Saturday, January 21, 2006

#3 - Never Let Me Go

Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go might just be the most well crafted piece of writing I have ever read. Not a sentence, not a word, not a single piece of punctuation is misplaced or out of step. In short, it's a bloody brilliant book.

The book tells the story of three clones: Kathy, Ruth and Tommy. Each has a particular role in their lives; their destinies so to speak. Ruth and Tommy become 'donors' (of what is exquisitely left to your imagination), while Kathy is a carer, someone who spends her days taking care of the donors after they've, well, donated.

All three grow up in an extremely cloistered way at Halisham, a private boarding school for other clone children, designed for them to express their creativity and have a well-rounded upbringing. Once they're finished at Halisham, the three end up at a place called the Cottages, where they spend a few years becoming adults before their real jobs begin.

There is a deep sense of suspense written into the novel. It's a page turner in the purest sense, but the plot and the chapters are so intricately developed that you don't feel like you're being manipulated. The book moves along so quickly that it creates a world in your head even before you realize that your imagination has taken the story over and made it into something of your own. If that makes any sense.

I know I've only read 3 books so far this year (well, I have read 4 but I can't talk about the other one until it's been published, which isn't until March), but it's the best book I've read in a long, long while. Truly deserving of its Booker nomination, and later on this year when I read The Sea, I'll be able to compare the two—but something in my mind tells me Ishiguro will come out on top.

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