Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication Date: 02/03/2021
Length: 320 pages
Genre: Dystopian | Literary Fiction
‘The Sun always has ways to reach us.’GoodReads
From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change for ever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.
As soon as I heard that Kazuo Ishiguro was releasing a new book I immediately pre-ordered it. Never Let Me Go is one of my favourite books, so when I saw that Klara and the Sun would once again be exploring scientific themes as well as humanity I was even more excited to read it. After waiting months and months for the book to be released, last week I finally had one of my most anticipated reads of the year in my hands and I devoured it in a matter of hours.
The entire novel is all from Klara’s perspective which I adored, I loved Klara as a protagonist and it was a joy to experience the world through her eyes. Klara was so insightful and curious about everything which then made the reader curious too. Especially as, at first it feels as though we are in an America in the not too distant future, however as the novel progresses we begin to learn even more about this world and that AFs aren’t the only radical difference in it. All the characters in this book were so complex and interesting, it was difficult to get a read on a couple of them in the beginning but I really liked that. I loved not knowing the true intentions of certain characters as the mystery just added to this already thoughtful and meaningful novel.
It’s very difficult to talk about this book and the characters within it without giving away any spoilers as going into this novel without much knowledge of what it’s about is a truly wonderful reading experience. I loved how the reader only ever knew as much as Klara did, if we didn’t know something of the world around her, that’s because she didn’t know or no one ever explained it to her. This just made the novel even more powerful not only did we understand Klara better because of it, but we also had a deeper understanding of how people perceived her too.
It was fascinating to me to see the way that AFs were integrated within society but also treated by society too. When I have consumed other media that focuses on A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) it has often been from the human’s perspective either creating the A.I. or befriending the A.I. So, it was very refreshing to read a novel that was from the perspective of the A.I. instead. Ishiguro’s beautiful and lyrical writing was perfect for both Klara and the novel as a whole. Not only did it wonderfully emphasised Klara’s innocent and philosophical view on the world; but it also presented harsh truths of this new world in such a gentle way it was truly captivating.
There is just so much more I want to say about this profound novel as I can honestly say that it has very quickly become one of my favourite novels ever, not just of this year. For me, this novel had the same haunting beauty of Never Let Me Go and it’s one that I know I will be thinking about for a long time to come. Without a doubt, I already know that this is the frontrunner for my book of 2021.