Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Monday, 4 July 2011

"Never let me go" by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber, 2005)

His style isn't what I prefer. When his characters monologue, they all sound the same to me. It's a novel of anticipation and regret

  • "Tommy thought it possible the guardians had, throughout all our years at Hailsham, timed very carefully and deliberately everything they told us, so that we were always just too young to understand properly the latest piece of information. But of course we'd take it in at some level, so that before long all this stuff was there in our heads without us ever having examined it properly", p.81.
  • "Maybe, looking back, there was an atmosphere of something being held back, but it's possible I'm only thinking that now because of what happened next", p.224
  • "In the few seconds after he said this, I realised I wasn't surprised by it at all; that in some funny way I'd been waiting for it. but I was angry all the same and didn't say anything", p.275

Tommy's theory of disclosure is rather Ishiguro's too, leading to muted epiphanies like the trip to a beached boat they'd heard of, surrounded by untraversable bog - "I could now see how its paint was cracking, and how the timber frames of the little cabin were crumbling away. It had once been painted a sky blue, but now looked almost white under the sky". I like this image. In fact I think most of what I liked could have fitted into a shortish story.

Will Art save you? No, but it might make someone think you're more human.

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