24 September 2008

The Weirdest Sci-Fi I've Ever Read

This post is going to contain a spoilery look at Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. so to add some space for those really not interested in being spoiled, i'm going to post some pics first!

One of Chloe.


Close up me!


R looking cute.


So the book! It is a 1001 list book, it counts for both the 1% challenge and my TBR challenge. So i am glad i read it. The basic story, i think, is being told by Kathy. She, Tommy, and Ruth are all clones that grew up together at what seems to be a boarding school named Hailsham. Kathy begins as Ruth's friend, then becomes close to Tommy. As they grow up, Tommy and Ruth become a couple. After they leave school they stay together, with other clones, in a place called the Cottages. They drift apart after Kathy leaves to become a carer, which sort of seems like combination nurse, psychologist, and physical therapist. But not so professional, as she mainly seems to be talking to her patients and driving them around. The patients are the clones, who are vaguely ill after they make their "donations". Kathy eventually becomes Ruth's carer, who tells her that Kathy and Tommy were always meant to be together. Ruth dies after her second donation (which is an aberration), Kathy and Tommy do get together for a while. But after a fourth donation the clone dies. so they only spend a little time together before they are separated by death. The story ends as Kathy is about to leave being a carer and begin her own donations and she seems to welcome the idea of joining Tommy.

I have vague problems with this book. I think I liked it; the writing was beautiful and the scenes haunting. I also think i didn't like it; we never get enough information on what was going on outside. There seems to be nothing distinguishing clones from regular people, so why doesn't anyone just run away? And what exactly do these medical procedures do? Why do people only undergo at most 4 before dying? If they are removing anything but things like blood, bone marrow, a kidney, or parts of a liver it shouldn't kill them. If they are removing whole organs, then why wait for 4? And why leave the clone in pain (Ruth's death seems awful)? If they are just taking cells, then why even wait for the kids to grow up? Why do they have to stay in these bizarre nursing homes? What the hell does the damn carer do actually? Why does it feel like it could be any goofy love story if the sci-fi bits were taken out? Is it about true love, or class divisions, or oppression, or cannibalism, or what? How can this all even go on without being outrageously expensive?

So, i've decided it's a 4. Not bad, but it left me with way too many questions. maybe i'm just missing something so feel free to tell me how wrong i am.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love the book Never Let Me Go. So disturbing and yet so moving. Reminds me a bit of Atwood's work.

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