Monday, January 23, 2012

"The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading."

I really, really need to stop reading books without blogging about them. I'm already finished with another two that I haven't even thought about blogging about yet. I apologize for that.

In the meantime, I'm still playing catch-up. I'm in between classes, so you'll probably only get this one for now.

My Pre-Reading

SPOILERS ahead! Sorry about that.

I'm usually not a huge fan of "adult" fiction. It moves too slowly for me, and I'm not interested in the characters as much as I am in those found in YA novels. This book though, was phenomenal. A little slow at parts, yes, but still so full of everything a book should have. The main character, Kathy, begins by retelling her experiences as a child growing up at Hailsham. At first, you're not really sure what she's talking about when she mentions carers and donors, but it becomes shockingly clear pretty early on. Ishiguro does a pretty fantastic job of slapping you right between the eyes with the cold, hard truth - in this alternate Britain, clones are created and raised in order to donate their vital organs to help the rest of the population.

Seriously, WTF. The only purpose in these childrens' lives is the grow up nice and healthy so their organs can be harvested. Oh, and by the way, you might not make it through all of the donations. And sometimes you live longer than you're supposed to - past the fourth donation - in a sort of Limbo. But they won't just kill you, because they can still harvest some more organs from you. And to top it all off, none of the "real" people want to have anything to do with you, because if they send you off to the countryside and don't let you integrate with them, they don't have to think of you as people. They don't even have to pretend you have souls or anything. You're basically just an organ farm.

Although I wasn't a huge fan of Ruth, and I'm not sure why Kathy and Tommy put up with her for so long, I do appreciate that she was pretty much the antithesis to everything they thought, wanted, did, etc.All three of the major characters were so well developed (especially Kathy, since the entire book is from her perspective), and as Ruth and Tommy die, it's almost like losing a friend. Even though Kathy takes it in stride and doesn't really come off as too upset by it, you can tell how much it hurts her to lose her two best friends in the entire world, one of whom she was in love with.

I really don't even have words to describe how fantastic this whole book was, and what an amazing job Ishiguro did with it. Just go read it for yourself. I promise you won't be disappointed. Even if you think it's a little slow, just keep reading. It gets so much better. Life isn't always fast paced, and you can't expect the retelling of someone's life to be so. Everything is important in one way or another.

Definitely a 5/5 for this book. Now go pick up a copy and read it for yourself.


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