Monday, September 19, 2011

CBR III Review #20 - Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

“The problem, as I see it, is that you've been told and not told. You've been told, but none of you really understand, and I dare say, some people are quite happy to leave it that way.” 

Alright, I've put off reviewing this long enough.  I finished this book maybe a week and a half ago and refuse to write this review.  It's not because it was bad - that I'd have been able to write about easily.  It's that it is just so very very...BLAH.  It's beige.  It's white bread.  There is no flavor, no heart to this book at all.  The foundations are good, but they've built some humorless cement block building on them so that you don't bother to remember it at all once you've left it.
I'm not going to really summarize this, because I genuinely didn't care enough to remember.  We are taken to a world where human clones are bred and raised to be organ donors.  That is their entire purpose in life.  They grow up, stay healthy, and give away organs until their bodies fail and they die.  The story itself follows three characters; our narrator, Kathy, and her friends Ruth and Tommy.  The love triangle business, the way their existence at all is addressed, the relationship with the teacher, Miss Lucy, who wants them to really understand who they are - all of this sounds like really great lit material.  But none of it is explored with any depth of feeling.  It's very cold, much like the donor facilities all three of our characters end up in.  This is a story that could have done so much to explore what life could be if cloning were to go in this kind of direction, and could have connected us to it on an emotionally resonant level that left a reader asking questions.  But at no point in reading this did I give one shit about any of these characters.  It's sad.  I really wanted more from this.  And because the premise is so solid, I can't write it off entirely as bad writing.  It is just entirely too cold to leave a lasting impression.

Honestly, I'd have to suggest skipping this one.  No idea if the movie is any good, but I don't plan on watching it to find out.

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