Having talked about Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale last week, I (of course) didn’t start reading either Fahrenheit 451 or 1984, even though I have the one on my shelf and the other on my Kindle. Of course not. After all, one needs a small break from contemplating how close humanity is to doing something we’re really, really going to regret. Or a large portion of us are, anyway. After all, “Better never means better for everyone… It always means worse, for some.” (The Handmaid’s Tale) Which means the reverse is true, too.
But it did get me thinking about other books that are about our reality, but not. Near dystopia, if you like (and sometimes it feels frighteningly near indeed). And I did read a book that fits that description last year, which, having loved it in an unsettled kind of way, I passed on to a friend who I think I may have unwittingly traumatised. Sorry, Sophie.
So here is a book chat about Kazuo Ishiguru’s Never Let Me Go. I’ve not read any of his other books, but I want to now. His writing’s immersive and powerful, and I was captivated by this story of an alternate England, not ravaged by war or disease, pretty much as we know it, in fact. With the exception of the fact that certain schools exist to bring up certain children for a certain purpose. Which, in a way, is what we already do (although not for this particular purpose. I hope).
And that, there, is why I find these sort of books more frightening than any other – because, always, they start from something we already do, just not on such a grand scale, or in quite the same manner as the books suggest. But always you find yourself thinking, it wouldn’t take much…
Watch on for more!
And now tell me, lovely people – have you read Never Let Me Go? What about any other of Ishiguru’s books? Where should I go from here to read more? Let me know below!