Thursday, 24 March 2011

Book #10 Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go

I saw the trailers for the film version of Never Let Me Go before I'd read the book, and found them off-putting to be honest, it seemed like a drab and drearfest and Keira Knightley is in it...but, when staying with two university friends in London, they both recommended it and themselves had yet to see the film adaptation.

What I like about the book is it's subtlety, Kathy H as the books narrator doesn't throw into your face all the background information at once, allowing you to discover it for yourself by degrees which I think shows great skill from Ishiguro. I rather wish I hadn't seen the trailer for the film as I would have known less of what the plot entailed whilst reading it, and what future awaited the 'Students Of Hailsham' which had I not been aware of I would have come to the book blind about. This is a shame for me as a reader because if you don't know, the book truly makes use of your curiosity as a reader and the art of sinister suspense.

Why are the students always at Hailsham? Why haven't they got parents? Why are they repeatedly told that their lives have been chosen for them and that their courses are set?

The book is very sad if you think about the way in which the characters hold on to their hopes and dreams and mythical legends of what chances could be if only you could ask the right person and prove the right thing, and in some ways the characters remain innocent in spite of their brutal reality.

What I did question after reading the book, is why none of them tried to "Do a Winston Smith" the hero of 1984 and stick two fingers to the system and leave it? Why did they blindly accept their fate? Was it because they were so indoctrinated as children it never occurred to them? And if so, that's another scary thought about the power to influence young minds.

This book is on reflection really good, and I think I would have a greater opinion of it had not the general concept been spoiled for me by knowledge of the film prior to reading it, so if you haven't seen the film, don't, read this first, and if you don't know what the film is about, try your best not to find out. 9/10

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