All children should believe they are special. But the students of Hailsham, an elite school in the English countryside, are so special that visitors shun them, and only by rumor and the occasional fleeting remark by a teacher do they discover their unconventional origins and strange destiny. Kazuo Ishiguro's sixth novel, Never Let Me Go, is a masterpiece of indirection. Like the students of Hailsham, readers are "told but not told" what is going on and should be allowed to discover the secrets of Hailsham and the truth about these children on their own.
Offsetting the bizarreness of these revelations is the placid, measured voice of the narrator, Kathy H., a 31-year-old Hailsham alumna who, at the close of the 1990s, is consciously ending one phase of her life and beginning another. She is in a reflective mood, and recounts not only her childhood memories, but her quest in adulthood to find out more about Hailsham and the idealistic women who ran it. Although often poignant, Kathy's matter-of-fact narration blunts the sharper emotional effects you might expect in a novel that deals with illness, self-sacrifice, and the severe restriction of personal freedoms. As in Ishiguro's best-known work, The Remains of the Day, only after closing the book do you absorb the magnitude of what his characters endure. --Regina Marler
Adam Balm wrote:Screw it, I'm putting King Kong on the list. It's timely, the novelization was just re-released, and it's only 200 pages.
Carolian wrote:Everyone just needs to read the Bible and stop typing so loud. I'm trying to sleep.
Let's all read the Bible, book by book! That's my suggestion, and I suggest it be implemented. We all know who's got my back on this one...
burlivesleftnut wrote:God Heart of Darkness is dull. Fuck all of you.
DennisMM wrote:I went with Heart of Darkness because it's readily available most everywhere, it's brief, and it covers universal themes. Also, it can be an excuse to watch Apocalypse Now for Zoner Movie Club.
Adam Balm wrote:Well, at least it's short.
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