I recently listened to Klara and The Sun on Audible and this is my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and I purchased the audio book myself. I will however use affiliate links in my post which may earn me a little money if you click through and purchase something, but they will not cost you any extra. Thank you for supporting my blog.
The sun always has ways to reach us.
From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change for ever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.
In Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro looks at our rapidly changing modern world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love?
My Review of Klara and The Sun
After reading some other discussion of this book I can see it has very mixed results. So my review is going to be my personal thoughts. I rarely read much into books before reading them, I tend to take a look at the Blurb that comes with the book and judge on the genre and whether I think I will be interested. If it’s an audio book I will then listen to an extract because there is nothing worse than listening to someone who grates on you.
I did think the narrator was good as Klara, but her grasp of the way English people speak was almost humorous. I guess we all talk like the queen then.
Ok, on to the story. I will admit, I do like a bit of science fiction occasionally and I have a particular fascination with robots and Artificial Intelligence. I was reading Isaac Asimov as a young teenager. The story of Klara fascinated me and I was excited to start this book.
Klara is the first person narrator of the book so we see the entire story through her eyes, which are not always clearly focused. Klara is an AF or Artificial Friend, developed in the future to be a companion to children. We spend a lot of the first part of the story following Klara’s life in the shop, the time she spends in the window, and her other AF friends and interaction with the shop manager. Once, while in the window, she is approached by a young girl who promises to come back for her. So, even though the manager has told her not to wait, that is what she does.
Eventually, Klara is taken home to be a friend to Josie who is seemingly unwell. Klara is a special kind of A.I. though, and takes it on herself to make Josie well again. She puts all of her trust into the power of The Sun and makes a pact with it to make Josie recover.
As the whole story is told from the perspective of the AF it does seem a little fragmented at times. You have to fill in a lot of gaps yourself, Klara is also representative of a young girl so she is also not fully developed and has misunderstandings of many issues.
I did think that maybe it would be better suited as a Young Adult book as it focuses on young people and their actions and feelings. But, it also shows the darker side of adults and the kind of world that the future may become. So, although it may be a simply told story, the underlying parts give you plenty of food for thought.
I don’t mind that you have to fill in a lot of gaps yourself, it gives a good impression of the gaps that would be experienced by the narrator, or indeed a child. You do get enough little clues to build up a bigger picture of this not too distant type of world.
You can also purchase Klara and the Sun on Amazon