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Klara and the Sun

de Kazuo Ishiguro

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MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
1,518929,163 (3.91)1 / 122
  1. 21
    Never Let Me Go de Kazuo Ishiguro (JGoto)
    JGoto: Style and themes are similar in both of these novels by Ishigura.
  2. 12
    Flowers for Algernon de Daniel Keyes (Othemts)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 90 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Like a lot of books about robots, this book is about what it means to be human.

Klara is an AF (which I naturally always read as "as f*ck", but presumable stands for Artificial Friend) - a robot who is designed to be a companion to a teenage girl. The story is told by Klara, and there is a lot that she never really explains. For instance, her vision is sometimes divided into squares, and there seem to be more squares the more she is stressed. This is confusing at first, but you get used to it, and I think the book is better for not explaining everything. Klara doesn't always understand the human world, so it's okay for the reader to not understand her world.

Klara is bought for Josie, a girl with chronic health problems. Klara wants the best for Josie, and thinks that the Sun (who is a kind of god to Klara) has the power to heal her.

There is a lot that is really heartbreaking about this book. Josie's parents are divorced, and she had an older sister who died of the same illness that she has (which is apparently the result of some procedure their parents chose to do to amplify their brainpower), so the whole family fears for Josie's health. Klara's emotions are very pure and simple, which creates a foil to the very complicated emotions of Josie's family and friends. There are a few moments of clarity in the book where you suddenly understand what is happening, and they are all very poignant. The end of the book is beautiful and hopeful, but also very heartbreaking.

Like other books by Ishiguro, this book explores love from an outsider's perspective, and shows how love can be both very simple and very complex. ( )
  Gwendydd | Oct 23, 2021 |
I am surprised how much I loved this book. I read it for a Book Club, and when I heard it was about artificial intelligence, I want looking forward to it. I was pleasantly surprised. I fell in love with Klara, the artificial friend or AF, and how she looked after Josie her human teenager friend, who is ill. The book teaches us about love for others, societal expectations, sickness and health, sacrificing for others, and finally, discarding things after we are finished with them. I found this book to be completely unique and very touching.
The book examines what a family will do to keep their children with them, the ethical questions, and what genuine love means. Klara and Josie’s special friendship, and the request Klara makes of the Sun are beautiful and poignant. ( )
  rmarcin | Oct 20, 2021 |
Een robot als hoofdpersoon van een roman, ik had er mijn twijfels bij. Want zou ik mij voldoende kunnen inleven in een niet-mens? Kazuo Ishiguro kiest wel vaker voor wat onderdanige buitenbeentjes als hoofdpersoon. Dat hij in 2017 de Nobelprijs voor de literatuur won zegt waarschijnlijk iets over hoe overtuigend hij dat soort karakters leven in kan blazen. Dat bewijst hij opnieuw met Klara and the Sun, waarin hij van robot Klara een gelaagd en uniek karakter weet te maken. Een karakter waar je wel van moet houden.

De hoofd”persoon” van dit boek is Klara. Zij ziet eruit als een meisje, maar is een robot, geprogrammeerd om de ‘artificial friend’ van een tiener te worden. En hoewel zij behoorlijk menselijk overkomt, maakt Ishiguro met kleine details duidelijk dat zij toch echt geen mens is. Bijvoorbeeld: Klara kan prima praten en is in staat nieuwe woorden te leren, maar doordat ze altijd over zichzelf praat in de 3e persoon enkelvoud en soms woorden verkeerd gebruikt, merk je dat ze net niet als een echt mens spreekt. Ook haar zicht is iets bijzonders. Soms fragmenteert haar beeld in tientallen “doosjes” waarin zaken die haar belangstelling hebben, uitvergroot worden. Dat geldt bijvoorbeeld als zij probeert complexe emoties in de gezichten van mensen te duiden. Dan ziet ze alle aspecten van die emotie naast elkaar. Dit levert prachtige, bijna surreële passages in het boek op.

