Books and Movies Reviews

Never Let Me Go

There are many similarities between the two novels; both have a first person narrator whose reminiscences form the bulk of the novel, both deal with wasted lives and lost opportunities, both narrators are trapped in a social construct room which they are unable to escape and hence fail to seize an opportunity for love which presents itself. But where Stevens is totally believable, Kathy is unsubstantial, where Stevens’ predicament is heartbreakingly understandable, Kitty’s is implausible, where The Remains of the Day is poignant,Never Let me Go is irritating.

Warning:elf you haven’t read this book but you intend to, then maybe you might like to stop reading now as some spoilers may follow. The novel is set in an alternative, contemporary England and is narrated by Kathy H. , a thirty-one year old career. The facts behind Kathy existence leak UT as the novel progresses, not because Kathy is deliberately concealing any information but because she assumes the reader is aware of the context and doesn’t need to be told. We learn that Kathy was raised in a progressive kind of orphanage/boarding-school, Hails, of which she has very fond memories.

Since leaving the school she has become the career for, among others, two of her closest friends from that time: Ruth and Tommy. At the end of this year she will cease being a career and will progress to being a donor. In fact, Kathy and her friends are clones produced for the sole purpose of producing vital organs for transplantation. At Hails, the truth about their future was not exactly concealed from the students but neither was it fully spelt out. They were encouraged, indeed obliged, to produce works of art from an early age, the best of which are chosen by Madame, a regular visitor and taken away to a mysterious Gallery.

At sixteen they leave Hails and move out to the Colleges, other, more basic accommodation until they are ready to take on their roles as careers for donors who undergo several donations until they ‘complete’. The final stage of the process is to become a donor too. Factual details are very sparse possibly cause of the tenuous basis on which the novel is built. We find out very little about the cloning process, the donation procedures or even the administration behind the system. I couldn’t help wondering what ‘vital organs’ a person could donate four times without dying or even why it was useful to keep them alive between operations.

Why not do a clear-out in one fell swoop and be done with it? Once out of Hails, the students are relatively free in their movements; once, Kathy and four other students borrow a car to drive to Norfolk in an attempt to find a ‘possible’ for Ruth, the original from which she was cloned. Yet it doesn’t seem to occur to any of the hundreds of students to try to run away, escape or rebel in any way although they are all aware that they are doomed to die before thirty. This possibility is never discussed throughout the novel and this felt false to me.

It could be argued that the mechanics of the system is not the point of the novel, that the interaction of the characters in this extreme situation is, but even on this level it fails to deliver. Much of the novel deals with the analysis of minute shifts in the relationships between the main characters, and of hidings of the atmosphere against the backdrop of their destiny and although this could have been interesting I found it became excessive and wearing. The characters of Kathy, Ruth and Tommy lacked development and never came to life for me.

Such things as the role of art in their lives was treated very superficially with no insight of any sort. Even the prose is dull, unimaginative and repetitive. “… The both of us, Tommy and l, we remembered what had happened in the car, when we’d more or less ganged up on her. ” 16 lines later or if he was remembering again our ganging up on Ruth in the car. ” 9 lines eater “it wasn’t simply that we’d ganged up on Ruth. ‘ Consistency with the characters voice is no defense for tediousness, at least not in my court. However, if anyone is interested in presenting a case for the defense I’d be glad to hear it.

The novel is narrated by 31 year-old Kathy H. As she reminisces about her childhood at the sheltered boarding school Hails, as well as her adult life after leaving the school. The story takes place in late sass Britain, in which human beings are cloned to provide donor organs for transplants. Kathy and her classmates have been created to be donors, though he adult Kathy is temporarily working as a “career,” someone who supports and comforts donors as they are made to give up their organs and, eventually, submit to death.

As in Guiro’s other works, the truth of the matter is made clear only gradually, via veiled but suggestive language and situations. The novel is divided in three parts, chronicling the three phases of the lives of its main characters. The first part is set at Hails, a boarding school where the children are brought up and educated. The teachers there mysteriously encourage the students to produce various forms of art. The best works are chosen by a woman now only as Madame and are said to be collected in a gallery.

It is seen that Hails is not a normal school by the odd way the teachers or “guardians” treat them, the emphasis on keeping healthy and the fences and boundaries that separate the school from its rural surroundings. While the students of Hails are often cliquish and capricious, the three main characters -? Ruth, Tommy, and Kathy -? develop a close friendship during this time. Kathy herself seems to have resigned herself to being an observer of other people, and the choices they make, instead of making her own choices.

