Your life must now run the course that’s been set for it

2011/06/17 § 7 Comments

Ugh. Finished Never Let Me Go a couple of days ago.
This sci-fi/coming-of-age novel is written by Japanese-born, British writer Kazuo Ishiguro and is honestly the most horrible, frustrating and claustrophobic book I have read. Ever. I cried for near two hours after finishing it. It was superb, though.

..and I half closed my eyes and imagined this was the spot where everything I’d ever lost since my childhood had washed up, and I was now standing here in front of it, and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field and gradually get larger until I’d see it was Tommy, and he’d wave, and maybe even call.

I am not sure how much of the plot I can tell without ruining the experience, I had seen the film trailer (/dude, crying) myself before starting on the book, and it gives nearly everything away. Let’s just say it’s about some kids in England and them growing up and facing the expectations of the World/society. It’s about choices, it’s about friendship, it’s about life, it’s about destiny, it’s about being tired, too tired to fight. That is perhaps the most frustrating thing about the book, how they never riot against their fate, no matter how predetermined it is.
I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding on as hard as they can, but in the end it’s just too much. The current’s too strong. They’ve got to let go, drift apart. That’s how I think it is with us. It’s a shame, Kath, because we’ve loved each other all our lives. But in the end, we can’t stay together forever.
The most heartbreaking scene is when Tommy screams in the muddy fields. It seems to be the worst from the trailer too. I’m going to watch the film this week-end, wish me luck. I’ll probably cry for the entirety of next week.
As I’ve said, it wasn’t until a long time afterwards—long after I’d left the Cottages—that I realized just how significant out little encounter in the churchyard had been. I was upset at the time, yes. But I didn’t believe it to be anything so different from other tiffs we’d had. It never occurred to me that our lives, until then so closely interwoven could unravel and separate over a thing like that.
But the fact was, I suppose, there were powerful tides tugging us apart by then, and it only needed something like that to finish the task. If we’d understood that back then—who knows?—maybe we’d have kept a tighter hold of one another.


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§ 7 Responses to Your life must now run the course that’s been set for it

  • Book Nerd says:

    I’ve never heard of either this book or the author before, but it sounds interesting. I don’t remember the last book that made me cry, but your description of the book as horrible, frustrating, and claustrophobic reminds me of Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr.

    Wonderful post.

    • jejunestars says:

      Thank you! Concerning Requiem for a Dream, I have yet to read that book, but I have seen the film and I must say it was pretty frightening. I have it on my to-read list, though, so hopefully I will get to it soon. Would you recommend it? (Besides the “horrible, frustrating, and claustrophobic”)

      • Book Nerd says:

        I had seen the movie before I read the book as well. It’s a good book that I would suggest. But then again I like Selby’s writing and I would suggest all of his books, The Willow Tree was another amazing book that he wrote.

        I picked up Never Let Me Go when I was at Barnes & Noble today. It’s been added to my stack of books to read (which never seems to shrink very much) and I’ll probably get to it sometime soon.

  • […] Ishiguro, Kazuo – Never Let Me Go […]

  • […] heard about this book while trolling through random blogs on wordpress.  I came upon this blog post about the book and it sounded very interesting.  I checked out the book and it was an interesting […]

  • Book Nerd says:

    I just finished reading this book and I thought it was very well written and an interesting read. I’m glad that I came upon this post and I’m glad I read the book. Thank you for posting about it and introducing me to a wonderful book by a good author.


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