Saturday, 31 January 2009

Never Let Me Go

I admit I don't read a lot of sci-fi. I remember Jurassic Park as the last sci-fi I read. That was in secondary school and partly because of the buzz of the upcoming movie adaptation. The movie disappointed me because they changed major things about the characters and only included 6 dinosaur species.

I didn't have a single clue that Never Let Me Go is a sci-fi. The reason I picked this up is because of Kazuo Ishiguro. I know him as the author of The Remains of the Day, which was also turned into a film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson (both my favourite.) I wondered how a Japanese could write a story with a British aristrocrat setting. My search revealed that Ishiguro is not quite Japanese, rather a British of Japanese origin. If anything I imagine Ishiguro would face more struggle in writing about Japan.

I suspected this to be sci-fi the story started throwing terms at me. In this case they were 'donors' and 'carers'. Kathy is one such carer who runs into a donor named Ruth. Both of them grew up together in a establishment called Hailsham.

The reasons they were in Hailsham remains blurry until the second half of the story. Kathy and Ruth are almost opposite. For instance Ruth enjoys being the centre of attention while Kathy steers away from it. And of course, opposites attract.

Another bond that they share is Tommy, a boy who seems to not quite fit in at Hailsham. His easily riled-up nature makes him target of other students' ribbings. Their view of Tommy's reactions go from amuse to sympathy to concern. Over the few years in Hailsham the three of them grow closer. Tommy and Ruth later become a pair.

Hailsham was only the beginning. Later they are moved to another place, among 'others' who are like them. Through Kathy's point of view of the events that happened we slowly learn about they really are.

I sense that Ishiguro didn't plan to pass off this story as sci-fi. Sci-fi is used as the setting. The story mainly hinges on the events that happen between Kathy, Ruth and Tommy. Kathy walks us through the details; like incidences, the words said and the reactions that follow. They reveal much of the deeply hidden intricacies of their relationships.

Never Let Me Go is a story that rewards the reader for being patient. Set aside some time if you plan to read it. Like speeding through a stretch of beautiful countryside road; you'll arrive sooner but you'll miss the scenery.


ieka said...

nobody wants to let you go.. :p so ape cerita sekarang? he he he...

rol said...

I've been let go by people many times before, Puan ieka.

Setakat ni alhmadulillah. OK. Tapi versi penuhnya kena aku jumpa korang berdua kat rumah nanti, insya-Allah. Boleh ke?

ieka said...

inshaAllah takde masalah.. boleh aje :)

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