Never Let Me Go

I heard about this book while trolling through random blogs on wordpress.  I came upon this blog post about the book and it sounded very interesting.  I checked out the book and it was an interesting read.

Book Stats

288 pages (paperback)

Genre is weird, I almost want to call it literary fiction.  Amazon calls it a psychological thriller.  I’m going to call it drama because I think that’s the most fitting genre for it.  There is a science fiction element to the book, but I think the drama element outweighs it.

Stand alone book.

Characters

The book is told from the first person view of Kathy, who is remembering her life growing up at the Hailsham boarding school in England.  The book revolves around Kathy and her two best friends from the school, Ruth and Tommy.  Kathy is in many ways an average student (most of the book takes place during their school years) and I could identify with her greatly.  She in many ways deferred to the more outgoing Ruth and in some ways was on the outskirts of the most popular groups in the school.  I enjoyed her character and I thought that the way her character was written was one of the high points of the book.

Setting

Most of the spoilers of this book are related to the setting, and I don’t want to spoil the books in my reviews, so I won’t go too far into it.  But the book is set in England from the 1970’s or so to the late 1990’s.

Plot

The book is essentially told as a flashback with Kathy talking about her life.  The way that the book unfolds is very natural.  She will start talking about one subject, and it will remind her of something else, and she’ll go back and forth a little between the two subjects.  The book seemed to stretch on a little bit from time to time, but looking back I don’t think I can see anything that you would be able to cut without losing something from the story.

Enjoyment

The book starts out fairly cheerfully, but throughout the book there is an increasing tension and the feeling that something is wrong with the way that the world works for these characters.  The book is never rushed in its pacing, it takes its time to get where its going, and the book is very well done.  The book also raises some interesting moral questions that we may eventually have to deal with.  I try to review all of my books with the standard Character/Setting/Plot topics as a template, but this book is more than just the combination of those three, the theme and moral questions that it raises are more important.

Overall Grade

This would be a wonderful book to read with a thought provoking reading group, but it’s still a good book to read, although it may not be for everyone.

7/10

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3 Comments

  1. I really can’t wait to get my hands on this book after seeing the film. I spotted it in my library a couple of weeks ago and now my eyes automatical slide to that side of the room in longing.
    Nice review 🙂

    Reply
    • I haven’t seen the movie, but the book was quite good. The book was also the definition of subtlety, it’s a very unique story and it’s very well told.

      Reply
      • Oh well in that case you should definitely watch the film, it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen I think. Mainly because (as you mentioned about the book) it’s so subtle, and has an eerie, unsettleling feeling due to foreshadowing. It’s just breathtaking…..definitely a must see!

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