Published in 2005, Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel takes place in a plausible alternate reality to our own, and uses it to explore the nature of humanity. Ishiguro is fond of playing with narrative style and voice, (as demonstrated in the equally excellent The Remains of the Day ) and Never Let Me Go is no exception. Told in first person, the story carefully and slowly reveals withheld information to devastating effect, but all the tragic twists appear inevitable through the sadly matter-of-fact narrative voice. However, its Ishiguro’s phenomenal writing that really makes this novel stand out. It’s engaging from the beginning, never cloying even when everything seems to be going wrong and filled with vivid descriptions. The tone is so pensive that it takes a second for the gut punch to register, and then that same wistfulness only seems to emphasise the sense of serene grief that is behind every line.
Watch the trailer for the 2010 film adaptation below: