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"A harsh, cruel world."

While Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go is about clones, it isn't very science-fictiony. In fact, outside of a few instances of jargon and that the main characters are clones you'd never get that futuro-techno feel at all. The story takes place in the 1990s in England, but the whole story is character driven rather than by plot. The narrator, Kathy H., recalls her life growing up at a school (for clones) called Hailsham. The overall mood of melancholy and flatness informs her storytelling. You get the sense that much is missing from these people's lives. And it is, but then what would you expect from a slave class? I won't give away any more (not that there is some big shocking ending--there isn't) but if you're looking for a novelized form of Gattaca or The Island, this isn't it. Ishiguro is interested in how a clone would live out her life conscious of what she was. And he does it well. Not fast reading, not gripping, but quiet and deadly serious for these and not too far from now times.

"We're all afraid of you. I myself had to fight back my dread of you all
almost every day I was at Hailsham. There were times I'd look down at you
all from my study window and I'd feel such revulsion. . . "

It's not evil if it brings so much joy and happiness, right?


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