Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (3/5)

First published: 2005
Page count: 282
The back says: In one of the most acclaimed and original novels of recent years, Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkle skewered version of contemporary England. Narrated by Kathy, now thirty-one, Never Let Me Gohauntingly dramatises her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School, and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world. A story of love, friendship and memory, Never Let Me Go is charged throughout with a sense of the fragility of life.

I say: After absolutely loving The Remains of the Day and only hearing good things about this, I had ridiculously high expectations.

Unfortunately, they were all crushed by the prose.

The main thing that annoyed me to no end was the constant foreboding. Kathy is unable to just tell the story as it happens; she is constantly giving little hints at secrets and future troubles in a way that annoyed me at first, and towards the end made me a little violent. I found myself being bored with the story and my mind wandering because I couldn’t stomach all the allusions. An anecdote drifted into a separate story that ended with Kathy saying she’ll tell us more about that later on.

By the time I reached the end I couldn’t possibly care less about these people and just wanted it to be over, which is rather sad because it is a very good story. If it had been told differently I probably would have loved it. However, the prose kept me from making any genuine connection with the characters.

It was sad, but ultimately just meh.