow disorganized- the narrative was choppy. The novel's climax was mainly expository. The novel's themes are reiterated by a secondary character. I wanted to care for Kath and Tommy and Ruth- and I did- but I wanted to care more, I guess. Still- the final scene of the novel is haunting and if the novel were to be held up as an example of the extremes (both the cruelty and kindness) of mankind- I'm sure you'd be hard pressed to find a book that does it better than this one. So, I didn't particularly enjoy the book, but I wouldn't hesitate in saying that it is worth reading.
Date published: 2007-11-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from An interesting, but unoriginal, story The premise upon which this book is written is interesting, but not particularly original, especially for readers of sci-fi/fantasy. Mr Ishiguro's attempt to fit this story in a current day setting is rather clumsy and in fact draws attention to the boundary between reality and fiction. The prose is elegant as always, the characters themselves are believable although not endearing. There are some lovely moments scattered throughout. Unfortunately, my overall feeling for this book is negative: the pacing is off, the placement of the characters in today's society was not well thought out, and the ending lacked any sort of satisfaction. For those curious about Mr Ishiguro's writing, read "The Remains of the Day" instead and leave this book on the shelf.
Date published: 2007-09-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Read the book, not about it Listen: You need to watch out for spoilers. I knew a key bit of the plot before reading the book and I think I would've enjoyed it more had I gone in blind.
Date published: 2007-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous I loved this book. I didn't want it to end,it was such an enjoyable read.
Date published: 2006-12-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not So Good I didn't overlly enjoy this book. I was hoping there would be a big twist, but there wasn't. It is exactly what you think it is. There is absolutely ZERO climax to this story. If I were you, i would skip this book and go to blockbuster and rent the island instead. it'll take up less of your time and it's the same idea but better.
Date published: 2006-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Never Wanted to Let it Go After having read Ishiguro's similar "Remains of the Day" and "An Artist of the Floating World", I keep being taken aback by the author's awesome talents for spinning an intricate story around powerful human emotion and deep questions of personal identity. While perhaps not a book for the beach, any literature lover will truly love diving into this book's theme to uncover how its metaphors and message truly relate to their lives ... and perhaps those of a land in the not too distant future.
Date published: 2006-07-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting and Enjoyable I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I was pleasantly surpised. It's sort of "Handmaids Tale" meets "1984" however there seems to be more emotion weaved into it. The concept is scary and I like that the author doesn't come right out with it in the beginning. This leaves you searching, thinking you know what's happening but not quite certain. I think this was a worthwhile read!
Date published: 2006-07-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not what I hoped for This was my pick for our bookclub to read, however I would not choose it again. I found it did not "flow". Much of it is written in a "train of thought" style- as if the person was standing before you relating a story and that made it disjointed. The "more about that later" kind of comments were annoying to me. The premise of the book was promising but it did not deliver for me.
Date published: 2006-06-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Thought Provoking I agree with many other reviews in that this book was difficult to get into. I found the narration in the first person to be difficult to follow and at times very choppy. I also agree that the book doesn't move very quickly. I admittedly had a hard time getting through it. However, as I sit back and reflect on the book, it makes me feel quite upset. The thesis of the book is fairly clear, and the presentation of the "utopian" society doesn't sit comfortably with me. I can only assume that these are the emotions the author is trying to evoke, and that getting me to question science and the direction we are headed is the idea behind his writing the novel. All in all, this story is haunting in that it stays with you long after you've finished reading.
Date published: 2006-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Poignant and Authentic I beg to differ from previous reviewers in their assessment of "Never Let Me Go." Admittedly, the novel is by no means action-packed, but it does provoke thought. If language and dialogue are simple and have aspects of immaturity to them, it is because they belong to the sort of characters who best serve to illustrate the author's point: ordinary and unremarkable people. The understated beauty of Ishiguro's novels usually involve dramatic irony: first-person narrators reveal truths about themselves to the reader, truths of which they themselves are unaware. NLMG is no exception in this respect. There is something very poignant and authentic about Kathy and her memories and feelings regarding Hailsham, her former boarding school. The book is not (and I believe never claimed to be) "science fiction"; the science and technology implied in the plot are already for the most part known and mastered. Rather, it is the social situation of his characters that Ishiguro has invented. Ultimately, however, the lives of his "special" characters merely mirror and amplify our own, in that we cannot, any more than Kathy or Tommy or Ruth, control our own destinies and we do not always have all the time we need. By creating a fictional scenario, Ishiguro heightens our understanding of what is treasured -- and heatbreaking -- about our own childhoods and lives.
Date published: 2006-06-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Don't waste your time This book was a colassal disappointment. It was tough to get into, tough to get through, and felt like a time-waster at the end. The sci-fi mystery is too easily discerned to keep the reader interested, and while the message is important, neither the context nor the characters are interesting enough to make you care.
Date published: 2006-05-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An Important message, in an adequate book Since this book was so highly touted, I had many great expectations. Yet, halfway through the book, I found myself wanting, and reminded of Wyndham’s classic work with little if any of his creativity. I would not consider this classic science fiction in any sense of the word. While the message is important, the book itself is a good read, nothing more.
Date published: 2006-01-02