Never Let Me Go

Kazuo Ishiguro
Never Let Me Go Cover

Never got a rise out of me


As much as have an intellectual appreciation for Ishiguro's prose and the themes he tries to cover in his story, this novel just left me cold and unfulfilled to the point that I just stopped reading.

It's not a bad book; perhaps it's a perfect storm of tone, style, and setting, but it just utterly failed to grab me. The British college setting totally didn't appeal to me, and I found the narration to be meandering and rambling. It felt like reading a transcript of an elder woman, in the grips of nostalgia and senility, recounting the minute and insignificant details of her childhood.

I know this is a celebrated novel, and it pains me to just give it up; but none of the three main characters grabbed me. There was nothing in their behavior or personality that made me root for them, and their ultimate fate just made this situation worse.

The prose is well-written. It's simple, direct language, and there is a lot of emotional texture and detail to it. The overall story arc is interesting, and I appreciate that Ishiguro wanted to talk about the worth of life through an original SF setting. It just... Gosh, I wish it had gotten a simple rise out of me so I'd stick it out. Maybe I'll watch the movie adaptation instead.