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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

I recently read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. (There is a Wikipedia article on the book, and one on the author.) As you probably know, I generally post about various kinds of fantastic literature. I'm not quite sure how to characterize this book. Let's put it this way -- the same author also wrote The Remains of the Day.

Never Let Me Go is about a fictional time, perhaps the late 20th century, perhaps the early 21st, when clones are produced, for the purpose of serving as the source of transplant parts for others. I think -- I'm not absolutely sure, even though I've read the book. It's much more about the interactions of adolescents growing up to be young adults, with a cloud hanging over them, than the details of cloning or transplantation. I'm not an expert on that sort of book, but it struck me as very good on the relationships and thoughts -- subtle and detailed, but good.

As to the cloning, the word isn't used until about halfway through the book. There's no discussion as to how a clone can serve as a transplant source for someone they were not cloned from. It's not about scientific or medical details, or did I say that already? Two interesting aspects of the book are that the clones serve as "carers," apparently meaning that they take care of other clones after they are used as sources of transplants, before they act as such sources themselves, and that there are those "normal" people who, while not crusading to stop this whole practice, at least try to make the lives of these children and young people decent and meaningful -- give them an education, and, with artwork they produce, arguing that they have souls.

It was a good read, but not my usual science fictional fare. I'm glad I read the book.

1 comment:

Martin LaBar said...

Nov 12, 2008, 2 PM EST. Apparently I have somehow overcome the bounds of time, and am already publishing on Nov 13. How? Beats me.