De spanning in het verhaal wordt langzaam opgebouwd. Het is één van de charmes van het boek dat je als lezer in kleine brokjes informatie toegespeeld krijgt over de wereld waarin Klara bestaat. Dat komt omdat Klara zelf de verteller van het verhaal is. Zij heeft geen geschiedenis (ze komt rechtstreeks uit de fabriek) en vindt niets raar, of opmerkelijk. Als lezer moet je je dus zelf een beeld vormen van wat er eigenlijk aan de hand is in die wereld.

In eerste instantie lijkt die wereld op die van ons. De winkel waarin Klara te koop staat, ligt in een stad met hoge gebouwen. Op straat ziet zij taxi’s en mensen die zich naar hun werk haasten. Er is een zwerver, en soms wordt er onderhoud gepleegd aan het asfalt. Heel normaal. Alleen uit het feit dat er blijkbaar “artificial friends” bestaan, kan je opmaken dat het om een toekomstige wereld gaat. Met die wereld blijken rare dingen aan de hand, dat krijg je al wel snel door, vooral nadat Klara gekocht is door de tiener Josie en haar moeder. Maar pas laat in het boek ontdek je hoe dystopisch die wereld eigenlijk is. En wat de betekenis is van begrippen die zonder uitleg al vroeg in het boek geïntroduceerd zijn.

Maar Klara and the Sun is veel meer dan een verhaal over een bijzonder wezen in een dystopische wereld. Het gaat ook over vriendschap, over religie en over wat het betekent om mens te zijn. Over elk van die thema’s zou je wel een essay kunnen schrijven! Alles bij elkaar vond ik dit een prachtig boek, het mooiste dat ik dit jaar gelezen heb. De taal is prachtig en de beschrijvingen zijn soms bijna poëtisch. Het verhaal is mooi opgebouwd en spannend om te lezen omdat je als lezer zelf met de losse brokjes informatie de wereld uit het boek bij elkaar moet puzzelen. Het heeft diepgang en een hartverscheurend einde. En het is origineel! ( )
  Tinwara | Oct 4, 2021 |
Will the reviewers finally, finally agree that Kazuo Ishiguro has written a science fiction novel? I just read four reviews and only one gets close ("I suppose you could call it…") An affectless naive android is more plausible than an affectless naive butler, yet a prefer The Remains of the Day. The drip-feeding of crucial details about this world of the future is very effective, though strange magical-realism setpieces make one wonder if there is huge plot twist coming that reinterprets all that has come before (No, just a small one). ( )
  adzebill | Oct 1, 2021 |
Klara and the Sun is the story of an artificial friend or “AF” as she is referred to in the novel. She is a sophisticated, animated doll with artificial intelligence brought to a level as close to a human as possible—all in a toy for a teenager. The story is told entirely from her point of view. Klara is unusual among the AFs because she can observe and evaluate events that are happening around her on a level that has never been seen before, at least not by the manager of the store that sold her.

Klara sees things we can recognize, but she sees them with the eyes of someone who is totally naive. Most of the time we readers end up shaking our heads and laughing at how Klara thinks in such an odd way. But as the novel goes on some of Klara's observations turn out to be different than what we expected. This lends an interesting, spiritual slant to the novel.

There is also a subplot in Klara and the Sun concerning the people surrounding Klara. This technologically enlightened society has come up with a new form of prejudice. Although this other plot does not directly affect AFs, it is woven into Klara's story in a way that demonstrates the level of empathy Klara has reached.

The humans in the story are well portrayed. Although we see them all through Klara's eyes, we get to know their strengths and their flaws. Josie, the teenager who chooses Klara, is loyal and fun, but she has her moments when she gets jealous or argumentative. Josie is suffering from a health issue that might cause her death. The people around her such as Rick, her best friend, and Chrissie, her mother, are all impacted by Josie's health and show their concern in different ways. Paul, Josie's father, shows up later in the novel and also demonstrates his love for Josie in an entirely different way. The minor characters, such as Henry Capaldi, a portrait artist, are also believable and unique. The relationships between these characters keep the story going every bit as much as Klara's ability to observe and learn.

