Review: Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

The sixth book of the Nobel Prize for Literature (2017), Kazuo Ishiguro, and the first on which we comment from this Japanese / British author, Never Let Me Go is a dystopia that opens a debate about society, art and the soul.


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Kathy H., the narrator of this story, recalls her childhood and adolescence at Hailsham, a special school, almost as a boarding school, for orphaned children where special health care and artistic creativity of each student is encouraged: a habit is to fulfill its role in society and the other to humanize students in the eyes of those who will be beneficiaries of their donations.

Kathy’s story is an analysis of key moments in her life with Tommy and Ruth, her best friends, who shared with her the discovery of a half-truth they told them while growing up isolated from the real world: they will never travel to America to be movie stars, they won’t be able to smoke either but they can have a lot of sex although they will never have children.

As readers we come across a possible future of our society, although this story is set in the 90’s, it is interesting to analyze the reactions we have about the situations described by Ishiguro and, above all, if we identify with the characters, what does this connection mean?

To do this we leave you some themes to consider while reading the novel

  • Identity
  • What does art mean?
  • Does the soul exist? Who has a soul?
  • Selfishness
  • Can omitting the truth be justifiable?

Summary in book phrases:

  • “Madame was afraid of us. But she was afraid of us in the same way someone might be afraid of spiders. It had never occurred to us to wonder how we would feel, being seen like that, being the spiders.”
  • “Thinking back now, I can see we were just at that age when we knew a few things about ourselves—about who we were, how we were different from our guardians, from the people outside—but hadn’t yet understood what any of it meant. ”
  • “You say you’re sure? Sure that you’re in love? How can you know it? You think love is so simple?”