~ There is only one journey: going inside yourself. ~
- Rainer Maria Rilke


Kazuo Ishiguro's _Never Let Me Go_ ~ Friday, December 29, 2006

I just finished reading Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go and was really moved by it. I didn't think I would be--though the character of Tommy was always reasonably endearing despite his problems. But it ended up being a nuanced portrait of relationships and girl politics (which was interesting in itself, to see such precision and articulation in the documentation of such interactions) as well as an interesting character study. It amuses me that this is called Science Fiction, because aside from the premise (alternate history--that's all I'll say), if that's accepted, it's a portrayal of the lives of three people and their relationship to each other.

It was lovely in many ways (though the narrator was not prone to flowery evocations) and deeply wistful or nostalgic, like a watercolour that has been left out in a brief rainfall--the images are still discernible, but there is also the evocation of what it (in this case, Kathy's life) once was, as well as a sense of speculation and longing for what it might have been.

The style was definitely reminiscent at times of the descriptions in The Unconsoled, but for the most part, it was a different narrative. And though I normally don't mind knowing a lot about a book before I read it (often that will be what gets me reading it in the first place), I think the experience of this book might have been richer had I not known the premise--so I'm not going to go into any detail here, should anyone be curious to read it. Knowing what the background was meant that I was able to guess the big reveal at the end, long before the characters did, but I wondered whether, had I not known, it would have been more powerful, since the early clues that allowed me to infer what was to come might have been obscured by the other mystery, which I already knew the answer to.

At any rate, highly recommended, but not an uplifting or happy read. Make sure you're in the mood for it, and then let yourself sink in.

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 5:50 PM::::


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Anduril Elessar
Susan Deefholts

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