Kazuo Ishiguro has been a bit of a 'hit and miss' author for me - I absolutely loved The Remains of The Day but his latest book, Nocturnes really did nothing for me.
I know Jackie and Simon have both recently read and reviewed Never Let Me Go and I was interested in their reviews of this one but I am also really keen to see the movie when it comes out and I hate reading a book after I've seen the movie version which is the main reason I picked this book up now.
Never Let Me Go sets its premise but stating that it is about "a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England". One of the students, Kathy H is relating her story and that of the students she grew up with at the age of 31 - coming to a turning point in her life as she prepares to move from the role of a carer, a role that she has held for the past 11 years. Terms such as "carer" take on a slightly different meaning in the world Ishiguro has created in this novel - there are other common place words and terms that become known in different ways throughout the book - this has the slightly unsettling effect of making you feel safe and comfortable with the world you are being led through - up until a point - then you realise that things are a little more concrete in the world in which Kathy H is telling us about.
I had a really hard time connecting with this book and the way in which it was being narrated. I realise this is probably the whole point given the setting, tone and purpose of the book but I couldn't relate to Kathy and the way in which she was telling her story. She was constantly going back to events in the past in a way which made me feel as though she wasn't present in the here and now - it all felt very forced. I did keep engaged enough to read this book quite quickly but I think part of that was me wanting to get to a stage where I felt something was happening now rather than in the past. That did eventually happen and the last section of the book was by far the best for me.
This book is definitely a "thinker" - I liked the fact that it has made me reflect on many social issues that are present and relevant for us in our society and communities today - I just didn't really enjoy or get much reading pleasure from the way the story was told which is a big part of reading for me.