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Never Let Me Go (Anglais) Broché – 5 janvier 2006

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My name is Kathy H. I’m thirty-one years old, and I’ve been a carer now for over eleven years. That sounds long enough, I know, but actually they want me to go on for another eight months, until the end of this year. That’ll make it almost exactly twelve years. Now I know my being a carer so long isn’t necessarily because they think I’m fantastic at what I do. There are some really good carers who’ve been told to stop after just two or three years. And I can think of one carer at least who went on for all of fourteen years despite being a complete waste of space. So I’m not trying to boast. But then I do know for a fact they’ve been pleased with my work, and by and large, I have too. My donors have always tended to do much better than expected. Their recovery times have been impressive, and hardly any of them have been classified as “agitated,” even before fourth donation. Okay, maybe I am boasting now. But it means a lot to me, being able to do my work well, especially that bit about my donors staying “calm.” I’ve developed a kind of instinct around donors. I know when to hang around and comfort them, when to leave them to themselves; when to listen to everything they have to say, and when just to shrug and tell them to snap out of it.

Anyway, I’m not making any big claims for myself. I know carers, working now, who are just as good and don’t get half the credit. If you’re one of them, I can understand how you might get resentful—about my bedsit, my car, above all, the way I get to pick and choose who I look after. And I’m a Hailsham student—which is enough by itself sometimes to get people’s backs up. Kathy H., they say, she gets to pick and choose, and she always chooses her own kind: people from Hailsham, or one of the other privileged estates. No wonder she has a great record. I’ve heard it said enough, so I’m sure you’ve heard it plenty more, and maybe there’s something in it. But I’m not the first to be allowed to pick and choose, and I doubt if I’ll be the last. And anyway, I’ve done my share of looking after donors brought up in every kind of place. By the time I finish, remember, I’ll have done twelve years of this, and it’s only for the last six they’ve let me choose.

And why shouldn’t they? Carers aren’t machines. You try and do your best for every donor, but in the end, it wears you down. You don’t have unlimited patience and energy. So when you get a chance to choose, of course, you choose your own kind. That’s natural. There’s no way I could have gone on for as long as I have if I’d stopped feeling for my donors every step of the way. And anyway, if I’d never started choosing, how would I ever have got close again to Ruth and Tommy after all those years?

But these days, of course, there are fewer and fewer donors left who I remember, and so in practice, I haven’t been choosing that much. As I say, the work gets a lot harder when you don’t have that deeper link with the donor, and though I’ll miss being a carer, it feels just about right to be finishing at last come the end of the year.

Ruth, incidentally, was only the third or fourth donor I got to choose. She already had a carer assigned to her at the time, and I remember it taking a bit of nerve on my part. But in the end I managed it, and the instant I saw her again, at that recovery centre in Dover, all our differences—while they didn’t exactly vanish—seemed not nearly as important as all the other things: like the fact that we’d grown up together at Hailsham, the fact that we knew and remembered things no one else did. It’s ever since then, I suppose, I started seeking out for my donors people from the past, and whenever I could, people from Hailsham.

There have been times over the years when I’ve tried to leave Hailsham behind, when I’ve told myself I shouldn’t look back so much. But then there came a point when I just stopped resisting. It had to do with this particular donor I had once, in my third year as a carer; it was his reaction when I mentioned I was from Hailsham. He’d just come through his third donation, it hadn’t gone well, and he must have known he wasn’t going to make it. He could hardly breathe, but he looked towards me and said: “Hailsham. I bet that was a beautiful place.” Then the next morning, when I was making conversation to keep his mind off it all, and I asked where he’d grown up, he mentioned some place in Dorset and his face beneath the blotches went into a completely new kind of grimace. And I realised then how desperately he didn’t want reminded. Instead, he wanted to hear about Hailsham.

So over the next five or six days, I told him whatever he wanted to know, and he’d lie there, all hooked up, a gentle smile breaking through. He’d ask me about the big things and the little things. About our guardians, about how we each had our own collection chests under our beds, the football, the rounders, the little path that took you all round the outside of the main house, round all its nooks and crannies, the duck pond, the food, the view from the Art Room over the fields on a foggy morning. Sometimes he’d make me say things over and over; things I’d told him only the day before, he’d ask about like I’d never told him. “Did you have a sports pavilion?” “Which guardian was your special favourite?” At first I thought this was just the drugs, but then I realised his mind was clear enough. What he wanted was not just to hear about Hailsham, but to remember Hailsham, just like it had been his own childhood. He knew he was close to completing and so that’s what he was doing: getting me to describe things to him, so they’d really sink in, so that maybe during those sleepless nights, with the drugs and the pain and the exhaustion, the line would blur between what were my memories and what were his. That was when I first understood, really understood, just how lucky we’d been—Tommy, Ruth, me, all the rest of us.

.

Driving around the country now, I still see things that will remind me of Hailsham. I might pass the corner of a misty field, or see part of a large house in the distance as I come down the side of a valley, even a particular arrangement of poplar trees up on a hillside, and I’ll think: “Maybe that’s it! I’ve found it! This actually is Hailsham!” Then I see it’s impossible and I go on driving, my thoughts drifting on elsewhere. In particular, there are those pavilions. I spot them all over the country, standing on the far side of playing fields, little white prefab buildings with a row of windows unnaturally high up, tucked almost under the eaves. I think they built a whole lot like that in the fifties and sixties, which is probably when ours was put up. If I drive past one I keep looking over to it for as long as possible, and one day I’ll crash the car like that, but I keep doing it. Not long ago I was driving through an empty stretch of Worcestershire and saw one beside a cricket ground so like ours at Hailsham I actually turned the car and went back for a second look.

