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Klara and the Sun is Ishiguro’s latest novel, and characteristically reflects a finely-wrought, deeply affecting emotional tone. Klara is an ‘Artificial Friend’, a model of android purchased by parents as companions for children. Operating via solar power, Klara increasingly develops an affective, spiritual attachment to the sun, supplicating to its nourishing rays as she searches for help. Ishiguro’s novel is a story of love, of faith, and of the fragility and beauty of the human condition. When a book moves me to the point of tears, it lingers - and Klara and the Sun wields this power.
Well written. Very engrossing. All about a robotic friend (Artificial Friend - AF) that is in a shop for families to buy for a companion for their children. An interesting twist to it for the family. In the end though kind of a let down. I expected more but a good read.
I want one. AI is inevitable. But how about an AF that’s not only programed to be extremely loyal, aware of peoples feelings, but also has the ability & desire to learn about new experiences. Author has a keen ability of having the reader have feelings for Klara, who needs sunlight, but also holds an almost religious respect for the sun. We’re asked what really is heart felt love. Why was there a Cootings machine, & what was it’s real purpose? Found it hard to buy into the neck episode. Still, I enjoyed the overall content of the read.
Ishiguro's Nobel Prize for Literature was well earned, and he one again proves that here. The way he can hop around genres, and yet deliver universal and incisive storytelling is incredible. Here he examines humanity through the eyes of an android with the technical curiosity of "I, Robot" but the emotional weight of the movie "Her."
This book is not as good as his earlier novel "Neve let me go" which I considered superb. However, this book is excellent. I give it 4 stars out of 5. It is gripping and deals with many complex issues, but primarily the love for one human being to another, and the inability of even the most sophisticated technological creation to comprehend and reproduce this feeling.
A truly memorable book by Ishiguro, author of The Buried Giant. Klara is an android built to be a companion and caretaker for kids and teens. Praised for her empathy and observation abilities, Klara sees the world around her vastly different than the people who inhabit it with her. Her faith in the sun and it's ability to heal is contradictory to what an android is - or is it her android abilities mixed with empathy that helps her see possibilities where humans can not? Blade Runner mixed with magical realism and a Philip K. Dick book, this one to read more than once!
In Ottawa, those who like the Voice of Fire painting will likely like this book as the book in my view is the equivalent in writing. The book reviews I read all indicated a spectacular read, with lots of hype. The book itself is a great let-down, repetitive in places, and nonsensical and tedious in Klara pursuing the sun as the cure.
A really annoying prose style. Possibly ranks in the top ten worst ever. I get it but ...
This is based on an interesting premise - one of a culture dependent on humanoid robots with advanced artificial intelligence providing companionship to adolescents. The beginning is quite promising but then the author gets rather repetitive. Also, the author does not have a very workable theory of how a AF (Artificial Friend) could be transformed to replicate a person - the target person's memory is the key but the author completely misses this concept.
I read this book at the same time as I was reading "The Remains of the Day," also by Kazuo Ishiguro. Both books tell the story of a servant, in this case the servant is artificial friend who will sacrifice herself for her human friend... at least that's how it appears to me. In "The Remains of the Day" the servant is an English Butler. Both books end with the servant reflecting back on his and her life; ironically, the artificial friend has an easier and more meaningful end than does the butler. I loved both books, really.
Really lovely novel narrated by Klara, an Artificial Friend. Set in the near future, Klara is a perfect naïve storyteller who has no context for her experiences other than what she has been programmed or what she has observed and learned in her short existence. And yet in many ways she has greater humanity than the humans who populate her story. It is so easy to imagine a world such as this and it is nice to have a take on artificial intelligence that doesn't centre on robots trying to take over the world. I especially like the way that much in this story is left for the reader to sort out as the realities are very slowly revealed and not everything is completely spelled out. Great novel by a great writer.
