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MelindaB

Reading Maketh a Full Man...

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Currently reading

The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Canto)
C.S. Lewis
Boys and Girls Learn Differently!: A Guide for Teachers and Parents
Michael Gurian, Terry Trueman, Patricia Henley
Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet
Christian Wiman
Deep River: The Life and Music of Robert Shaw
Keith C. Burris
Daring, Trusting Spirit
John De Gruchy
The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church
John Thavis
The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia
Orlando Figes

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro I wish I had a few more categories on Goodreads by which to rate books. I did not like this book. However, it is wonderfully written and artistically executed with excellence. The subject matter is horrible, but it is something that I would recommend that others read about. ***SPOILER ALERT****"Never Let Me Go" is about raising human clones to be exploited for their organs. Somewhere in the future, illness and disease have been largely overcome through the availability of healthy cloned humans. The human clones are raised exclusively for the purpose of providing organs and tissues from their own bodies to be used to fight disease and illness in others. They are walking "organ farms", to be used, used up, then die. Normally conceived human beings want the benefits they find by using clones, but they do not want to see or know the clones as people. In fact they do not consider clones as humans at all. "Normal" people are repulsed by contact with clones, and do not choose to be around them. Young clones are raised to adulthood, then moved into the role of "carers". Since normal people do not want to be around clones, then young clones are trained to care for the donor clones. Donors are clones who have begun the process of donating organs or tissues to people. After surgery, they need to recuperate and become healthy again, so they are moved to centers to heal and then repeat the process. The carers take care of the donors until the donors "complete" (die). Eventually a carer will move into the work of a donor, and in turn be cared for by the next younger generation of carers.That is a very hard edged and blunt explanation of the book, "Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro. Ishiguro is never blunt or so straightforward, but is very subtle and nuanced. He tells this story from the perspective of a young carer clone. Raised in an experimental clone educational area, Hailsham, it seems remarkably like an English boarding school. Hailsham exists as a social experiment. If you treat clones as human, some reason, then they should be placed in a healthy intellectual environment and a healthy physical environment that normal people would enjoy and expect. They will be better "donors" if they have had more fulfilling lives. Other human clones have been raised in almost cattle like conditions, but the proponents of Hailsham want that to be changed. They believe clones are humans, and should be treated as such. Kathy H. begins her story when she is 31 years old. She reflects on how she grew up, how she came to be one of the best carers around, and eventually how she came to understand her role in the world. The pacing is slow and deliberate, and you are never "hit in the face" with any of the facts of cloning or organ farms or the purpose of Hailsham. The subtlety is frightening because you only gradually begin to understand who the students at Halisham are, why they are different, and what their fate will be. You understand along with Kathy H., gradually and in glimpses and side-stories, memories and recalled events. So this book raises many questions, and leaves them mostly all unanswered. Are human clones really humans? Do they have a soul? If they do, how would you be able to tell? If the clones are raised only to donate their organs, does it matter what type of environment they are raised in? An intellectually stimulating one like Halisham? Or a barn crammed together like animals?So the book is worth reading, and worth thinking about. Like the anecdotal "frog in hot water", this book shows you what it would be like to BE that frog who jumps into the cold water, but then is boiled as the heat is turned up. If you knew you would be that frog, what types of things would you do to keep from being boiled? Reading this book might help you figure out how to be a more "aware frog", perhaps.