Charlotte Reads Classics

Slowly, slowly, she sipped a sentence.

New Author

I’m starting my very first Murakami novel: Norwegian Wood. Very excited!

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro

The more I think about this book, the more of a genius I think Kazuo Ishiguro is. Not my first Ishiguro encounter: I had to read The Remains of the Day at school, and am ashamed to say I hated it. Looking back, I think that was probably more the teenage sensibility and possibly bad teaching, as that novel seems to be about everything I love to read about.

ANYWAY, perhaps unintelligently I didn’t know anything about the plot and assumed it was a typical “english” novel like The Remains of the Day. Which really is, and is very impressive considering Ishiguro is japanese. So I was surprised to come across a novel with no hint of science fiction full of cloning and organ donation. I think that might have put me off. And if you haven’t read Never Let Me Go I’m afraid you’ll have to take my word for it when I say it isn’t full of scientific detail or moral argument about these things. (Although subtly morality does play a significant part.)

Instead, Never Let Me Go is about lost innocence and human connections. Ishiguro creates his own language; the characters have grown up and lived in a very contained environment, and their speech and thoughts reflect this. Whilst sometimes uncomfortable, it is a fascinating read as much for what is not said, as well as what is spoken.


“We both felt deep down some tug, some old wish to believe again in something that was once close to our hearts.”

“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.”
– Kazuo Ishinguro, Never Let Me Go

In The Shadow of Young Girls in Flower

In Search of Lost Time Volume II: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, Marcel Proust

The epic read continues… Overall this second volume was more enjoyable than the first, although perhaps not as beautiful. The book has the tone of memory; the best way I can describe it is that the narrator has tinted everything to a certain hue. And I definitely get the impression I have met some characters that come to be very important in the future. I struggled with keeping the names of everyone straight but I think its understandable with Proust’s 10000+ creations!