The world created is similar to the one that exists today... those with and those without... opportunities. Klara (the robot) offers us insight of a child and how they think and evolve, what they consider as they accumulate experiences, language, etc... and thoughts outside their own world, motivations, goals, objectives, etc...
There are brief forays into the ethics of artificial life, but not really the point.
Ishiguro's famously sparse prose brings Klara-- an Artificial Friend-- to life in this novel about a not-too-distant future where AFs serve as companions to teens. Readers will be left to contemplate the lines we blur between nature and technology and who that makes us as a society. As with many of Ishiguro's books, you never quite have your finger on where the story is going, and when you finally get there, you may feel unsettled in a new way.
I felt this author took too many ideas from Haruki Marakami novel titled Killing Commendatore (which I have read four times). Same premise and plot, changed some characters around but same characters, I saw too may parallels.
Klara and the Sun is a parable, a warning, a neatly-crafted story that fits into an Artificial Friend-sized box, which—make no mistake—is not to say that it’s ordinary. Ishiguro explores the ethics of creating artificial intelligence that’s indistinguishable from humans, at least ideally. But Klara and her owner, Josie, are kindred spirits with vastly different fates. Is love still love when its object is replaceable, nay, disposable? Are some people more valuable than others; can grief ever be inappropriate? This seamless story examines our increasingly automated world, our obsession with usability, and the things that get left behind.
Ishiguro writes deceptively simple stories. Klara and the Sun is about love and sacrifice. Its power lies in the naive yet perceptive observations of humans by the narrator Klara, an android designed to be pleasant and pliable, who views the world with wonder. Sacrifices are made for others in the name of love; most are selfish, few are selfless. The ending is deeply poignant. The layers of the book will stay with you long after finishing it.
Klara and the Sun is a work of literary fiction clothed in the guise of a sci-fi novella, and if you picked this up in the hopes of a thoughtful and meaningful sci-fi story, you will be sadly disappointed. Ishiguro builds an intriguing world, but only slowly reveals it in drips and drabs as our protagonist, Klara, learns to navigate her way through it. Key to this narrative approach is Klara’s limited understanding and unique perspective on life and the world around her. For example, the sun is essential to the existence of a solar powered A.I., yet instead of understanding this from a technical standpoint, Klara develops what feels like a pre-modern oral-tradition based mystical understanding of the sun. This limited and skewed framework for Klara’s understanding haphazardly extends to other aspects of the world around her, resulting in something more akin to a Small Wonder novelization than an I, Robot story.
Sadly, the literary aspects of the tale were mostly lost on me, as numerous repeated awkward phrasings served to pull me out of the story and switch me over to critical editor mode. The long and short is, go watch the Toy Story movies for a better take on many of the same subjects, and look elsewhere for a good sci-fi read. There's a lot of potential here, but in it's present state the story is a disappointment.
As stated in previous reviews, Klara is an older AG model charged by solar and purchased by Josie’s mother for a covert undertaking. The reader gets to observe, through the “eyes” of Klara, behaviors of those with grief, illness, different social standing. My attention was held throughout as the author explored elements of light vs dark, hope, and what makes up the human heart.
A few years ahead of us in time, and few years behind in Japan. Klara, AF is adopted by Josie, elite, ill teenager, to whom she is devoted as much as to her power source, the sun. I love Klara’s gridded landscape, portraits of the troubled families, self-sacrifices, misunderstandings and heroic faith.
Ominous statement about science, art and human transformation. Perfect for our time.
Our narrator is Klara, an Artificial Friend, powered by solar and blessed with exceptional observational qualities and intelligence. She is purchased by the Mother to be a companion to her sickly daughter, Josie. Because Klara is a "machine" who previously existed only in a store and learns only through her observations, many details and explanations of terms are rather slow in coming. This device keeps the reader curious (for example what do they mean that a child has been "lifted") but also drags down the pace of the story. Observing human behavior through the eyes of Klara is one of the more interesting aspects of this book. My heart was captured by Rick, the one truly human character.