But I also liked Ishiguro's fastidious building of his world -- the peculiar ordinariness of it. The only other Ishiguro I've read is The Remains of the Day, which I read maybe fifteen years ago, out loud, on a road trip. All that sticks with me from that reading is the voice of the butler and its sense of restrained emotion, both of which are echoed in Never Let Me Go. JRL suggested I also read The Unconsoled, but I couldn't get past the dream-like elevator scene that that book opens with, and When We Were Orphans, which I put down about half-way through and haven't picked up again.
Ishiguro does something really weird in his books -- at first I thought it was just a tic of Never Let Me Go's narrator, Kathy H., but he does it in When We Were Orphans, too, which is one of the reasons I stopped reading it: at the end of sections or chapters he'll give a broad and deliberately suspenseful hint about what's to come. For example, from NLMG:
And if these incidents now seem full of significance and all of a piece, it's probably because I'm looking at them in the light of what came later -- particularly what happened that day at the pavilion while we were sheltering from the downpour.
And then after the white space he goes on to describe what did happen that day at the pavilion. It wouldn't be a problem if he did it once or twice or even three times, or even if he did it compulsively in one book -- but when I found that this stylistic quirk crossed into other books (and it's in The Remains of the Day, too, though I didn't notice it when I read it) I found it extremely annoying. Is Ishiguro afraid people will quit reading if they're not promised some tempting nugget in the next section? Does he even know he's doing it? It feels like a device he learned to get himself from one plot point to the next, but it's something he ought to be able to put away at this time in his career. How many Booker nominations does he have?