Book Review

Klara And The Sun By Kazuo Ishiguro | Book Review

Hey Everyone! I am Max and I will be composing a review for a novel christened Klara and the sun By Kazuo Ishiguro today! I would like to thank @timesreads for sending a proof copy of this novel to me. So, without further ado, let us get into the book review!

Genre: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction

Synopsis:

Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her.

Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: what does it mean to love?

Review:

I was intrigued by the beginning of the book when I first read it but it all went downhill when the story struck page 150 and everything else beyond that was pure dumpster fire. Everything from the plot holes to the characters did not sate my reading appetite and the words that were written in the novel was wholly disappointing to the point where I “let out a breath I did not know I was holding” when I reached the final page of this book.

The premise of this novel is basically about Artificial Friends (AF) being designed to serve as comrades to the children. The story is told from an AF named Klara point of view and she is a B2, an earlier variant of humanoid. AFs need the sun as “nourishments” as they are solar-powered to conduct their quotidian operations. The story commences when a girl with an undefined illness purchases Klara from the store and takes her home. 

I savoured the premise of the novel and I thought it held some promises but the promises were broken and I did not like how the author executed the story. First of all, it does not have a plot. There were way too many times that I thought the author would take a sinister turn or take a philosophical turn in the story but he did not and instead, it went on being directionless and without any motive. Secondly, the storylines were all over the place. They were messier than tangled up plug-wires. Here’s the thing, I am okay with novels about a slice of life, but this book did not go anywhere near “a slice of life” type of story. This book just went on and on, going nowhere and somewhere (somewhere as in going towards the end of the book) at the same time. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

Josie, the girl who purchased Klara from the store and escorted her to her house was extremely rude to Rick (her best friend and a friend she would like to marry in the future) and every single person including her AF in this book, with her father as an exception and she was stormy when things do not go her way or for no reason at all. She became somewhat kind when she was in the mood, otherwise, I did not find her affectionate at all. Josie’s mother had a sinister ambience around her throughout the novel and the author did provide us with reasons which I enjoyed. All of the other characters fell flat and had no personality for me. Well, okay, to be fair, I felt a sense of disconnect from the characters due to the story being told from an AF’s point of view so, the characters might be distorted under the lens of an AF’s. 

The writing style of this novel was very juvenile. I did not like how simple the writing was; it felt like I was reading a middle-grade novel instead of a novel in the Literary Fiction genre. Some people may disagree and call it minimalistic, but I honestly do not like it so… I will not be swayed by that opinion. The dialogues, in my opinion, were terribly written. It felt really jagged and spontaneous. For example, one moment the dad would be talking about his anger and frustration and the next moment – literally the next line – he would be musing like this: “Do you believe in the human heart? I don’t mean simply the organ, obviously. I’m speaking in a poetic sense.” I was literally taken aback by the abrupt switch in topics. I literally thought to myself: gurl wut… are we seriously doing this

The dialogues were not the only choppy thing in this novel, the characters’ changed their minds oddly fast as well. For example, Rick does not want to go to college in this instance, then in the next instance, he would like to go to college. I felt like I was missing a huge chunk of the scenes and information that the author should have provided us with.

There were two prominent plot-holes that I noticed in this novel. (1) Sel was Josie’s sister before she died and we do not know how she died as there was no explanation for her death and she was not brought up again after Josie got sick… Why even bother bringing Sel up is the question I would like to ask if it does not serve anything for the plot of the novel. (2) The whole barn thing… that was ridiculous. I am sorry, but I can’t. I thought it would make sense by the end of the novel but dang, what was that!? And how did Josie recover from her undefined illness magically? Honey, no. Just no. 

In conclusion, I am proffering this novel with a verdict of 15% (F). I am extremely disappointed with this novel so, this book informed me to not anchor high expectations when I read Never Let Me Go which is another book that I owned that is from this author.


This is the end of my review for Klara And The Sun By Kazuo Ishiguro! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

17 thoughts on “Klara And The Sun By Kazuo Ishiguro | Book Review

  1. I know your review is honest and appreciate your honesty. As a writer, I would be happy that you actually read my book, and would not be angry with your score, but I would have appreciated more direction on what I could have done to improve my writing. I know that as a reviewer it is not your responsibility to help me, but some pointers would have been helpful. If I had read the whole story, I probably would have agreed with your score. It is sad that the writer did not have someone help with the book before publishing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry the novel didn’t live up to your expectations. I actually think it’s much cleverer than one might initially think. The writing is so simple because it’s told from the perspective of a robot. The way how the story is told is at least as important as the plot. Both add up to the novel’s central conflict: whether a not-quite-human figure can authentically copy a human (surprise: the answer’s no). And to answer your question concerning Sel (SPOILER ALERT): it’s implied that she’s suffered from the same illness as Josie, which is apparently a side-effect of artificial gene editing, the process known as “lifting.” I think her story is really important for understanding why the characters act the way they do. Anyway, I actually thought the novel wasn’t as bad, but it definitely wasn’t as strong as some of the author’s former works.

    Liked by 1 person

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