This book is the second of Ishiguro that I read (first was When We Were Orphans). The style is a bit different. Easier to digest I’d say, a page turner. The author is good at giving hints to something in the past or the future, and makes me wanting more throughout the entire book.
I can’t say more without spilling spoilers. So I’m just gonna blurt it out.
I think by now almost everyone that has heard about this book knows that it is about clones (As far as I recall though, the word “clone” is only mentioned twice in the entire book). I thought most of the aspects were covered pretty well, but I can’t help wondering why the idea of parents were not discussed at all. It should be a pretty sad moment to know that everybody else out there has parents and you don’t. But I guess they’ve always known that they’re “purposefully created”, and when everybody around you has the same fate as you, you would just accept things as they are. Like a frog never really wishes to fly.
I found relationship between Ruth and Tommy is a bit hard to believe. I mean they’re really two different persons, and I can’t imagine them being together in the first place. Though if you think more about it, they’re both a bit annoying. Ruth is awfully pretentious and attention seeker. Tommy childish, weak, indecisive (he waited until Ruth allowed Kath and him to be together to do something about it? Anyway he never did much about anything.)
I’m also wondering what’s the significance of alphabets for their last name. I thought A would be the first clone for that person, B second, and so on. But they never mentioned anything about it and my theory doesn’t make much sense too, because if it’s true then if Kath’s last name is H, that means she’s the 8th clone, which means the real person where they take the gene from has probably been dead a long time ago if they wait for each clone to ‘complete’ to make the same clone. But Kath tried to find her ‘possible’ and she thought she was alive. If they make a few of the same clones at the same time, wouldn’t she wonder where the other clones are, and not just her ‘possible’? So anyway, their ‘last name’ confused me.
Many things are just eerie. The way they say ‘complete’ to mark their discontinuation to live. The way Madame and Miss Emily so matter-of-factly and cold-heartedly explain everything to them and dismiss them just like that. Not to mention the whole donor thingy.
After I finished the book, when I looked back, I thought the characters are almost void of emotions in just a very eerie way. There’s no big emotion to whatever new things that they discovered no matter how shocking it was. And rightly so. After all, they’re clones, which were doubted that they even had souls.
Rating: 4 out of 5 [Very good]
Flowing reading, satisfying climax, a unique topic that is brought very nicely. Few loose ends.
My name is Kathy H.
I just waited a bit, then turned back to the car, to drive off to wherever it was I was supposed to be.