Dedicated to classics and hits.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Never Let Me Go (2005) by Kazuo Ishiguro

Book Review
Never Let Me Go (2005)
by Kazuo Ishiguro

  Never Let Me Go is the last book in the first edition of 1001 Books to Read Before You Die.  I haven't adhered to a strictly chronological approach, but that is how the books have tend to be read, just because it's easiest that way and requires the least amount of time acquiring the titles.   With about 150 books left over, I've still got work to do.  Most of the remaining books are either books I read in school or on my own.  20th century fiction, in particular, has whole swathes of books that I skipped over because of prior familiarity.  I wasn't even sure I was going to go back and re-read any of those books until recently. Now that I've decided in favor of that executing that task, the chronological end of the list seems less important, but still, 850 plus books.  That is something.

  I listened to the audio book version on the Overdrive app- many of the audio book versions that have made it online or into mp3 format have done that with the inter cd breaks intact, so that the process of listening to an audio-book on my smartphone involves breaks every 50 minutes or so and a voice intoning "play next disc." Sometimes there is a little swatch of music to accompany the voice, sometimes not.  It gives me pause to think of the material wasted in the production of audiobooks on cd, surely the mp3 format is superior.

  This is the second Ishiguro novel I've listened to rather than read.  The other was Remains of the Day.  That is vs. the three Ishiguro novel's I've read;  An Artist of the Floating World, The Unconsoled and The Buried Giant.   I found the written novels to be difficult, on the other hand, Ishiguro's recursive prose style seemed well suited for the audiobook format.  Never Let Me Go, in particular was a great audio book listen.  His dive into a particularly Ishiguro-ian parallel universe dystopia, where clones are raised alongside regular humans as a source for organ transplants in late 20th century England rewards the listener, and helps mitigate the slow early portions of the novel, before the reader becomes aware of the true horrors of the world of Never Let Me Go.

  Never Let Me Go was both the last book selected and the first book removed from the list in the initial 2008 edition.  You would think it might be added back if they ever do a post-Nobel Prize win edition of the book- the last revision was in 2012.  On the other hand, Ishiguro continues to write, which raises the possibility of a better book coming out to displace one of his remaining titles.  

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