We loved our sports pavilion, maybe because it reminded us of those sweet little cottages people always had in picture books when we were young. I can remember us back in the Juniors, pleading with guardians to hold the next lesson in the pavilion instead of the usual room. Then by the time we were in Senior 2—when we were twelve, going on thirteen—the pavilion had become the place to hide out with your best friends when you wanted to get away from the rest of Hailsham.

The pavilion was big enough to take two separate groups without them bothering each other—in the summer, a third group could hang about out on the veranda. But ideally you and your friends wanted the place just to yourselves, so there was often jockeying and arguing. The guardians were always telling us to be civilised about it, but in practice, you needed to have some strong personalities in your group to stand a chance of getting the pavilion during a break or free period. I wasn’t exactly the wilting type myself, but I suppose it was really because of Ruth we got in there as often as we did.

Usually we just spread ourselves around the chairs and benches—there’d be five of us, six if Jenny B. came along—and had a good gossip. There was a kind of conversation that could only happen when you were hidden away in the pavilion; we might discuss something that was worrying us, or we might end up screaming with laughter, or in a furious row. Mostly, it was a way to unwind for a while with your closest friends.

On the particular afternoon I’m now thinking of, we were standing up on stools and benches, crowding around the high windows. That gave us a clear view of the North Playing Field where about a dozen boys from our year and Senior 3 had gathered to play football. There was bright sunshine, but it must have been raining earlier that day because I can remember how the sun was glinting on the muddy surface of the grass.

Someone said we shouldn’t be so obvious about watching, but we hardly moved back at all. Then Ruth said: “He doesn’t suspect a thing. Look at him. He really doesn’t suspect a thing.”

When she said this, I looked at her and searched for signs of disapproval about what the boys were going to do to Tommy. But the next second Ruth gave a little laugh and said: “The idiot!”

And I realised that for Ruth and the others, whatever the boys chose to do was pretty remote from us; whether we approved or not didn’t come into it. We were gathered around the windows at that moment not because we relished the prospect of seeing Tommy get humiliated yet again, but just becaus... --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Revue de presse

"A page turner and a heartbreaker, a tour de force of knotted tension and buried anguish.” —Time

 

“A Gothic tour de force. . . . A tight, deftly controlled story . . . . Just as accomplished [as The Remains of the Day] and, in a very different way, just as melancholy and alarming.” —The New York Times

 

"Elegaic, deceptively lovely. . . . As always, Ishiguro pulls you under." —Newsweek

 

“Superbly unsettling, impeccably controlled . . . . The book’s irresistible power comes from Ishiguro’s matchless ability to expose its dark heart in careful increments.” —Entertainment Weekly

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Format: Broché
C'est le sixième roman de Kazuo Ishiguro et c'est bien une aeuvre qui s'écrit... . Dans chacun de ses romans il propose une histoire très différente mais son obsession sur la subjectivité de la mémoire est la même. Son écriture est à son sommet et je pense que ceux qui ont aimé les autres romans pour la dualité entre l'évènement et le souvenir que les héros ont de cet événement ne seront pas déçus.
Malheureusement, beaucoup de mes amis, ont été déçus par l'histoire elle-même, du moins la fin, parce qu'ils en espéraient une autre (...plus classique). Il me faudrait 3 pages pour expliquer pourquoi je pense que c'est, pour moi, le meilleur livre de Ishiguro. Demandez vous seulement si c'est leur carrière en tant que « carer » qui prépare les clones à devenir « donor » ou le contraire...
Dans ce livre, Ishiguro pose la question les clones sont-ils humains et la réponse est ...., non ils sont bien moins et bien plus que cela.
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Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Roman aussi étonnant que passionnant, les personnages sont tous très attachants; on passe de leur enfance dans un collège magnifique à leur présent dans un environnement médical / Hospitalier et graduellement en quelques phrases espacées Ishiguro lève petit à petit le voile sur leur destin. Et c'est dans le dernier chapitre que l'on comprend et qu'on pleure pour eux. Un des plus beaux romans, ne vous laissez pas aller à le juger sur le film qui en a été tiré. Lisez le, mon seul regret est de l'avoir fini.
Remarque sur ce commentaire 2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile. Avez-vous trouvé ce commentaire utile ? Oui Non Commentaire en cours d'envoi...
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
J'ai adoré autant le livre que le film, superbement traduits pas des acteurs tous très crédibles. J'ai lu ensuite d'autres œuvres de cet auteur, aucun ne m'a autant plu.
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D'ordinaire je ne lis jamais ce genre de romans, mais là j'ai fait une exception et je ne regrette pas d'avoir acheté ce livre !! L'histoire se lit comme une suite de souvenirs, j'ai adoré les personnages, l'intrigue, le décor. Le seul bémol est selon moi les scènes sexuelles, qui me semblent inutiles.
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Par Yael le 30 décembre 2012
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
J avais vu le film qui m a donné envie de lire le roman.
C'est une histoire etrange, proche de la science fiction, un univers parallele ou les valeurs ont changé. On retrouve la description precise des sentiments et l'atmosphere aerienne chere a Ishiguro.
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Je l'ai commandé en anglais suite au visionnage du film. je n'ai pas été déçue, une écriture légère, sensible, toute en finesse et en simplicité pour une histoire lourde et évocatrice d'une société qui n'évolue pas forcément dans le bon sens.
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Format: Broché
J'ai adoré ce roman. Très belle histoire, poignante et pleine d'émotion mais sans tomber dans le pathos. Très bien écrit, avec beaucoup de retenue, et qui fait réfléchir.
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Par J.B. le 23 septembre 2014
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
A very poetic and yet down-to-earth writing, for a story that taes you by the hand and slowly, quietly takes you with it - on a path that will lead you to a heartbreak.
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