NOTE: This review contains spoilers below the synopsis. For my spoiler-free review, please see my YouTube video.
Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest novel takes us to a world of the not-so-distant future, where AI and humans live side-by-side…literally. Klara, an artificial friend (“AF”), relates to us her journey of leaving a shop window for a home with Josie, her teenage adoptive human. Josie suffers from a mysterious illness, which frustrates her mother and leaves her with few close human friends, apart from her boyfriend Rick. As Klara acclimates to life with her new family, she peels back their history and secrets to discover the real reason for her presence in their lives.
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.
I SAID MAJOR. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED….
Continue reading Klara and the Sun – Full Thoughts
I am currently 60% through Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest novel, Klara and the Sun. In recent years, the British writer has pivoted away from psychological family dramas towards science fiction and fantasy. Klara and the Sun, in fact, is narrated by an artificial friend (or “AF”) called Klara, who relates her experiences starting as a robot in a store window and subsequent adoption by Josie, a lonely teenage girl.
I don’t know where this book is going, but I can say already I’m quite attached to Klara, even though I know she is only a highly advanced computer with a human-like body. This is not the first time a fictional computer has won my heart.
There’s a reason Data is one of fans’ favorite Star Trek characters. It’s the same reason Ishiguro was able to write a novel from an android’s perspective.
We all would love to have a friend who accepts and supports us unconditionally. Somebody who is always dependable and has few other motives in life than to be there for us. Someone who doesn’t criticize us, tease us, use us, or abandon us. Total commitment, in our noncommittal world, but not in a clingy way—we want to be able to walk away, too.
Continue reading Why Do We Love Robots? – Thoughts While Reading Klara and the Sun
I’ve now read 6 1/2 books by Kazuo Ishiguro. At his best, he’s my favorite writer in the world: subtle, poignant, and deft at infusing hard questions into personal stories. Some of his novels just don’t resonate with me, though, and Never Let Me Go is unfortunately one of them. The premise – of clone children being raised for their organs – sounded horrifyingly fascinating and not as futuristic as it might have been when this was published (2005). The theme of how society can treat people as commodities is very relevant. Still, the book was highly tedious till the last part, and even then it barely picked up. The characters mostly felt more like placeholders than people. This was my second attempt, and while I did finish it this time, I don’t feel like I missed anything by the first DNF. However, I know others have got more of out it than I did, so do give it a try if you’re interested in the topic. I will give a more detailed video review soon.
I feel like this is going to be another whirlwind year in slow motion (yes, that’s a thing). Goodreads says I’m already behind on my reading challenge. Oh well—I’ve been reading, anyway!
Here are some books I’ve needed to review but didn’t feel like doing an entire post or video about. Naturally, it’s turned out to be a long post, so brace yourselves…
Continue reading January Catch-Up – Five Reviews