What's odd about this novel for me is how compulsively I read it despite how little I liked the narration. Kathy is a very awkward story-teller. She never once lets you forget that she is speaking, often saying things like "And that's why I told you that," "I'm going to talk about this now," "That's why I think that I did that think that I was just talking about," and other such transitions and reflections that interrupt the flow of the thing. Yet I couldn't put it down, sometimes reading for hours at a time. I was constantly thinking about it, wishing I could read it. It made me feel some excitement and tension that actually had my heart racing, though there are never any moments of intense or sudden fear or excitement. The novel is as calm as can be.
Before I started to read Never Let Me Go, I read some reviews that said that the first two-thirds were very slow (true), but that the end proved it to be a masterpiece. I'm not sure what is meant by masterpiece and I don't know if I would classify it as such, but it did resonate with me. I am disturbed by it and will not easily let it go. But a masterpiece?
It went to a place that I did not expect it to go, though in reflection, that knowledge was building within me throughout, just as it slowly built in Kathy herself. I saw possibilities that proved themselves, fears that came true, a worrisome anxiety about discussing what would be, just as Kathy did. Somehow, this awkward narrative built within me to the exploding point, when I was left breathless with the horrors that were so calmly delivered.
This could be our world. I supposed, then, that Never Let Me Go is a dystopia, though it did not read as such. It's calmness hid that awareness from me until this moment. I can still feel it building within me, as though it will not resolve itself for days or years. Maybe not ever, considering the realities it suggests.
Maybe it is a masterpiece.