She often takes the role of the icemaker in the clique, especially between off-again-on-again couple Tommy and Ruth. Tommy is an isolated boy who struggles creatively and is often the target of bullies, while Ruth is an extrovert with strong opinions. In the second part, the characters, now young adults, move to the “Cottages”, residential complexes where they start to have contacts with the external world and they are relatively free to do what they want. A romantic relationship develops between Ruth and Tommy, while Kathy explores her sexuality but without forming any stable relationships.

Upon hearing about a discovery made by one f the veterans of the Cottages, the characters travel to Norfolk where they are told by two veterans of the Cottages that Hails students could be allowed to “defer” the time at which they could start their donations by proving they had truly fallen in love. Tension between Tommy, Ruth, and Kathy rises as they all struggle to find acceptance and understanding outside Hails, inevitably leading to Kitty’s departure from the cottages to become a career. The third part describes Tommy’s and Rut’s becoming donors and Kitty’s becoming a career.

Kathy cares for Ruth and then, after Ruth “completes” (Guiro’s evocative euphemism for death), Kathy takes care of Tommy. Before her death, Ruth expresses regret over coming between Kathy and Tommy, and urges them to pursue a relationship with one another, and to seek to defer their donations based on their love. Encouraged by Rut’s last wishes, Kathy and Tommy visit Madame, where they also meet their old headmistress, Miss Emily. During this visit, they learn that Hailstorm’s emphasis on art was an attempt to prove to society that clones had souls.

They also learn that deferring their donations under the foundations of true love was only a rumor that has continued to persist for many years and nothing more. The clones learn that Hails in general was an experiment, an effort to improve the conditions for clones and perhaps alter the attitudes of society, which prefers to view the clones merely as non-human sources of organs. The novel ends, after the death of Tommy, on a note of resignation as Kathy accepts her own inevitable fate as a donor and her eventual “completion. [edit]Title The novel’s title comes from a song on an American cassette tape called Songs After Dark by fictional singer Judy Bridgewater. Kathy buys the tape during a swap meet-type event at Hails. Hearing it as a mother’s plea to her baby, Kathy on many occasions dances while holding her pillow and singing the chorus: “Baby, never let me go. ” On one occasion, while she is dancing and singing, she notices Madame watching her and crying. At this time Kathy does not understand the significance of the event. Many years later, during the final confrontation between Kathy, Tommy, and Madame, she asks Madame about her tears.

Madame replies that the image she had seen was of a little girl facing the new world that was emerging, an efficient but cruel world, and asking the old world not to let her go. Never Let Me Go by Kazoo Guiros is a weird little book. Trying to tell you about it without giving it all away is the challenge I’m facing, but I’m going to give it a shot because it’s better not to know too much about it before you read it. And want you to read it. Set in England in the late sass, it’s narrated by Kathy H. , who we learn right away is a “career”, taking care of donors.

She doesn’t explain this thoroughly so we’re left with a vague idea of what she means, an ominous feeling that doesn’t ever go away while reading the book. When we meet Kathy, she’s in her early ass and has been doing her job for 11 years, but is nearing the end of her career. Much of the story is Kith’s memories of her days at Hails, an exclusive boarding school, and her friendships with Ruth and Tommy. At Hails there are cliques, like at any school. There is teasing and bullying. Rumors are flying and there is pressure to conform. Yet this is a prestigious place, and the students here are special.

They are apparentness but they have “guardians” who treat them with great care, making sure they are healthy and educated, but not having any sort of close personal relationship with them. Students know they are not like their guardians or like people outside of Hails. Much importance is put on creating artwork, hoping o have it selected for ‘the gallery’. One guardian in particular gets frustrated with the students’ banter about their futures, and angrily asks them to stop with their chatter, setting them straight about who and what they are, spelling it out for them that the course of their lives has been pre-determined.

It’s a revelation for the reader, but the students already ‘know, but don’t know, and their reaction to this outburst is subdued. The students grow up and leave Hails for The Cottages, where they go on to more training and learn from more experienced students. It’s a bit like going on to college. They develop dull relationships and have some freedom before moving along to their intended ‘careers’. Tommy and Ruth become a serious couple at the cottages, although Tommy has always had feelings for Kathy, and this triangle persists into adulthood.

