Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

Book - 2005
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From the acclaimed author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, a moving new novel that subtly reimagines our world and time in a haunting story of friendship and love.

As a child, Kathy-now thirty-one years old-lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her, but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory.

And so, as her friendship with Ruth is rekindled, and as the feelings that long ago fueled her adolescent crush on Tommy begin to deepen into love, Kathy recalls their years at Hailsham. She describes happy scenes of boys and girls growing up together, unperturbed-even comforted-by their isolation. But she describes other scenes as well: of discord and misunderstanding that hint at a dark secret behind Hailsham's nurturing facade. With the dawning clarity of hindsight, the three friends are compelled to face the truth about their childhood-and about their lives now.

A tale of deceptive simplicity, Never Let Me Go slowly reveals an extraordinary emotional depth and resonance-and takes its place among Kazuo Ishiguro's finest work.
Publisher: New York : Knopf, 2005
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9781400043392
Characteristics: 288 p. ; 23 cm


From Library Staff

List - Dystopian Fiction
cals_readers Mar 14, 2019

A reunion with two childhood friends--Ruth and Tommy--draws Kath and her companions on a nostalgic odyssey into the supposedly idyllic years of their lives at Hailsham, an isolated private school in the serene English countryside, and a dramatic confrontation with the truth about their childhoods... Read More »

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May 18, 2019


Apr 27, 2019

I gave this 4 stars because I found the entire premise unique and that is what I enjoy most in a book. It was a good ending and I had hoped it would not end in some dopey way. I would have enjoyed a little more about the history of the theme of the book but that may have made it seem dystopian and I do not think the author was going for that, but that is just my opinion.

Feb 13, 2019

Spoiler Alert: It is eerie as you begin to realize the purpose of the school and the role of the students and their future lives as either carers or organ doors. As clones grown as a field from which to pick body parts to they have souls or are they mere bodies? This one will creep into your mind and make you uneasy. Keira Knightly starred in this movie and it was quite scary as they realize their time of harvesting is coming due.

Jan 22, 2019

Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I went into this book not having a clue as to what it was actually about...any descriptions I read were vague, and rightly say anything is to say too much.

So a spoiler free summary then:
The students of Hailsham have grown up is a boarding school, but is there something else going on? The terms used by the author are mysterious. The story features Kathy and her relationships/memories associated with Ruth, Tommy and other students who have touched her life.

Once the students leave Hailsham and enter the “real” world, more details are revealed which help to explain their lives and their place in society.

Pros: An inventive and unique plot, with an interesting, almost conversational writing style.

Cons: Due to the lack of description I was very confused at the beginning of this book...I thought maybe the author was just using terms that I wasn’t familiar with. But as the book progresses, everything becomes clear. Unfortunately I didn’t connect with any of the characters...but maybe that’s the way it was supposed to be??

Thought provoking subject matter!

Dec 23, 2018

Plot. The students at Hailsham are different. The plot twist is *why* they are different.

Prose. Concise prose, but still suspenseful and emotional.

Dec 01, 2018

Steeped in symbolism and subtext, it feels somewhat allegorical. But on the surface of the novel, it's also quite immersive and tragic, just for what is happening and what the characters are experiencing. Brilliant novel, beautifully written and very easy to read. Would definitely recommend.

Oct 30, 2018

An interesting premise and good character development, but a slow read. I finally finished book one but I won't continue the series.

DBRL_AlyssaW Sep 21, 2018

In my opinion, Never Let Me Go is one of the most criminally underrated books ever written. This atmospheric novel follows the life of Kathy, from her idyllic boarding school days at Hailsham to her current position as a carer. This genre-bending book is technically science fiction but reads like literary fiction. Ishiguro’s timing is impeccable; the narrative unfolds in such a way that you may not quite realize that there is a mystery, but when the “twist” is revealed, you feel you knew it all along. This subtly heartbreaking book explores what it means to be human in a way that has stuck with me for a long time.

Aug 03, 2018

If you want to get immersed in another world for awhile, try this book. The pacing is meditative and slow, yet there is underlying tension that piques your curiosity and keeps you reading. The book has a lot to say about what makes us human and how we should treat each other, but it doesn't hit you over the head with those messages. This is top-notch writing from a knighted British author who is a winner of the Nobel prize for literature.

May 28, 2018

This is up there in the top five favorite scifi books I have ever read. It does come from a younger point of view - thus written perhaps a little simpler than some would like - but the build to the reveal is both shocking and stunning. Highly recommend.

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Jan 05, 2019

Then he said: "I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding on as hard as they can, but in the end it's just too much. The current's too strong. They've got to let go, drift apart. That's how I think it is with us. It's a shame, Kath, because we've loved each other all our lives. But in the end, we can't stay together forever."

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.

Jun 09, 2015

“Because maybe, in a way, we didn't leave it behind nearly as much as we might once have thought. Because somewhere underneath, a part of us stayed like that: fearful of the world around us, and no matter how much we despised ourselves for it--unable quite to let each other go.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go


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Feb 10, 2011

imaginethat thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jan 24, 2010

dida thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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