Saturday, March 22, 2014

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

I got this book free with our first Kindle. It was just one of those books which my mind didn't find interesting enough to go past the first page. Several years later, I pulled this book out of the abyss of my kindle library, swiped off layers of electronic dust and read and read.

The reason I didn't find it appealing is because of Ishiguro's haphazard and non-explanatory writing style. It's not that he didn't explain key concepts of the book's ideology, it's just that he'd make up a chapter of memories to actually get to the point. And truthfully, most of the memories were trivial and disappointing once you got to them. However, after reading a third of the book, you have enough clues to understand what's going on in Kathy's world, without Miss Emily's big revelation at the end.

This book is just one those stories raining with the booktions when you reach the end:
  1. Where do the "students" get money from? - Money which they spend on cars, fuel, trips, Judy Bridgewater's cassette.
  2. Why oh why can't the clones just run away?! Why don't they ever think of leaving and starting a revolution.
  3. Miss Emily mentions much worse places than Hailsham and similar institutes for the clones. How come the protagonist nor her friends ever mention or encounter people from these places, at centers or The Cottages?
  4. How old are the "students" when they they start donating? What organs are taken at each donation? What does the timing and procedure depend on?
  5. I really wish Ishiguro had added more detail on the whole cloning process. Who are the possibles? How else are clones different from us (apart from the kid thing)?
  6. Speaking of which, why can't they have kids? Are they modified at birth or in their DNA?
  7. What's with Ruth loosing certain memories? In the final chapter, Kathy also mentions loosing some of her memories. Is it a clone thing?
  8. Miss Lucy tells Tommy that she was wrong and being creative is very important just before she leaves. From the final revelations, it's clear that individual talents don't matter. It's just about the best total output.
  9. Who really took Kathy's lost cassette?
  10. What exactly does a carer do? Is it just another name for nurse? Why is she always driving to the centers? Why can't she just stay at one?
Have the answers or more questions? Let me know in the comments below.
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