Never Let Me Go
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.
READ AN EXCERPT
My name is Kathy H. I’m thirty-one years old, and I’ve been a carer now for over eleven years. That sounds long enough, I know, but actually they want me to go on for another eight months, until the end of this year. That’ll make it almost exactly twelve years. Now I know my...
1. Kathy introduces herself as an experienced carer. She prides herself on knowing how to keep her donors calm, “even before fourth donation” [p. 3]. How long does it take for the meaning of such terms as “donation,” “carer,” and “completed” to be fully revealed?
A New York Times Notable Book (Top 100)
One of Publishers Weekly’s Top Ten Best Books of 2005
One of Seattle Times’ Top Ten Best Books of 2005
Finalist in the National Book Critic Circle Award
A TIME Best Book
One of TIME’s 100 Best Novels (from 1923 to the Present)
Shortlisted for Page Turners, BBC One’s new book club
"A clear frontrunner to be the year’s most extraordinary novel."
—The Times (UK)
"So exquisitely observed that even the most workaday objects and interactions are infused with a luminous, humming otherworldliness. The dystopian story it tells, meanwhile, gives it a different kind of electric charge. . . . An epic ethical horror story, told in devastatingly poignant
miniature. . . . Ishiguro spins a stinging cautionary tale of science outpacing ethics."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Perfect pacing and infinite subtlety. . . . That this stunningly brilliant fiction echoes Caryl Churchill’s superb play A Number and Margaret Atwood’s celebrated dystopian novels in no way diminishes its originality and power. A masterpiece of craftsmanship that offers an unparalleled emotional experience. Send a copy to the Swedish Academy."
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Elegiac, compelling, otherworldly, deeply disturbing and profoundly moving."
—Sunday Herald (UK)
"Brilliant . . . Ishiguro’s most profound statement of the endurance of human relationships. . . . The most exact and affecting of his books to date."
—The Guardian (UK)
"Ishiguro’s elegant prose and masterly ways with characterization make for a lovely tale of memory, self-understanding, and love."
—Library Journal (starred review)
"Ishiguro’s provocative subject matter and taut, potent prose have earned him multiple literary decorations, including the French government’s Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and an Order of the British Empire for service to literature…. In this luminous offering, he nimbly navigates the landscape of emotion — the inevitable link between present and past and the fine line between compassion and cruelty, pleasure and pain."
Praise for Kazuo Ishiguro:
"His books are Zen gardens with no flowery metaphors, no wild, untamed weeds threatening — or allowed — to overrun the plot."
—The Globe and Mail
"A writer of Ishiguro’s intelligence, sensitivity and stylistic brilliance obviously offers rewards."
—The Gazette (Montreal)
"Kazuo Ishiguro distinguishes himself as one of our most eloquent poets of loss."
—Joyce Carol Oates, TLS
"Ishiguro is a stylist like no other, a writer who knows that the truth is often unspoken."
"One of the finest prose stylists of our time."
"Ishiguro shows immense tenderness for his characters, however absurd or deluded they may be."
"[Ishiguro is] an original and remarkable genius."
—The New York Times Book Review