http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=Bibliograph07-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0307740994&fc1=F3EDED&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=040404&f=ifrNot feeling very into writing today. It’s been a long day…and I finished this book early this afternoon, but it feels like I finished it two days ago. It’s just been that kind of day.
What book you ask? It’s called Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, and it’s fantastic. One of those novels that kept me turning the pages because I literally had no idea what was going to happen. And all of my guesses were just plain wrong. The ending, I feel, was very surprising, but not in the typical in-your-face, hits-you-from-left-field way. To understand what I’m talking about, you have to read the book.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult for me to discuss what it’s actually about, because finding that out is what makes reading the book so much fun. There is so much mystery to the novel. It is told by Kathy H., a former student at a boarding school called Hailsham in England. The reader gets subtle hints that there is something slightly off about Kathy, her fellow students, and the school itself–hints that slowly reveal more and more of the bigger picture. The style is disjointed, told in anecdotes by Kathy, and gives the impression of being told by a young child who has no concept of a linear story because she jumps back and forth in the timeline of her narrative. Though it sounds like this might make the book confusing to read, she really is quite clear about when she is making a jump, so it’s an easy transition every time.
Perhaps what is the most intriguing thing about the book is the previously-mentioned “off-ness” that pervades the whole book, like there is just something slightly askew in the universe. A time-period and exact location are never quite laid down–both are ambiguous and seemingly subject to change. And the children themselves are disturbing. They are pitiable but also off-puttingly creepy. One doesn’t quite know how to feel about them.
Okay, I quit. Here: it’s mysterious, haunting, intelligent, melancholy, beautiful, and powerful. If you’re looking for a novel that will make you think, and won’t let you go until the end…please read this. Also, it’s just been made into a film (Sam, it’s only been released in New York and LA so far, so lucky you, you get to see it), which look pretty great. Still…read the book first.