Monday, January 24, 2011

CR Review #5: Never Let Me Go

I love novels and movies that can be described as "period pieces". Jane Austen. The Forsyte Saga. Merchant Ivory movies starring a beautiful Helena Bonham Carter. Brideshead Revisited.

However, like Elaine Benes, I hated The English Patient. Hated, hated, hated it.

I also hated The Remains of the Day. Lots of my friends and relatives were surprised by my hatred for these beautiful, award winning films. Earlier this year I saw a preview for the movie Never Let Me Go. It looked interesting until I saw that it was based on the book by Kazuo Ishiguro, author of the Remains of the Day. But I asked a few friends and they all recommended the book, saying it was a great story with a huge surprise twist ending. And I love little Carey Mulligan, so I thought I'd give the book a try and then see the movie.

So I gave in and read it. And now I can add this to my list of disappointments.

As eloquently detailed by many CBR-ers before me, Never Let Me Go is the story of Ruth, Kathy and Tommy, three young friends who grow up together in an alt-version of England. They go to boarding school together in the idyllic British countryside, where they are encouraged to be artistic. They become friends, they fight, they flirt, they fall in and out of love, they "come of age".

And all throughout, we learn about what their true purpose in the world is, and what the future holds for them. But I wasn't all that shocked or surprised by the ending, and honestly, I didn't really care. The book itself is beautifully written. Ishiguro truly has a way with describing the beauty of England. However, I just didn't connect with any of the characters (especially Ruth, which I suppose is how I'm supposed to feel) and didn't really feel anything when their destinies were revealed.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this book, but I can see your point. The twist was spoiled for me long before I read the book, so that didn't have much impact on me. It really wasn't until after I'd discussed the book with my book club that I felt that I was really able to come to a conclusion about it.