Reading Never Let Me Go is like peeling an onion; it is parceled out to the reader layer by layer, each chapter foreshadowing the next. The writing is quietly powerful and deceptively simple. It is futuristic and literary, infused with a sense of deep sadness and futility. It is about hope, and people, and society, and it makes you think about what it means to be human. Does love make us human? Is it our bodies? Our minds? Our creativity or curiosity? Have you read this book? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. My book club will be discussing it next month and I can’t wait to see what everyone thought of it. Is impossible to talk about Never Let Me Go in a straightforward manner. The dramatic thrust of the novel is its slow and careful reveal of the parallel universe Kazoo Guiros has created within the boundaries of England just before the end of the last century. Suffice to say that the author, whose repute rests mainly on the solidity of The Remains of the Day and the closet of awards he’s won, has entered into the territory of science fiction and horror. Beyond that, the novel, as its back cover will attest, is about memory, like just about any other fiction Guiros has ever created.

And above all that, the novel is about the English, about how the English have crafted a culture fastidiously systematic about obscuring unpleasantness with euphemism and blissful, willful ignorance. So it’s perhaps appropriate to say that the book is memorable, and to not mention, specifically, why. Kathy is the name of the first person narrator, and she tells the story in measured tones, leading the reader deliberately through a series of flashbacks o her childhood at a boarding school called Hails, her late adolescence on a farm called The Cottages, and on into adulthood.

She works as a career, a nurse of sorts, and nothing about the world she lives in is outlandish. If anything, her relationships with classmates – particularly her best friends Ruth and Tommy – sing with the familiar fantasies and follies of carefree youth. Guiros is a master of delineating the complex interactions between people, and any doubts as to his prowess are dispelled by his ability carrying him through what should be an impossible narration: a man writing a woman, first person, reminiscing about an idyllic and largely uneventful coming-of-age.

A fuller plot description, one with spoilers about the true nature of Kitty’s world, might lead an unsuspecting reader to believe that Guiros is tackling the big issues of today’s geopolitical environment with a scathing allegory on human nature and the quest for the meaning of life. But while the plot carries the residue of all these things, the prose is preoccupied with the usual Guiros obsessions: the assertions of memory, the casual connection of souls, and the small non-events of life that gnaw at a consciousness until they create, quite of their own accord, meaning.

The novel requires some patience, particularly if the reader isn’t one to find precise social analysis thrilling. The patient reader, however – the careful one – will find magic beneath the sentences. When I got outside, it was obvious the excitement from when we’d first arrived had evaporated completely. We walked in silence, Rodney leading the way, through little backstreets hardly penetrated by the sun, the pavements so narrow we often had to shuffle along in single file.

It was a relief to come out onto the High Street, where the noise made our rotten mood less obvious. As we crossed at a pelican to the sunnier side, I could e Rodney and Christie conferring about something and I wondered how much of the bad atmosphere had to do with their believing we were holding back on some big Hails secret, and how much was just to do with Rut’s having a go at Tommy. Even without knowing the relationships, the characters, the backgrounds, the setting of the action, Kitty’s mind is fully open and for display in this paragraph.

Her attention is constantly drawn toward the mood of living things, even to the point of casting about at animals to search for clues, though the pelican, at least, offers no resonance for the group’s shift from shadow to sunlight, only serving s a landmark. Kitty’s gaze does turn inward at times, but mostly it’s trained on the positions and expressions of those she’s with, like a detective hunting for motives among a group of possible murderers. Still, she’s not immune to her own emotions, as in the paragraph above it’s her own rotten mood that needs to be dispelled so she can see more clearly what her four companions are feeling.

This is the sort of action that permeates Never Let Me Go. It’s a fragile work, and it has its weaknesses, though it’s too well-made to truly call these weaknesses flaws. Certainly, the reveals, when they are finally meted out, mom in the sort of monologues a James Bond villain might deliver when the spy is captured and there’s a moment available for exposition. More troublesome, for me at any rate, is the feeling – and here, I’m hinting – that Kathy has already given a piece of herself away to some other novel, some other author, and that what we are reading is her exhausted retelling over a cup of tea.

