Never Let Me Go By Kazuo Ishiguro

A kindle paperwhite e reader device laid on a background of various paste coloured books. The book on the kindle is Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and has a close up image of a girl's face looking to the right.

Where do I start with this one. I'm a bit stumped. I read the glowing reviews and I loved the dystopian concept of a segment of human society created purely to donate to others but this book just felt so far away from the dystopian fiction I usually love. I feel like Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is going to divide people, you're going to love it or you're not and I'm definitely in the 'don't love it' section of society.
I want my dystopia to smack me in the face, this novel handled it far too subtly. I wanted more of an explanation about how the world became as it is, I wanted more scientific insights into the donor procedure and I wanted more peril. I felt a little bored throughout this book, like I was reading a memoir rather than a piece of fiction.

Despite being set in a clearly dystopian world where special schools are created to house "students" cloned from "potentials" the story lacked any kind of pace or action that related to the dystopian world instead favouring intense descriptions of normal human interactions.

A lot of people describe this book as being beautifully written and I agree with that completely. The style is tender and intricate with a touch of melancholy. As a novel that explores humanity and relationships then it's perfect. The nostalgic prose is ideal for understanding the main characters relationships. The long winded explanations of student life and their subsequent life as donors was interesting but I feel it wasn't explored enough for me.

It was like I was getting one person's viewpoint of a huge, world event. I appreciate that's probably intentional. It reminds us that in the grand scheme of things we are but specks of dust but when singled out we are everything. Our life is paramount and personal. I think it was designed to create empathy with the main characters, the similarities between students lives and our lives were included to make us feel connected to them, that despite being designed, created and used as tools they were still people and that message comes across powerfully but I just couldn't connect with the main characters enough. I wasn't invested and so this book felt like a slog.

Perhaps my tastes are a little basic and this more refined style of dystopia doesn't appeal to me. I'm not surprised that this book was a finalist in the Man Booker prize as it is a beautifully written reflection on humanity and the nuances that come with being human but honestly this book really wasn't for me.

Thanks For Reading 

Katrina Fox UK based parenting blogger. Writing about Coeliac / celiac disease, Aspergers Syndrome and Autism, Pregnancy, Parenting and both Childrens and Adults Books


  1. Oh. Now I think I do have to read it! Ha! It's so weird when you read these reviews of books people love and you don't get it at all. My book club is a bit like that. They pick some books that everyone loves and I sit there thinking 'it was total rubbish!' Ha! Maybe I'll come back and link up a review once I've read it. having avoided Remains of the Day for about 30 years, I finally got to it and ADORED it. Funny and tragic - so clever. Was disappointed it ended....I've got a bit of a queue but I'll return with my review in a month or two

  2. My daughter I enjoy dystopian books too. I wonder if the subtle nature of this would appeal. We will have to check it out. Thanks! Thank you for linking up! #KCACOLS

  3. I have read this book myself and I defiantly recommend x #kcacols


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