Title : Never Let Me Go
Author : Kazuo Ishiguro
Publisher : Knopf
Published : 2005
Page : 304 pages
My Rating : 3.5/5
Last week, finally I managed to finish Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. I’ve been gone so long from writing post in this blog. At first, it was because of my exam weeks (which was pretty wild, last semester), the others, well, it was just me making too many excuses for all the laziness. So when I reached the last page of Never Let Me Go, I immediately vowed that I’ll write something about this book.
I’m not really familiar with Kazuo Ishiguro’s works. In fact, Never Let Me Go is my first encounter with him. So, I clearly didn’t have any idea about what will I find here, which is one thing I’m glad about.
Never Let Me Go went with a very slow pace. It’s telling us chronicles of Kathy H’s life (she’s our narrator) from her younger years in a boarding school called Hailsham, up until this moment she narrated her story to us. It’s detailed, maybe too much detail, the type which may bring the boredom. I could say that I was not captivated at the first. I almost ditched this book, actually. But still, I want to know. I want to know what happened in Kathy’s life that made her telling us this story. What’s interesting from this book, which I couldn’t find immediately from the start? Which is why I keep on reading, and slowly immersed into Kathy’s storytelling.
It is revealed that Kathy, and other students at Hailsham, and many others outside, were, actually not humans. They are products from science, born from the thirst of health issue –the clones. They’re meant to be donors, giving their organs away when there’s someone who needs it.
Kathy herself is preparing for her first donation, after 11 years being a carer. Her friends mostly were already donors, or even had completed. In this book, she reminisced her time with those friends, especially Ruth and Tommy, who were sharing a very deep relation with Kathy’s story.
What I find great from this book is not its idea of clones, donors or anything else. But I loved how this story is so humane, with beautiful friendships and rich intrapersonal relation between the students—the clones. I liked how bitter this story is carried away, how cruel is the world in Never Let Me Go. It’s also raised a question about norm and society, the ethics of making clones. Is it really approvable to make clones and treat them like cattle in the slaughterhouse? Raised them healthily and ripped their organs in the end, ignoring their feelings and soul as, well, human.
This somehow science-ish background made this story more ironic and cruel, but I think that was not the whole point. I really enjoyed this book despite its slowness. Sure, the opening didn’t kick off with some “wow” moment and there’s no action or intense fight scene. But I think it’s nice to read something “lighter” for some leisure reading, it’s a new experience for me.
P.s: They made a movie from this book! Definitely will check it out!