Her dispassionate voice is, despite all the wonderful work the author does with it, too ordinary to completely bear the weight of the novel’s central, nearly impossible conspiracy. While we receive hints of a vibrant world at play, at struggle, at war even on the eternal battleground of ideologies and politics, Kathy is forever immersed in a world which is oddly depopulated and firmly resigned to the events of life.

Were it not for her tremendous heart, the tale would be one of nihilism her heart, which, this ultimately cruel story says, she will one day let go. Kazoo Guiro’s sixth novel is not merely a moving and absorbing tale of a character in sass England, but a chilling observation of the how the world might be. Considered to be a contemporary re-working of Fraternities coupled with a hint of Brave New World, the tragic novel follows Kathy H. , a thirty-one year old are, who matter-of-faculty reminisces about her childhood at the “educational facility,” Hails.

As Kathy tells us her story in rather guarded and inhibited prose, we are plunged in to her rose-tinted recollection of children gossiping, laughing and enjoying a boarding-school type of life, but we are aware all the time that the author is concealing something from us. Certainly there is a sense of unease that stems both from the dissonance of sinister language placed in otherwise everyday conversation and also from Kitty’s unhappiness and desire to cling to the past: ‘There have been times when I’ve tried to leave Hails Enid, when I’ve told myself I shouldn’t look back so much.

But then there came a point when I just stopped resisting. ‘ Read more in Science Fiction В« The Function of Simulacra in Don Deli’s “White Noise” Among the Hidden: Summary В» However, mystery is such an integral part of the novel – like the children in the novel, we are “told and not told” about the secrets of their lives – so revealing too much of the plot would take some of the appeal away from other readers. From the start, we are faced with numerous unanswered questions.

Why do the students live permanently at Hails? Why does it matter that Tommy, Kitty’s reined, isn’t “creative’? Why do the Hails guardians deem it necessary for the students to have medical check-ups once a week? It is this curiosity that compels us to read on, even though we feel that we have partially guessed the truth early on. Kitty’s prosaic method of telling her story assumes that we already understand to what she is referring, so she never feels it necessary to spell it out.

As a result, we learn things gradually through the dialogues between her and her friends or guardians and, more obviously, through her own exploration of her memories. Though the novel is said to be set in “England, late sass,” it is in fact another England identical to our own but for one vital, uncomfortable difference. The novel is not typical of science fiction, but fans of the film Blade Runner and other media within this genre will marvel at Guiro’s ability to give such a convincing account of an imagined world.

Using few (if any) descriptive words, England is portrayed as harsh and cruel, and unlike Brave new World, this novel’s menace and intrigue comes less from the differences wrought from the fictional creation and more from the discomfort that develops through familiarity with a “disturbing twist. ” Never Let Me Go is a story that takes current global debates teen science fiction and ethics and, in magnifying one aspect of them, invites us to confront our own confusion.

Though never claiming for it to be scientifically conceivable – leaving many credibility questions open to the reader – Guiros delves into the issue of how far scientists will go to find cures for diseases. In our world today – where arguments over the age at which life is deemed to be “fetal” and when it becomes truly human abound; where abortion still fuels massive ethical controversies; and where a recent Dutch law now permits the killing of newly born disabled babies – this novel is all the more important, for it emends us to consider our views about “playing God. As the novel suggests, scientists are investigating how to prolong our lives and make them more comfortable; but the ethics and morality of their research results are frequently overlooked or sublimated to what is deemed to be ‘the greater good. ” But the novel can also be read as an exploration of human behavior within hopeless circumstances. Initially, it seems as though Guiro’s main concern is with the ethics of modern science, but gradually, we see the novel modulate into something deeper.

Through Kitty’s inability to understand the society that as created her Guiros illustrates his view that we – humans – live as we are expected to; we do what we can with what we have been given. Whilst Kathy is gradually coming to terms with her horrific existence – though she never truly seems to grasp quite how horrific it is – we begin to understand the truth of the central mystery to the novel. As in all his published works, Never Let Me Go ends without a sense of resolution on a note of melancholic resignation, but don’t be put off by this.

It is alive with human complexity, exploring as it does the relationship between love and creativity and the soul, as it investigates what unanimity truly means. In a recent interview Guiros said of this: “Love and art – and by art I mean anything that’s a vehicle for expression or that gives people a sense of meaning – are two things in life that we focus on because they give us a sense of dignity and achievement. Sometimes we try to believe that they can achieve more than they actually can. ” However, it is not an uplifting piece.

