Rameau’s Ramblings: This is from when I’d just started reviewing books properly and putting some thought into it. If you can call it that. Originally posted on Goodreads on April 26th 2011.
Oh, and look at that. This is a
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.
There’s this thing I like to call the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-effect. Some tie it to Inception instead, but for me that would oversimplifying things. Regardless what you call it, the basic idea is, you either get it or you don’t.
However, in this case, it’s difficult to get anything in the absence of substance.
The average rating of this book makes me think people are afraid to admit that even a revered author can sometimes write a book worth less than the paper it’s printed on. And with the current electricity prices, the kindle edition is plain old robbery.
The writing is apathetic and detached making connecting with the characters impossible, which is very bad for a novel that’s supposed to be character driven. It certainly isn’t a good sign when the most unlikeable of the main three is the most relatable of the characters.
Kathy, the narrator, is insipid, back boneless shell of a human being who constantly bad mouths the supposed love of her life. The name calling, however, wasn’t the only reason why the token romance of this book turned out be unconvincing and dubious at best.
In the end, it was the utter lack of emotion – and plot – that killed the story. I refuse to believe that anyone could be so dispassionate about sex with someone they claim to love, especially when the written description of their first sexual act nears rape – no consent was given or asked. That along with the decimation of the last plot strings downgraded this book from it’s possible three star maximum to one.