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Klara and The Sun

by Kazuo Ishiguro

The long-awaited new book from Nobel Prize winner, Kazuo Ishiguro is a genre-defying, thought-provoking, poignant and unexpected novel about what makes us human and how we learn to love. Its an easy read which leaves you feeling uneasy!  Its one of those books which stays with you for days, pondering what love is… 

Set some time in the future, Klara and The Sun is narrated by a solar-powered AF (Artificial Friend) with outstanding observational qualities for her type. Although not the latest model, Klara is purchased to be 14 year old Josie’s friend and carer. Josie is suffering from a mysterious, perhaps terminal illness which Klara secretly feels she can heal.

I believe I have many feelings,” says Klara. “The more I observe, the more feelings become available to me.”  The more Klara naively and dispassionately takes in the world around her, the more she learns and the more she is willing to sacrifice.  Its an unsettling yet beautiful read – one in which we identify with and feel compassion for a conscious yet detached robot by viewing the unpredictable world of human beings through her eyes.  Ishiguro is renowned for under-statement which he brilliantly executes in Klara and The Sun.  He leaves you to do the work…

A delicate, haunting story, steeped in sorrow and hope – Washington Post

Kazuo Ishiguro uses poignant understatement to explore AI, loneliness and privilege – The Irish Times

A very moving love story that asks terrifying questions about the impact of big data on human identity – Daily Mail

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