Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

73%

15 Critic Reviews

In one sense, Never Let Me Go is a mystery novel, with the question of the characters' purpose and future hanging constantly in the air. But the clues are all in place, and the mystery is easy enough to unravel...Once again, it's amazing how Ishiguro says so much, and so well, about people who themselves say so little.
-AV Club

Synopsis

From the Booker Prize-winning author of "The Remains of the Day "comes a devastating new novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were.
Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go" "is another classic by the author of The Remains of the Day."
 

About Kazuo Ishiguro

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Kazuo Ishiguro is the author of five previous novels, including The Remains of the Day, which won the Booker Prize and became an international best seller. His work has been translated into twenty-eight languages. In 1995 he received an Order of the British Empire for service to literature, and in 1998 was named a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.
 
Published April 5, 2005 by Vintage. 272 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Romance, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Never Let Me Go
All: 15 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 3

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Sarah Kerr on Apr 17 2005

At times uncomfortably, for a work that aims to give us a distilled and persevering human essence, we can sense the controlling care with which Ishiguro invents and organizes her memories. Yet if the novel feels a bit too distant to move us to outright heartbreak.

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Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Jeruen Dery on Jul 18 2011

With respect to the novel, I am actually glad that I picked up this book. I don’t think I can say anything negative about it. I loved the way that it was written: the narration was subtle, and it felt like it was a narration that slowly embraced my whole being as I read the book...This is one book that will linger in my head for the days to come.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Pacze Moj on Oct 27 2005

There is no more apt way to begin a review of Kazuo Ishiguro’s newest novel Never Let Me Go than with a mention of its main character, Kathy H. This is not because she is an exceptional character, but because it is through her that Ishiguro narrates the story, and his narration is brilliant.

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Examiner

Above average
Reviewed by Kristin Wilson on Apr 10 2012

Never Let Me Go faces the questions of ethics in modern medical science. The reader learns more about Hailsham and the students, many times as the students are learning these facts themselves...Never Let Me Go explores what it means to live a full and complete life, especially when you have been aware of your fate since you were young.

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AV Club

Good
Reviewed by Tasha Robinson on May 31 2005

In one sense, Never Let Me Go is a mystery novel, with the question of the characters' purpose and future hanging constantly in the air. But the clues are all in place, and the mystery is easy enough to unravel...Once again, it's amazing how Ishiguro says so much, and so well, about people who themselves say so little.

Read Full Review of Never Let Me Go | See more reviews from AV Club

http://www.bookdrum.com

Above average
Reviewed by alanashtonsmith on Oct 01 2015

Those brought up at Hailsham are able to have fully developed lives...However, this humanises the donors more than most people are comfortable with...It is the conflict between these two perspectives, and the ways in which Ishiguro’s characters negotiate this conflict, that drives Never Let Me Go.

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Things Mean a Lot

Above average
Reviewed by Ana S on Dec 21 2009

In a way, Never Let Me Go is also a book about relationships and transience; about silence and regret. What Ishiguro does so well is to make everything completely understated and yet incredibly moving and impossible to ignore...Never Let Me Go raises questions about identity, about how much people will accept...

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The Literary Omnivore

Good
Reviewed by The Literary Omnivore on Feb 11 2013

Pointedly painful and gorgeous in its minimalism. Never Let Me Go examines the intellectual and moral toll its institution takes not only on its main characters, but also on us, in the quiet, matter-of-fact voice of Kathy. Well worth a read.

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Vulpus Libris

Below average
Reviewed by Mary on Nov 13 2007

The characters of Kathy, Ruth and Tommy lacked development and never came to life for me. Such things as the role of art in their lives was treated very superficially with no insight of any sort. Even the prose is dull, unimaginative and repetitive.

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https://www.commonsensemedia.org

Above average
Reviewed by Barbara Schultz on Oct 01 2015

Readers are kept on very much the same footing as the central characters; we experience the same kind of suspense as the dark, disturbing reality they face unfolds, and it's gripping...Though Never Let Me Go is not a masterpiece on the order of Remains, it is thought-provoking and creates a fully realized, horrific, unforgettable world.

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Pretty Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Stacey on Aug 09 2011

Never Let Me Go is one of those books that is really hard for me to review. It’s quiet, understated, and I loved it but I find it difficult to say exactly why I did.

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Bite the Book

Good
Reviewed by bitethebook on Aug 06 2014

This is one of the most haunting coming of age novels I have ever read...Ishiguro underplays his hand perfectly making any revelations seem normal and familiar. And in doing so makes the story even more tragic. A morally complex look at the value of life that acutely captures the fragility, despair and uncertainty of growing up.

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https://www.sfsite.com

Above average
Reviewed by Trent Walters on Nov 08 2005

Still, it hurts not to have just praise for Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go since, apart from not asking enough questions of his society, the world is as rich as its characters. It's a book that begs to be reread for successively deeper understandings...If you don't mind a few problems in your speculative worlds, check this one out.

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Onyx Reviews

Above average
Reviewed by Bev Vincent on Nov 03 2015

The mastery of Never Let Me Go is the way in which Ishiguro's heroine wanders down memory lane. Hers is not a linear reminiscence...Ishiguro creates a dystopian reality on the level of Brave New World without making his creation seem hostile...the impact of Never Let Me Go depends on the book's society being frighteningly recognizable.

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https://www.worldswithoutend.com

Above average
Reviewed by thrak on Oct 03 2013

'Never Let Me Go' really brings out the unfairness of the clones' situation. It is a powerful metaphor for disenfranchised peoples growing up in a world set against them from the beginning...But more than all of this, at its core 'Never Let Me Go' is a great love story.

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Reader Rating for Never Let Me Go
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