Rachel's Random Recommendation #37: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro Let Me Go (2005) by Kazuo Ishiguro

My first exposure to the beautiful prose of Kazuo Ishiguro was, of course, The Remains of the Day, which I read in college for a Modern British Fiction course. Reading that novel made me want to walk around on tiptoe, whispering and peering around corners- Ishiguro is that masterful with subtlety and quiet, contemplative, yet profound, stories.

Several years later, I read Never Let Me Go for a grad school version of that course, and came away...puzzled. I wasn't sure how to classify it, and perhaps that was the point. This novel about a group of clones growing up at a special school and then released into the world, their purpose in life to donate their organs to people in need, has been called "dystopian" and "science fiction," but ultimately it is many things. It is a comment on how ethics often lag behind scientific innovation, and a warning about how we as humans often fear or dismiss that which is almost human- a humanoid machine, a clone, etc.

Ishiguro uses his main characters to interrogate the responsibility that they as clones have to humans and vice versa, and if clones who exist for one purpose have the right to lead their own lives.

(And if you're thinking, "wait, this sounds like that movie...something with Ewan McGregor...???" you're thinking about The Island, which also came out in 2005 and dealt with cloning and organ-harvesting.)

It's been a while since I've read Ishiguro, and he's one author I'll certainly be putting on my TRR (To Re-Read) List.

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