Guiros makes sure we are aware that despite the students’ segregation from the rest of society, they do not group together, but, in a manner that brings to mind the children of Gilding’s Lord of the Flies, they marginality and pick n each other. This is also therefore a book about classes or social categories. Having moved aged five from Japan to England, Guiros states he does not consider himself to be Japanese, yet since both his parents are Japanese he does not think of himself as English either.

It is most likely that this background has resulted in Guiros developing a keen interest in social differences. His debut booker-prize winning novel, The Remains of The Day, for example, follows a butler keen to impress his employer through his social skills; throughout the novel he talks of his wish to “improve his banter. ” Though Never Let Me Go does tot refer to social differences in the same way, we are aware from very early on that the students of Hails are not like us.

Without explaining how they are different, Kathy tells us of a characteristic of all the students: “[You”re] waiting for the moment when you realism that you really are different to them; that there are people out there who don’t hate you or wish you any harm, but who nevertheless shudder at the very thought of you – of how you were brought into this world and why – and who dread the idea of your hand brushing against theirs. ‘ A bleak, disturbing novel, Never Let Me Go leaves us with much to ender.

The title is also the name of Kitty’s favorite song by the fictitious Judy Bridgewater. The cassette is one of Kitty’s “most prized possessions,” but the title also has a number of other meanings for her: she never wants to let Hails go, she never let her friends go, and (as it is explained at the end by an ex-patron of Hails) she never wants to let go of the “old kind world, one that she knew in her heart could not remain. The no-frills prose subtly draws our attention to such feelings, and it is yet another triumph of Guiros that he can maintain our interest, whilst never giving too much away. All in all, this is a heart-breaking, but compelling read, which combines the innocence of Kathy H. With something darker and altogether more terrifying. Never Let Me Go by Kazoo Guiros: Book Club Review Guiro’s gripping book will utterly shock you! Never Let Me Go, a mind-blowing novel, tells the story of serene Kathy H. ND her two best friends and biggest rivals: hot-tempered Tommy and domineering Ruth. At the start of this science- fiction novel we learn that the three pals live in 1 sass England, though we soon find out it’s not sass England as we knew it. The book is divided into three parts. In the first, Kathy speaks of her days at Hails, a boarding school in the English countryside, where the teachers are known as guardians and the students are anything but normal.

The second part tells of when she moves to “the cottages” for two years, a half-way house where she and her friends bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood. The third and final part is the story of her adult life as a “career,” when she re-engages in her lapsed friendships with Tommy and Ruth. This thought-provoking read portrays a cruel imagined world; but its true menace stems from the sense that this world is so like our win and that this story could happen. Claiming that it is “unpardonable” is an understatement, but don’t expect too light a read.

Guiros may write with no frills, but the undercurrent of hopelessness is sustained throughout. To give away anything else would be a shame, since one of the things that make it such a compulsive page-turner is the curious secret that Guiros seems to be hiding from the start. If you expect Never Let Me Go to be about cloning, you will be disappointed. If you expect to be able to read it as a logical science fiction novel, one that extrapolates an alternate world that makes sense, you will find such to grumble about.

You will not be satisfied. You will be annoyed, even bored. You will have missed the point. Cloning is a Manicuring that Kazoo Guiros uses to create symbolic situations and characters that coalesce in a powerful vision of life. The symbolism doesn’t quite reach the level of allegory, because it’s difficult to assign definite meanings to each scene and person, but nonetheless it quickly becomes difficult not to think about certain themes: mortality, love, fate, memory, art, nature.

Each paragraph either illustrates or expands one of these themes. In the first half of the book, the ideas the novel personifies do not gain a lot of emotion, but by the second half of the book the characters have become familiar, their personalities distinct, their situation clear, and as the resolution of this situation moves ever closer, Never Let Me Go becomes a sad and unsettling novel, because the surface reality has so fully embodied the symbolic mysteries.

Guiros is known as a clever writer, one whose books are carefully constructed to work on multiple levels at once. He’s often been praised for his ability to create narrators who are so self-deluded that they are utterly unreliable, creating ensign between what is stated on the surface and what is going on in the imaginative reality underneath the words themselves. That’s not the structure of Never Let Me Go instead, what we have here is a world where the characters all want the reality beneath the words to be different from what it appears to be.

