July 27th, 2005


Never Let Me Go

This novel by Kazuo Ishiguro was quite remarkable. It will haunt me, I'm sure, for some time to come. I'm struck by the difference in the reading experience from Harry Potter - like night and day, like nouvelle cuisine after MacDonald's. Actually, I read a Mercedes Lackey between HP and this, but as Lackey writes almost as badly as JKR, the "culture shock" was the same. Not that I'm a literature snob - I'm all for trashy reading, but it seemed to hit me hard this time how subtle the Ishiguro was, how much was said in how few words. How thought provoking it was, although really how little actually "happened." I can't say much about it without hideous spoilers; the central premise was "spoiled" for me by a mouthy person on rec.arts.sf.written, but I think I might have guessed anyway... more is to do with what Ishiguro does with his premise than the premise itself. It's a slow burn, slow reveal, subtle work, but my goodness what a punch it has! You read it for what it makes you think about; I'm going to dream about the characters for weeks.