Sunday, April 17, 2005

"Never Let me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro

I just finished the new book by Kazuo Ishiguro, "Never Let Me Go". His first three books: "A Pale View of Hills", "An Artist of the Floating World", and "Remains of the Day" were brilliant. They were quiet, subtle, bittersweet and mysterious. His next two books, "The Unconsoled" and "When We Were Orphans", were bitter disappointments. I wasn't even able to finish the "The Unconsoled" and "When We Were Orphans" was terrible but slight enough to trudge through.
So it was with some trepidation that I picked up his new book. It was an improvement over the previous two and quite similar in tone and style to the first three. But alas, not nearly as good. There's an old recommendation about storytelling - "Show Me Don't Tell Me", which Mr. Ishiguro seemed to have forgotten along the way. He is apparently disturbed about certain potential developments of modern medical technology and in his anxiety to make a point he left seems to have left much but not all of his craft behind.
"Remains of the Day" was a great success for Mr. Ishiguro, it won the Booker Prize and was made into a well-regarded film. Sometimes it seems that success destroys the foundation upon which it is built. Unfortunately this seems to be the case for this author.

Ishiguro's Better Days No Longer Remain

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Never Let Me Go was reviewed in Nature - rather favorably I must say!
"Never Let Me Go is a literary tour de force and the finest expression of moral disquietude over advances in the biomedical science since Aldhous Huxley's Brave New World more than 70 years ago."