Category Archives: literature

Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – Book Review

Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Never-Let-Me-Go-Audiobook/B00LCHY9AM?qid=1618125902&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=c6e316b8-14da-418d-8f91-b3cad83c5183&pf_rd_r=E7DR700310ZFRFNCR62W

Summary:

In one of the most acclaimed novels of recent years, Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England.
Narrated by Kathy, now 31, Never Let Me Go dramatizes her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world. A story of love, friendship, and memory, Never Let Me Go is charged throughout with a sense of the fragility of life.

My Review:

Hailsham is a seemingly idyllic setting for privileged boys and girls. It is a boarding school with acres of land, in which the welfare of the children and their education is overseen by “the Guardians”.

Cathy and her friends are encouraged to produce art, the best of which is taken away by “Madame”.

As the novel progresses, the reader is left with a growing sense of unease. Why is “Madame” fearful of the children? And why does she take their best work away to “the gallery”?

There is no cruelty at Hailsham, yet Miss Lucy seems troubled and attempts to communicate to Cathy and her friends something of their fate when they leave Hailsham.

As the story unfolds, we learn (following the departure of the students from Hailsham), of “carers” and “donors”. Every student from Hailsham (and the other institutions in England) must take their turn caring for donors, before themselves becoming donors.

The children reared at Hailsham, and other similar institutions are clones whose purpose is to provide organs to non-clones.

Much of the horror of the story lies in the euphemisms employed to describe horrific acts. The word donor implies a willing person who provides a kidney or other organ for reasons of altruism. However, in Never Let Me Go the students/clones have no option other than to furnish their body parts. Again, donors do not die, rather they “complete”.

There is no mention of any secret police in the novel. Therefore it is not clear how the state ensures that the clones fulfil their destiny and donate organs. Donors are not (as in Huxley’s Brave New World) subjected to intensive conditioning, yet there is no indication that any try to avoid their fate. This is, for me an issue with what is, in general a very well written novel. It seems almost incredible that none of the clones would attempt to rebel against the system.

There is talk by Ruth, Cathy, Tommy and other students about the possibility of students who have produced great art being, somehow able to defer their fate as donors, particularly if they can demonstrate that they are in love. To find out whether this is, in fact the case, you will need to read the book.

Claire and the Bear

There once was a girl named Claire
Who met with a large brown bear.
It is strange to meet
A bear on Oxford Street.
And to see young ladies eaten there!

A 4 Star Review of My Collection, “The Further Selected Poems of K Morris”

I was pleased to receive the following review of my recently published “The Further Selected Poems of K Morris”:

“… The first few poems relate to the death of the poet’s guide dog, Trigger. “Dog Bed” and “To a Departed Dog” are especially poignant. They are followed by a group featuring autumn, winter, or birds. Nature here is both comforting and indifferent. The best of this group is “This Winter Sunshine.” It is very short but very good. Two others that are brief but brilliant are “A Confession” and ” I Face My Darkening Window.” …”.

To read the review in its entirety on Goodreads please visit this link, https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3935821813. The review can also be found on Amazon here, https://www.amazon.ca/review/R2QF59JP09SB74/. To read a sample or purchase The Further Selected Poems of K Morris please visit this link, https://www.amazon.com/Further-Selected-Poems-Morris-ebook/dp/B08XPMGD3F, or this one, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Further-Selected-Poems-Morris/dp/B08XL7YZ9H/
.

Louise Who Lived in a Hive of Bees

There once was a girl named Louise
Who lived in a hive of bees.
When they said, “do bees sting?”.
She said, “love is my king!
And I fend them off with cheese!”.

Liberty and Equality

Sometimes, my old friend
You seem to contend
That those who are weak
Should hold back the strong.
But let us speak
Of liberty, my friend.
And how, in the end
It dies when the strong
Are constrained in the name
Of that slippery god Equality.

I would not condemn
Imperfect men
To the elusion of equality.
You see
The death of variety
Is inevitable, when good men
Philosophise. And, turning their eyes
Away from reality.
Forget great liberty.
And obsess over equality.

She, Studying At University

She, studying at university.
Sitting on his settee.
The wine eases.
She softly pleases.

A girl’s first time
Caught in a rhyme.
A generous fee
For her company …

There Once Was a Well Known Intellectual

There once was a well known intellectual
Who became famous for wearing one spectacle.
He explored beautiful young women
And the concept of sinning …
Some say he was not that respectable …

Riding with Miss Stride

When a young lady named Stride
Said, “do come for a ride”.
We entered the stable
And Stride, being able,
I soon learned how to ride

Whilst Drunk On All Kinds of Booze

Whilst drunk on all kinds of booze
I borrowed my new girlfriend’s stiletto shoes.
And walked through the town
Wearing nought but her nightgown.
Did you see me on the news?