Never let me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro



Kazuo Ishiguro was my discovery of 2017 .No wonder, his  inimitable style of writing has catapulted him to his present stature .As I mentioned in my past blogs that Kazuo Ishiguro is an author of Japanese descent and is currently based in the UK .He has won many literary awards including the Nobel Prize of literature in 2017 .

This was his second book that I read after “The Remains of the Day “.This book had also been made into a motion picture .

The story is based in England , in a residential school , Hailsham .Initially though it appears to be an usual residential school but after the initial pages one knows that a lot is amiss .The characters of the story do not have a last name . Their parents or their families  are never mentioned and they are being taken care by their guardians.

As you start to wonder whether it is an upper class orphanage , you gradually realize that the author is introducing the concept of donations . Then it suddenly dawns that this is a futuristic story about human cloning .

Author has based his story in the 70’s and here he has taken literary liberty , as in 1966 , the idea of human cloning was merely being entertained and the first cloned sheep Dolly happened in 1996

Since then there has been a lot of debates in the scientific world about the concept of human cloning .Science has always been   a double edged sword and some  times it can cause more harm than good . But science is also a necessary evil for the mankind .Its only the scientific inventions that has brought wealth and conveniences to our society .

In the medical world , physicians and patients are always struggling with the scarcity of organ donors. With the medical advancements though transplant medicine has improved a lot, but healthy donors are always scarce .

In the book  “Never  let me go ” ,as the “students” of the school are being raised as potential donors , they are being given the best possible education and training in art .They have all the emotions of a regular human being . They know how to love, hate ,betray and appreciate music and art .

As they all grow up and are ready to leave their school to serve the purpose , then the tale of poignancy begins .They realize that their  destiny has been decided .They are allowed to behave as close as possible to human beings but with a limited shelf life .They would be leading their adult lives in two groups as”Carers or Donors”. They are initially trained as” Carers” but later they have to submit themselves as” Donors” .After their fourth donation , they are considered “complete” and allowed to fade away  As readers we do not have to go through the details of medical part of donations but  we do share the emotional journey of the characters .

In this back drop , author weaves a beautiful love story where Kathy and Tommy , two “students” of  “Hailsham ” go through their journey of life . It is  a fascinating description of their trials and tribulations and opens in front of us the Pandora’s Box of difficult emotional implications .

The book has been written in his usual style of being  “deceptively simple “. One can call it  a science fiction sans the usual technicalities . In the medical world , physicians and patients are always struggling with the scarcity of organ donors. With the medical advancements though transplant medicine has improved a lot, but healthy donors are always scarce

Retail production of human beings for organ harvesting is a tyrannical option for scientists .Countries around the world are struggling with the moral and ethical implications of it .Should such human clones have the usual rights as  of the citizens of a country? Till what level of development should the clones be allowed to develop ?Would we be treating them well ?

As of now , we do not like to integrate our societies as much as we like to segregate . We love to segregate by Walls , color , race , religion, gender economic class, sexual identity .What would happen when we would create one more group to segregate them ?

As part of human nature we love power  and I wonder under the garb of science ,would we be raising our ugly head of greed and unscrupulousness  one more time .

Thoughts to ponder on !

Wishing you all a very happy New Year 2018




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