Never Let Me Go is by Kazuo Ishiguro, who wrote, among other things, The Remains of the Day. Time named it one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. I don’t necessarily trust the list (they include Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret and Wide Sargasso Sea on that list; I’m not sure I can wrap my head around that — the first is a children’s book and the second is a revisionist “prequel” to a true all-time classic, Jane Eyre). It’s a difficult book to discuss in any detail, because I don’t want to give away the story. Let’s just say that it’s a very haunting, very disturbing book and not my usual fare, but it’s also a gripping page-turner.
Kathy, Ruth and Tommy are all children raised in a boarding school in the English countryside. They don’t mention families, nor do they ever talk about going home for Christmas or Easter or anything. Their teachers are referred to as “guardians,” and these guardians keep telling them how special they are. But at the same time, the guardians appear to be afraid of their charges. As I read their story, I learned what makes these children so special and was, frankly, appalled. Kathy, Ruth and Tommy don’t find any aspect of their lives strange, however, and that’s what makes the book even more disturbing. I learned about the book because I stumbled across the trailer for the upcoming movie starring Carey Mulligan (Kathy) and Keira Knightley (Ruth). The trailer looked interesting, so I took out the book in anticipation of seeing the movie. If the movie is as good as the book, it should be worth seeing.
Fifth Avenue, 5 a.m. is the behind-the-scenes story of the making of the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s and its role in modern American society. It was written by Sam Wasson and is a highly entertaining read about a movie that is rather iconic, but of which I am not a fan. I am glad I read it though — the idea that Truman Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe to play Holly is rather intriguing. Capote did not like the film because it differs so much from his book, and both are considered classics (I’m leaning towards borrowing the book at some point). The book’s front cover is a still from the movie, but the rest is, of course, in Tiffany blue.
Confessions of a Bigamist, by Kate Lehrer (wife of PBS’s Jim Lehrer). I put it down after 2 chapters. It may be wonderful, and dozens of people may tell me how great it is and how stupid I am for not liking it, but I just found it boring. Unfortunately, I thought I returned it but hadn’t, so I ended up owing $1 on it. I was not amused.
In the pipeline are 2 other books I’ve been wanting to read: Bedpan Commando by June Wandrey and Losing our Religion by S.E. Cupp. The first is coming to me through Interlibrary Loan, and the second is a new book for which I am in the queue.