never let me go

Although I enjoyed it enough to finish it, and there are many great moments throughout, overall I felt a little let down by Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. I was initially intrigued by the premise and I have enjoyed books about dystopian societies in the past. However, the dry, rambling, deeply introspective narrative of narrator Kathy dragged much of the time and went off on tangents. Sometimes this was okay, as though you are in a conversation with Kathy, although often it became taxing on my patience. The other two main characters, Kathy’s childhood friends Tommy and Ruth, created the central love triangle that drives the story, but I found them a bit flat and underdeveloped. But because of their life at Hailsham—a secluded, elite boarding school—perhaps their naive, unaffected manner was intended by the author. The characters hardly aspired to more than the life laid out for them, and this made it hard to root for them—I was disappointed. This book left me with so many ethical, societal, philosophical, social questions, which I liked, but there was no debate or exploration of the issues. The “big reveal” climax was not shocking and was a bit too simple as well. I feel, not indifferent, exactly, but unmoved. The story and characters could have been developed so much further.

Read from February 12 to 29, 2012.