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Never Let Me Go


Never Let Me Go
Kazuo Ishiguro
288 pages

First sentence:  My name is Kathy H.

Reflections:  For the first half of this book I found myself wondering, "what was all the hype about?"  But then the plot builds in the second half towards some inevitable conclusions and becomes quite compelling.  The story begins at Hailsham, an English boarding school that on the surface is just like many others with its traditions and rituals.  It quickly bcomes apparent there is something different about both Hailsham and its students.  For one, the students appear to have no parents.  They don't go home on holidays.  They learn they will be unable to have babies ... hang on, what's this?

SPOILER SENTENCE:  It turns out the children at Hailsham are the product of cloning, and are being raised for the specific purpose of donating their organs as adults.  

Ishiguro's understated style makes for a surprisingly moving story.  The plot revolves primarily around 3 students who are in a love triangle of sorts.  They attend Hailsham until roughly age 16, and then move on to "The Cottages" and, later, various facilities around the country.  As they mature they gain a clearer understanding of their purpose in life and, inevitably, try unsuccessfully to bargain for a different outcome.

This book deals with moral choices or, more accurately, moral failure with very frightening consequences.  And it's somewhat Orwellian, in that you can almost imagine a society that would make these same choices.  In the end this is a haunting story that will linger in my mind for some time.


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11 / 50
(22.0%)


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3,949 / 15,000
(26.3%)