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Never Let Me Go Paperback – 25 Feb 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Faber & Faber Paperback Edition edition (25 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571258093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571258093
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (608 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kazuo Ishiguro is the author of six novels, A Pale View of Hills (1982, Winifred Holtby Prize), An Artist of the Floating World (1986, Whitbread Book of the Year Award, Primio Scanno, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), The Remains of the Day (1989, winner of the Booker Prize), The Unconsoled (1995, winner of the Cheltenham Prize), When We Were Orphans (2000, shortlisted for the Booker Prize) and Never Let Me Go (2005, shortlisted for the MAN Booker Prize), and a book of stories, Nocturnes (2009). He received an OBE for Services to Literature in 1995, and the French decoration of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1998.

Product Description


"'Ishiguro is the best and most original novelist of his generation.' Susan Hill, Mail on Sunday" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Never Let Me Go is the acclaimed bestseller by Kazuo Ishiguro, author of the Booker Prize-winning novel, The Remains of the Day and The Buried Giant. Now a major film adaptation starring Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Bolandini on 1 Aug 2007
Format: Paperback
I found this book deeply disturbing and was unsettled for a long time after reading this novel.

The story concerns a group of children who appear to live an idyllic life in school in the country, but an evil fate awaits them the implications of which slowly become clear.

I am very enthusiastic about Ishiguro's prose style, he writes simply and boldly, and the result is not stark but rather beautiful storytelling; each paragraph has an intensity worth savouring. The horror of their situation is revealed calmly, without any fuss or melodrama. The characters have only the language of euphemism to describe the fate which awaits them, and this helps keep the dreadful fate awaiting them a secret. I don't wish to spoil the surprise, by telling anything more explicitly, but suffice to say this is a story of a whole society's evil being visited on a group of people, and how the victims cope or don't.

I recommend this story whole-heartedly.
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158 of 166 people found the following review helpful By John Self on 16 Mar 2006
Format: Paperback
Never Let Me Go is in some ways more straightforward than most of Kazuo Ishiguro's novels, and more fully comprehensible than any since his masterpiece The Remains of the Day. And yet there is still enough lightness of detail and wealth of moral ambiguity to justify much strokey-chin thought after the last page has been closed, and even to warrant an early re-read.
The setting of the book is "England, late 1990s," but not as we know it. We can tell this even from the limited narrative offered by Kathy, who tells us very little of the real world outside her immediate (and past) environs. There are words dropped innocently but sinisterly: donations, carers, completing, none of which have the meanings we understand. Kathy was a student at Hailsham, a residential institution for children which educated them and encouraged creative expression, but was not quite a school... They are being prepared for lives as 'carers' and 'donors', and they are a form of experiment made possible by advances in technology which, in this parallel world, came in the 1950s but which we are only seeing now.
To say more than this would ruin the story, as there are two mighty coups of revelation delivered about a quarter and halfway through the book, which resonate through the rest of the story and are quite impossible to free from your mind. The impression I get, however, is that Ishiguro is less interested in the sci-fi aspect of this than in using it as an allegory for us all, the stunted limitations of many of our lives, and our blithe acceptance of our ultimate fate.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By H. Tee on 11 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book as indeed clearly have most of the other reviewers. I'm not sure I can add much other than to express what worked and didn't work for me.

I liked the simple style of the narrator Kate, her language was engaging and realistic and felt genuine. Her story from childhood to adult `carer' alongside her friends Tommy and Ruth was believable and maintained a plausible sympathy. The story's pace is, as the lower `star'ed reviewers indicate, somewhat dull but I felt that this matched the style of the narrative - this isn't supposed to be a blockbuster tale with dramatic escapes, guns or lasers; we're placed in a subtle world where people have accepted the premise of clones for organ donation. The major scene associated with the title (Kate dancing to the song) was very symbolic and affecting. The ending changed nothing and so represented the premise of the slightly altered world - it's not a story about righting a wrong.

Now what I didn't like about the story stems from the more logical side of my brain, i.e. given the clone premise was the story believable? I did keep wanting or expecting references to the clones rebelling their lot (c.f. my review for Uncle Tom's cabin and antislavery). Society might not think clones have souls but the clones themselves would know for sure. Kate is eloquent and intelligent yet never once questioned the status quo (a line like `Am I not equal to my `possible'?" might have been enough).
I couldn't quite understand why clone couples i.e. Kate and Tommy couldn't just get lost in society if they wanted to stay together - all it needed was some reference to a visible marking/branding or appropriate id etc. Given that clones have "possibles" (i.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Dec 2005
Format: Hardcover
When my book group picked this book, I was very very leery. I had previously read, and been wholly unimpressed with "When We Were Orphans" and had no desire to give Ishigiro another go. Fortunately I overcame my skepticism, and about a week before our meeting I finally opened the book. From almost the first page I was enthralled and completely under the spell of the prose. I'm not generally a fan of highly mannered writing, I tend to prefer a little razzle-dazzle, a little style, but the precise and pitch-perfect narration sucked me under like a riptide. It is the best novel about nostalgia and memory I have ever read, and at the same time, it is a brilliant science fiction tale. Like all science fiction, the story has its own mysterious vocabulary, but it is told without the genre trappings that ghettoize science fiction. Ishigiro sets his story in a recognizable  mid-1990s Britain but with a significant and sinister difference. And like the best science fiction writers, he does not attempt to explain why this difference exists, or how it came into being, or how the technicalities of it work, he simply presents it as a given and lets his characters loose. Those who demand explanations and internal historical rationales for it are going to be disappointed, and are, moreover, missing the point of the book.
From the very begriming, 31-year-old narrator Kathy sets a subtly ominous tone by telling the reader she has been a "carer" for over a decade and that the authorities are pleased with her. It's a short step from this to "donors" and "recovery times" and other intriguing tidbits that announce we are in a slightly different world.
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