I loved Klara and the Son! Ishiguro has somehow managed to write an utterly heartfelt story about love from the perspective of a robot. It is genius! Klara's story starts on the shop floor observing and learning human interaction until she meets Josie, the companion she is bought to protect. Their relationship is as subtle and complex as any teenage friendship. But whilst Klara was marketed as an 'exceptionally observant model' and goes on to prove her worth she is still only an 'artificial friend', for whom emotions can be learned but not felt - or can they?! Every time we are beginning to forget that she is in fact made up of wires and synthetic materials Ishiguro will give us a subtle reminder - her legs struggling with rough terrain or her vision becoming divided into grid-like squares, brilliantly symbolic of her fragmented and not-the-whole picture point of view. Klara is the ultimate flawed narrator that you learn about in school! Her lack of understanding means that we question and unpick everything along-side her; Josie's cryptic illness and her dysfunctional relationship with her mother, the evils of pollution to which everyone seems oblivious, and the sun - the source of everything or nothing? Klara does in fact learn to feel hope - possibly even love, thereby questioning what it is to be human. And her story is so packed full of empathy and emotion that her dystopian world suddenly doesn't feel so strange after all. It is a book that you won't stop thinking about for a long time after finishing it, surely to be heralded as a classic of our time.
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