If their existences were more ironic, they might be more comforting. Kathy, the woman who narrates the novel, is utterly reliable as she tells her memories of growing up in a strange sort of boarding school called Hails, then of becoming a “career” for “donors” until she eventually becomes a donor herself. I’ve read only two reviews that seem to have understood the book in the same way did: those of James Wood in The New Republic* and M. John Harrison in The Guardian.

Wood puts a bit too ml_ACH emphasis on the cloning, but nonetheless sees exactly how we can best enter the narrative, saying that Guiro’s real interest is not in what we discover but in what his characters discover, and how it will affect them. He wants us to inhabit their ignorance, not ours. The children at Hails live in a protected environment. They know that they are different, but their guardians are cryptic about this difference. Gradually, through tiny leaks on the part of these guardians, the children gather a burgeoning complete picture of their fate.

By the time they leave school, they know the essential facts. So what might it mean to learn, as a child, that one will never bear children, or hold a meaningful job, or sail into adulthood? How will these children interpret the implications of their abbreviation, the meaning of their mutilated scripts? M. John Harrison in some ways makes the book sound like one of his own, but he doesn’t have to stretch too much: This extraordinary and, in the end, rather frighteningly clever novel isn’t about cloning, or being a lone, at all.

It’s about why we don’t explode, why we don’t just wake up one day and go sobbing and crying down the street, kicking everything to pieces out of the raw, infuriating, completely personal sense of our lives never having been what they could have been. Wood dislikes the ending of the book, thinking it falls into preaching against the dangers of cloning, but this is an odd view to take when he’s perceived the rest of the novel so clearly. Harrison gets it right: There’s nothing new here; there’s nothing all that startling; and there certainly isn’t anything to argue with.

Who on earth could be “for” the exploitation of human beings in this way? Guiro’s contribution to the cloning debate turns out to be sleight of hand, eye candy, cover for his pathological need to be subtle. So what is Never Let Me Go really about? It’s about the steady erosion of hope. It’s about repressing what you know, which is that in this life people fail one another, grow old and fall to pieces. It’s about knowing that while you must keep calm, keeping calm won’t change a thing.

It’s not a book about alliterating metaphor or anything so pedestrian; it is, instead, a meditation on how to find meaning in life. (l know that mounds awfully pretentious, but summing up the implications of a great novel usually leads the person doing the summing up to sound either pretentious or silly, because otherwise there wouldn’t be any need to write a 300 page book: the meaning could be disadvantages to the gods of summation and we’d all have a lot more time to bask in the eBay. Guiros presents us with a world where people are born to die, where there is no secret meaning to their fate, where there is only the fact of death itself. What Wood finds so didactic in the ending is instead vital to the thematic core of the book (though I’ll grant I thought it went on too long). After their lifelong friend/ rival/lover Ruth has died, Kathy and Tommy seek out one of their old guardians from Hails and try to get a deferral for their own deaths, because they are in love and have been told that couples who are truly in love can be given a few more years.

Ruth herself held onto this hope for them. Surely love can save them. But of course not. Love can’t save them anymore than it can save us. They wonder, later, whether it would have been better for Ruth to die knowing the truth about Hails, about why they were raised the way they were, and about how little the world outside themselves cares about them. Tommy says to Kathy: You and me, right from the start, even when we were little, we were always trying to find things out. Remember, Kathy, all those secret talks we used to have?

But Ruth wasn’t like that. She always wanted to believe in things. It’s like asking whether, if the universe is truly as cold and meaningless as it seems to be, we’re better off knowing that than believing in eternal salvation, the redemption provided by good acts, and the basic loveliness of human nature. The answer for each person is different. What Kathy clings to rather than belief is memory. Tommy does too, but to lesser extent, and he finds some meaning in art, a meaning that had been impossible for him when he was at Hails.

Ruth held onto dreams of the future, then stayed alive by believing in things that ultimately weren’t true, but she often forgot the past, because the past didn’t have the weight and substance it had for Kathy. Kitty’s obsession with memory plays itself out in the structure of the narrative. Again and again she moves forward, then finds she needs to go back. The present only makes sense under the light of the past. What M. John Harrison considered Guiro’s “pathological need to be subtle” is not pathological so such as it is artistic the way the story is told embodies the meaning as much as the story itself does.

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