Book Review: “Never Let Me Go” – Kazuo Ishiguro


Author: Kazuo Ishiguro

Genre: Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction

First Published in: January 1st 2005

Pages: 282

I finished the second book for the booktubeathon today, and I cried a lot at the end, and had tears in my eyes during the whole book :'(

What made me cry most was especially the fate of the two lovers, Kathy and Tommy who couldn’t get together at the right time of their lifes. Especially at the end, when they get together, but have the donating in the back of their minds, it really brings the tears into my eyes :'(

Also Tommy’s being mocked as a child makes me sad a lot, and the innocent love between Kathy and Tommy which is only hinted at the beginning makes me sad.

As characters, Tommy and Kathy were my favorites, and I was always wondering why they still kept considering Ruth as a friend, after finding out what she has done. I really hated her, and thought that it was a pity that she was able to spend more time with Tommy than Kathy did :/

Beside this delicate subject of a love triangle, the main subject of the novel, namely that of cloning, is more crucial even. This subject really scared me a little bit, especially when you have a story of people involved in this which touches you emotionally, it gets even gets scarier, and especially more real. Cause Cloning isn’t something which is impossible for science today, and Ishiguro tries to display this possibility in this novel. And he manages to do this very good indeed.

Back to the title of the book, I think it summarizes very well both, the love relationship between Tommy and Kathy, and the future of those clones. If you wonder about it, it comes from Judy Bridgewater’s song “Never Let Me Go” which Kathy listens to as a child, and which also plays an important role in this novel. Here is the song:

Judy Bridgewater – Never Let Me Go

And here, some quotes:

“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.”


“More scientific efficient, yes. More cures for the old sicknesses. Very good. But a harsh, cruel world. And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind world, one that she knew in her heart could remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go.”


“She told Roy that things like pictures, poetry, all that kind of stuff, she said they revealed what you were like inside. She said they revealed your soul.”


Final rating – 5/5: A melancholic-nostalgic story about love, science, and the future.


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