NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro

What if cancer and many other diseases could be cured, but the method is so heinous it would be kept from not only the general public but from the donors themselves? Where do you draw the moral line between the health of yourself and your loved ones and the life of another being? This book paints a ghastly portrait of the lengths to which some will go and how ignorant we can choose to be. It's done in so beautiful a prose that even though you suspect the disturbing truth, you can lie to yourself all the way to the end. But deep down, you do know. And you are forced to examine your own hypocrisy.

I still am not sure how to answer some of the questions I asked myself when I put the book down. And I didn't like my answers to some of the others. I appear to have some work to do to bring my actions in line with what I profess to believe. Ignorance really is bliss. Or is it?

This book reminded me a lot of The Handmaid's Tale. Not the story itself, but how it was written. I enjoy first person point of view, and there is something very appealing about being spoken to as if you understand all the odd terminology and then finding out whether or not your assumptions were correct or not. However, not all questions are definitively answered by the end of Never Let Me Go. I think that's what makes it so powerful. I don't rate books, but I have a feeling this is one that I'll be thinking about for a long time to come.


Other reviews of this book:

From Writer2B

For a different point of view, see John's review at Book Mine Set (Part I and Part II). Just so you know, there are some spoilers there. He also has links in his comments to more blog reviews. Happy exploring!

And here is a review from Chartroose at Bloody Hell, It's A Book Barrage that includes some great humor. (Not to mention that the Monty Python photo in the header always makes me smile!)


Shelley said...

I loved both this one and The Handmaid's Tale. Your description is exactly my memory of Never Let Me Go--it is a story I often think about, even though I read it a few years ago.

Teddy Rose said...

Great review! I loved both this book and The Handmaids Tale. I also saw some simularities between them.

Very nice blog by the way!

Teddy (from the TBR Challenge)
So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Lezlie said...

Thanks and thanks! I'm having a great time with this whole blogging world. It's so fun to be able to share opinions with readers from all over!


Jeane said...

I just came across your blog. I liked this book, though I did find it a bit disturbing. I couldn't believe how ignorant the youth were, and that some deliberately kept themselves that way.

Tasha said...

This book definitely creeped me out. Not only the story, but Ishiguro's writing style. He is so quiet and deliberate, and the result is haunting. I don't know if I would say I liked Never Let Me Go, because it is quite disturbing, but I do plan to re-read The Remains of the Day.

Lezlie said...

Charley ~ That is a great description, "quiet and deliberate". I know exactly what you mean. Never Let Me Go is the only book by him that I've read, but The Remains Of The Day is the one that will be next.


John Mutford said...

Asides from being dystopian fiction, I don't draw a lot of comparisons to Handmaid's Tale. Though perhaps to Oryx and Crake. Have you read that one?

I was only lukewarm on this one. My review is here.

Lezlie said...

Hi, John! I haven't read that yet, though I believe we have it at home. The style of Never Let Me Go just reminded me more of Handmaid's Tale as opposed to, for instance, Brave New World or 1984.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading this. I just reviewed this book myself, and provided a link to yours.

Lezlie said...

Writer ~ Thanks! I'll link your review here as well.