The Flannery O'Connor Library

St. Pius X Catholic High School

Never let me go

OM FIC ISHIGURO

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Never let me go

Ishiguro, Kazuo.

2005.

1 online resource.

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As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is modern classic.

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Editorial Reviews

Review by Publishers Weekly.
Like Ishiguro's previous works (The Remains of the Day; When We Were Orphans), his sixth novel is so exquisitely observed that even the most workaday objects and interactions are infused with a luminous, humming otherworldliness. The dystopian story it tells, meanwhile, gives it a different kind of electric charge. Set in late 1990s England, in a parallel universe in which humans are cloned and raised expressly to "donate" their healthy organs and thus eradicate disease from the normal population, this is an epic ethical horror story, told in devastatingly poignant miniature. By age 31, narrator (and clone) Kathy H has spent nearly 12 years as a "carer" to dozens of "donors." Knowing that her number is sure to come up soon, she recounts-in excruciating detail-the fraught, minute dramas of her happily sheltered childhood and adolescence at Hailsham, an idyllic, isolated school/orphanage where clone-students are encouraged to make art and feel special. Protected (as is the reader, at first) from the full truth about their eventual purpose in the larger world, "we [students] were always just too young to understand properly the latest piece of information. But of course we'd take it in at some level, so that before long all this stuff was there in our heads without us ever having examined it properly." This tension of knowing-without-knowing permeates all of the students' tense, sweetly innocent interactions, especially Kath's touchingly stilted love triangle with two Hailsham classmates, manipulative Ruth and kind-hearted Tommy. In savoring the subtle shades of atmosphere and innuendo in these three small, tightly bound lives, Ishiguro spins a stinging cautionary tale of science outpacing ethics. Agent, Amanda Urban at ICM. 100,000 first printing; 9-city author tour. (Apr. 11) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Review by Library Journal.
Trust Ishiguro to deliver a moral challenge: his novel is set on an estate in England that serves as home to children cloned as organ donors and is narrated by a young woman about to become a donor herself. With a nine-city author tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by School Library Journal.
Adult/High School-The elegance of Ishiguro's prose and the pitch-perfect voice of his narrator conspire to usher readers convincingly into the remembered world of Hailsham, a British boarding school for "special students." The reminiscence is told from the point of view of Kathy H., now 31, whose evocation of the sheltered estate's sunlit rolling hills, guardians, dormitories, and sports pavilions is imbued with undercurrents of muted tension and foreboding that presage a darker reality. As an adult, Kathy re-engages in lapsed friendships with classmates Ruth and Tommy, examining the details of their shared youth and revisiting with growing awareness the clues and anecdotal evidence apparent to them even as youngsters that they were "different" from everyone outside. Ultimately, readers learn that the Hailsham children are clones, raised solely for the purpose of medical harvesting of organs, their lifespan circumscribed by years when they are designated as carers, followed by a short period as active donors, culminating in what is obliquely referred to as "completion." The recovery centers where Kathy serves as a carer for Ruth and then Tommy provide the setting for the latter half of the novel, defining the distinct rhythms and tenor of their days much as Hailsham did when they were young. Ishiguro conveys with exquisite sensitivity the emotional texture of the threesome's relationship, their bonds of personal loyalty that overcome fractures of trust, the palpable boundaries of hope, and the human capacity for forgiveness. Highly recommended for literary merit and as an exceptional platform for the discussion of a controversial topic.-Lynn Nutwell, Fairfax City Regional Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Booklist.
Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth were once classmates at Hailsham, a private school in the English countryside with a most unusual student body: human clones created solely to serve as organ donors. You were brought into this world for a purpose, advised Miss Lucy, one of Hailsham's guardians, and your futures, all of them, have been decided. The tightly knit trio experienced love, loss, and betrayal as they pondered their destinies (to become carers for other donors and, eventually, donors themselves). The novel is narrated by Kathy, now 31 and a carer, who recalls how Hailsham students were told and not told about their precarious circumstances. (Why were their writings and paintings so important? And who was the mysterious Madame who carted their creations away?) Ishiguro's provocative subject matter and taut, potent prose have earned him multiple literary decorations, including the French government's Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and an Order of the British Empire for service to literature. (His Booker Prize-winning novel, The Remains of the Day, was adapted into a critically acclaimed film). In this luminous offering, he nimbly navigates the landscape of emotion--the inevitable link between present and past and the fine line between compassion and cruelty, pleasure and pain. --Allison Block Copyright 2005 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

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