Ever since I first heard Kazuo Ishiguro had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, I’ve been dying to read one of his books. I’m not really sure why this was the one I picked up, but I did, and it was marvelous. I’ve heard that all his books are quite different from one another, so I’m excited to try out some more of his stuff in the not too distant future, but for now, let’s talk about Never Let Me Go.
If I had to describe Ishiguro’s writing style in a word, it would be buttery. This man’s sentences are beautiful and so are able to create incredibly vivid imagery. Even when he’s dealing with a fairly difficult subject matter it’s so rich that you gobble it up easily.
Speaking of the difficult subject matter, I’m not going to spoil anything in this department as it is supposed to come as a bit of a shock, but you should be aware that there is a bit of a sci-fi/dystopian element. I wouldn’t let that put you off though as the way it’s dealt with in this novel makes it feel believable, allowing Ishiguro to have some really interesting discussions about humanity and what it means/requires to be human. Although this book does deal with some difficult topics, it approaches them very subtly, allowing you the choice to either sink your teeth into it or ignore it completely, whichever way you’re leaning.
The main complaint I’ve heard other reviewers talk about in this novel is that the narration is too anecdotal and reminiscent, so I want to throw in my two cents worth. Personally, I didn’t find that this was a huge issue, but I would warn against going into this novel expecting lots of action or traditional dystopian thrills, it’s not that sort of book. Ultimately, it’s a literary work which takes lots of time to expand ideas and pose complex questions, rather than having thrill after thrill after thrill.
Overall, I gave this book 4/5 stars. Is it the most memorable book I read this year? No. Is it one I’d recommend to everyone I meet in a big gush of fangirling? No. However, it is an enjoyable read, especially if you’re interested in literature and want something challenging yet accessible, this may be the book for you.
I can’t wait to read some more of Ishiguro’s work and see how they compare! If you’ve read this, or any of his other books, make sure to let me know what you thought in the comments down below, especially if you have any suggestions for my next read. If I don’t see you in the comments, I’ll see you back here tomorrow for another day of Blogmas!