Welcome to Edition Numéro 001 of my Wednesday bonus posts! These posts will be more concise than the Monday ones, and in them I won’t be reviewing the “latest and greatest” in literature, but instead random things I’ve recently read.
I’m not the only reader in my family—though I definitely read the most, my parents have amassed a rather prolific bookshelf of the old classics and some contemporary novels. One day last week, I wandered into their study and grabbed a book from the latter category: Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. I had no idea to expect, but the front boasted Ishiguro as a Booker Prize-winning author, and I had a faint memory of someone recommending it to me years ago—and that was enough for me to get started with.
Never Let Me Go is unlike any book I have ever read. The blurb describes a novel about an English boarding school, so I was expecting it to be a posh fiction book—in the vein of Snobs, with a bit more intensity and sadness mixed in, so I couldn’t have been more surprised to discover the actual plot. The best part about it is that, when you begin the book, it isn’t clear what’s so strange about this particular English boarding school—it’s a slow-burn reveal—teachers acting out and letting information slip, students putting pieces together—that keeps the pages turning. Given the way the book unfolds, I would be remiss to spoil it here; hence why it’s perfect for these quick Wednesday posts. What I will say is that this book is not for everyone. It’s sad; so sad that I found some parts genuinely difficult to get through. That being said, the writing is stunning—Ishiguro’s skill at painting pictures of the English landscape is unparalleled—and the plot original and fascinating.
It’s my birthday, and I’m telling you to read this now, so you actually have to.