Thursday, May 10, 2012

Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)

I truly can’t, for the life of me, figure out the mass appeal and popularity of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.  Blurbs on the book by renowned authors use words like anguish and heartbreaking.  I didn’t feel either of these things, perhaps because the characters were not appealing to me at all.  Oh well, to each his own.

Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy are three friends who are part of a group raised for a special purpose.  From a very early age, they are enrolled in a school led by the “guardians” and told that their art projects are sacred.  After graduating from their school, they go to live in the Cottages, a middle ground to prepare them for what is to come. 

Never Let Me Go is narrated by Kathy.  Ishiguro has a peculiar way of having Kathy state what she is about to tell you instead of allowing the story to unfold naturally.  While it has an important message…how science has the danger of going too far…it was just too predictable for me. 

So I was not one of the many people who will call Never Let Me Go one of the best books in recent times.  Predictability and unlikeable characters do not make quality literature for me.  To me, the mark of a great book is whether I can’t wait to pick it up again once I set it down.  Not the case for Never Let Me Go.