30+ quotes from Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Quotes from Never Let Me Go

Kazuo Ishiguro ·  288 pages

Rating: (356.5K votes)


“Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding on as hard as they can, but in the end it's just too much. The current's too strong. They've got to let go, drift apart. That's how it is with us. It's a shame, Kath, because we've loved each other all our lives. But in the end, we can't stay together forever.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“Sometimes I get so immersed in my own company, if I unexpectedly run into someone I know, it's a bit of a shock and takes me a while to adjust.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“We took away your art because we thought it would reveal your souls. Or to put it more finely, we did it to prove you had souls at all.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“What I'm not sure about, is if our lives have been so different from the lives of the people we save. We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we've lived through, or feel we've had enough time.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“I half closed my eyes and imagined this was the spot where everything I'd ever lost since my childhood had washed up, and I was now standing here in front of it, and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field and gradually get larger until I'd see it was Tommy, and he'd wave, and maybe even call.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“It was like when you make a move in chess and just as you take your finger off the piece, you see the mistake you've made, and there's this panic because you don't know yet the scale of disaster you've left yourself open to.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“You have to accept that sometimes that's how things happen in this world. People's opinions, their feelings, they go one way, then the other. It just so happens you grew up at a certain point in this process.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“It never occurred to me that our lives, until then so closely interwoven, could unravel and separate over a thing like that. But the fact was, I suppose, there were powerful tides tugging us apart by then, and it only needed something like that to finish the task. If we'd understood that back then-who knows?-maybe we'd have kept a tighter hold of one another.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“All children have to be deceived if they are to grow up without trauma.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“You say you’re sure? Sure that you’re in love? How can you know it? You think love is so simple? ”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“That was the only time, as I stood there, looking at that strange rubbish, feeling the wind coming across those empty fields, that I started to imagine just a little fantasy thing, because this was Norfolk after all, and it was only a couple of weeks since I’d lost him. I was thinking about the rubbish, the flapping plastic in the branches, the shore-line of odd stuff caught along the fencing, and I half-closed my eyes and imagined this was the spot where everything I'd ever lost since my childhood had washed up, and I was now standing here in front of it, and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field, and gradually get larger until I'd see it was Tommy, and he'd wave, maybe even call. The fantasy never got beyond that --I didn't let it-- and though the tears rolled down my face, I wasn't sobbing or out of control. I just waited a bit, then turned back to the car, to drive off to wherever it was I was supposed to be.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“She always wanted to believe in things.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“Because maybe, in a way, we didn't leave it behind nearly as much as we might once have thought. Because somewhere underneath, a part of us stayed like that: fearful of the world around us, and no matter how much we despised ourselves for it--unable quite to let each other go.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“The problem, as I see it, is that you've been told and not told. You've been told, but none of you really understand, and I dare say, some people are quite happy to leave it that way.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding on as hard as they can, but in the end it’s just too much. The current’s too strong. They’ve got to let go, drift apart.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“Maybe from as early as when you're five or six, there's been a whisper going at the back of your head, saying: “One day, maybe not so long from now, you'll get to know how it feels.” So you're waiting, even if you don't quite know it, waiting for the moment when you realise that you really are different to them; that there are people out there, like Madame, 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. The first time you glimpse yourself through the eyes of a person like that, it's a cold moment. It's like walking past a mirror you've walked past every day of your life, and suddenly it shows you something else, something troubling and strange.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“I saw a new world coming rapidly. More scientific, efficient, yes. More cures for the old sicknesses. Very good. But a harsh, cruel, world. And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind world, one that she knew in her heart could not remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“Poor creatures. What did we do to you? With all our schemes and plans?”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“You're always in a rush, or else you're too exhausted to have a proper conversation. Soon enough, the long hours, the traveling, the broken sleep have all crept into your being and become part of you, so everyone can see it, in your posture, your gaze, the way you move and talk.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“When we lost something precious, and we'd looked and looked and still couldn't find it, then we didn't have to be completely heartbroken. We still had that last bit of comfort, thinking one day, when we grow up, and we were free to travel around the counry, we would always go and find it in Norfolk...And that's why years and years later, that day Tommy and I found another copy of that lost tape of mine in a town on the Norfolk coast, we didn't just think it pretty funny; we both felt deep down some tug, some old wish to believe again in something that was once close to our hearts.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“That's most interesting. But I was no more a mind-reader then than today. I
was weeping for an altogether different reason. When I watched you dancing that day, I saw something else. I saw a new world coming rapidly. More
scientific, efficient, yes. More cures for the old sicknesses. Very good. But a
harsh, cruel world. And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind world, one that she knew in her heart could not
remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go. That is what I saw. It wasn't really you, what you were doing, I know that. But I saw you and it broke my heart. And I've never forgotten.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“You need to remember that. If you’re to have decent lives, you have to know who you are and what lies ahead of you, every one of you.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“Memory is quite central for me. Part of it is that I like the actual texture of writing through memory...”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“Your life must now run the course that's been set for it.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we've lived through, or feel we've had enough time.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“It had never occurred to me that our lives, which had been so closely interwoven, could unravel with such speed. If I’d known, maybe I’d have kept tighter hold of them, and not let unseen tides pull us apart.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“A part of us stayed like that: fearful of the world around us, and-no matter how much we despised ourselves for it-unable quite to let each other go.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“A few minutes later, he said suddenly: 'Kath, can we stop? I'm sorry, I need to get out a minute.'
...I could make out in the mid-distance, near where the field began to fall away, Tommy's figure, raging, shouting, flinging his fists and kicking out. I caught a glimpse of his face in the moonlight, caked in mud and distorted with fury, then I reached for his failing arms and held on tight. He tried to shake me off, but I kept holding on, until he stopped shouting and I felt the fight go out of him. Then I realised he too had his arms around me. And so we stood together like that, at the top of the field, for what seemed like ages, not saying anything, just holding each other, while the wind kept blowing and blowing at us, tugging our clothes, and for a moment, it seemed like we were holding onto each other because that was the only way to stop us being swept away into the night.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


“And so we stood together like that, at the top of that field for what seemed like ages, not saying anything, just holding each other, while the wind kept blowing and blowing at us, tugging our clothes, and for a moment, it seemed like we were holding onto each other because that was the only way to stop us from being swept away into the night.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, quote from Never Let Me Go


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About the author

Kazuo Ishiguro
Born place: in Nagasaki, Japan
Born date November 8, 1954
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