Review : Never let me go
Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Pages : 263
Genre : Science fiction
My Rating :
All children should believe they are special. But the students of Hailsham, an elite school in the English countryside, are so special that visitors shun them, and only by rumor and the occasional fleeting remark by a teacher do they discover their unconventional origins and strange destiny.
It’s a really hard book to summarize without giving away the story. I tried to put the smallest description I could find so that those of you who haven’t read the book yet would still get some “surprises” reading it. Therefore, my review won’t be so much about the story, but about the way it was presented. Here we go.
First, I should say that I did like Never let me go; liked, not loved. The book would be excellent as a subject of discussion and its idea is clever, but there was something missing in its execution. The good news is, I don’t think it’s a fault of the book as much as something that I, personally, didn’t like.
For me, the problem was the narration’s structure. While I do enjoy a conversational style, I found this one to be a little irritating. The narrator kept interrupting her story with anecdotes, only to say “But I’ll get to that later”, and then back to the original story. And this, more than once or twice. The narrathor also uses frequently expressions like “I don’t know about you, but me…” It gave me the impression the narrator (and therefore, the author), was trying to include you in the conversation. For me though, it didn’t work : everytime the narrator would “talk to me”, it made me concious I was reading, and it took me out of the story (is what I’m saying making any sense to you? I’m not sure how to describe that feeling.)
To be fair, the narration is also one of the book’s strenghts. Whithout spoiling it for those who have yet to read it, let’s just say that it was original to have such a normal approach of the subject! The writing was so realistic that it was easy to perceive what the characters might feel like – even though I didn’t find them to be very likeable. It was very realistic, and the voice made me believe that it could be truely happening. I also found the author did a really good job of giving simple daily events a greater signification.
I’d love to read another book by Ishiguro, but I think I would go into the next one with lower expectations. For those who have read another of this books, can you tell me if the things that irritated me are part of his usual style, or if they are specific to this book?