Reviews for Klara And The Sun

by Kazuo Ishiguro

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Nobelist Ishiguro returns to familiar dystopian ground with this provocative look at a disturbing near future. Klara is an AF, or “Artificial Friend,” of a slightly older model than the current production run; she can’t do the perfect acrobatics of the newer B3 line, and she is in constant need of recharging owing to “solar absorption problems,” so much so that “after four continuous days of Pollution,” she recounts, “I could feel myself weakening.” She’s uncommonly intelligent, and even as she goes unsold in the store where she’s on display, she takes in the details of every human visitor. When a teenager named Josie picks her out, to the dismay of her mother, whose stern gaze “never softened or wavered,” Klara has the opportunity to learn a new grammar of portentous meaning: Josie is gravely ill, the Mother deeply depressed by the earlier death of her other daughter. Klara has never been outside, and when the Mother takes her to see a waterfall, Josie being too ill to go along, she asks the Mother about that death, only to be told, “It’s not your business to be curious.” It becomes clear that Klara is not just an AF; she’s being groomed to be a surrogate daughter in the event that Josie, too, dies. Much of Ishiguro’s tale is veiled: We’re never quite sure why Josie is so ill, the consequence, it seems, of genetic editing, or why the world has become such a grim place. It’s clear, though, that it’s a future where the rich, as ever, enjoy every privilege and where children are marshaled into forced social interactions where the entertainment is to abuse androids. Working territory familiar to readers of Brian Aldiss—and Carlo Collodi, for that matter—Ishiguro delivers a story, very much of a piece with his Never Let Me Go, that is told in hushed tones, one in which Klara’s heart, if she had one, is destined to be broken and artificial humans are revealed to be far better than the real thing. A haunting fable of a lonely, moribund world that is entirely too plausible. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Nobelist Ishiguro returns to familiar dystopian ground with this provocative look at a disturbing near future.Klara is an AF, or Artificial Friend, of a slightly older model than the current production run; she cant do the perfect acrobatics of the newer B3 line, and she is in constant need of recharging owing to solar absorption problems, so much so that after four continuous days of Pollution, she recounts, I could feel myself weakening. Shes uncommonly intelligent, and even as she goes unsold in the store where shes on display, she takes in the details of every human visitor. When a teenager named Josie picks her out, to the dismay of her mother, whose stern gaze never softened or wavered, Klara has the opportunity to learn a new grammar of portentous meaning: Josie is gravely ill, the Mother deeply depressed by the earlier death of her other daughter. Klara has never been outside, and when the Mother takes her to see a waterfall, Josie being too ill to go along, she asks the Mother about that death, only to be told, Its not your business to be curious. It becomes clear that Klara is not just an AF; shes being groomed to be a surrogate daughter in the event that Josie, too, dies. Much of Ishiguros tale is veiled: Were never quite sure why Josie is so ill, the consequence, it seems, of genetic editing, or why the world has become such a grim place. Its clear, though, that its a future where the rich, as ever, enjoy every privilege and where children are marshaled into forced social interactions where the entertainment is to abuse androids. Working territory familiar to readers of Brian Aldissand Carlo Collodi, for that matterIshiguro delivers a story, very much of a piece with his Never Let Me Go, that is told in hushed tones, one in which Klaras heart, if she had one, is destined to be broken and artificial humans are revealed to be far better than the real thing.A haunting fable of a lonely, moribund world that is entirely too plausible. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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