This is the most imaginative novel I've read since Kazuo Ishiguro's other book, Never Let Me Go. It's SyFy but I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good novel. ( )
  SteveLindahl | Sep 30, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 90 (següent | mostra-les totes)
In de licht dystopische roman voert Ishiguro een balanseer act uit op de rand van kitch. Hij slaagt er echter op een uitzonderlijke wijze in om in evenwicht te blijven. Klara en de zon is een zeer geslaagde, enigszins verontrustende en gelaagde nieuwe roman van de meesterverteller en Nobelprijswinnaar…lees verder>
 
Most of Ishiguro’s novels are slender books that are more complicated than they at first seem; Klara and the Sun is by contrast more simple than it seems, less novel than parable. Though much is familiar here—the restrained language, the under-stated first-person narration—the new book is much more overt than its predecessors about its concerns.... Ishiguro is unsentimental—indeed, one of the prevailing criticisms of him is that he’s too cold, his novels overly designed, his language detached. (Some of the worst writing on Ishiguro ascribes this to his being Japanese, overlooking that he’s lived in England since he was a small child.) In most hands, this business of the mother-figure who sacrifices all for a child would be mawkish. Here it barely seems like metaphor. Every parent has at times felt like an automaton. Every parent has pleaded with some deity for the safety of their child. Every parent is aware of their own, inevitable obsolescence. And no child can offer more than Josie’s glib goodbye, though perhaps Ishiguro wants to; the book is dedicated to his mother.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaThe New Republic, Rumaan Alam (Apr 11, 2021)
 
It explores many of the subjects that fill our news feeds, from artificial intelligence to meritocracy. Yet its real political power lies not in these topical references but in its quietly eviscerating treatment of love. Through Klara, Josie, and Chrissie, Ishiguro shows how care is often intertwined with exploitation, how love is often grounded in selfishness ... this book focuses on those we exploit primarily for emotional labor and care work—a timely commentary during a pandemic in which the essential workers who care for us are too often treated as disposable ... If Never Let Me Go demonstrates how easily we can exploit those we never have to see, Klara and the Sun shows how easily we can exploit even those we claim to love ... a story as much about our own world as about any imagined future, and it reminds us that violence and dehumanization can also come wrapped in the guise of love.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaThe Nation, Katie Fitzpatrick (Mar 24, 2021)
 
... the real power of this novel: Ishiguro’s ability to embrace a whole web of moral concerns about how we navigate technological advancements, environmental degradation and economic challenges even while dealing with the unalterable fact that we still die.... tales of sensitive robots determined to help us survive our self-destructive impulses are not unknown in the canon of science fiction. But Ishiguro brings to this poignant subgenre a uniquely elegant style and flawless control of dramatic pacing. In his telling, Klara’s self-abnegation feels both ennobling and tragic.
 
Critics often note Ishiguro’s use of dramatic irony, which allows readers to know more than his characters do. And it can seem as if his narrators fail to grasp the enormity of the injustices whose details they so meticulously describe. But I don’t believe that his characters suffer from limited consciousness. I think they have dignity. Confronted by a complete indifference to their humanity, they choose stoicism over complaint. We think we grieve for them more than they grieve for themselves, but more heartbreaking is the possibility that they’re not sure we differ enough from their overlords to understand their true sorrow. And maybe we don’t, and maybe we can’t. Maybe that’s the real irony, the way Ishiguro sticks in the shiv.... In Klara and the Sun, Ishiguro leaves us suspended over a rift in the presumptive order of things. Whose consciousness is limited, ours or a machine’s? Whose love is more true? If we ever do give robots the power to feel the beauty and anguish of the world we bring them into, will they murder us for it or lead us toward the light?
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (12 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Kazuo Ishiguroautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Siu, SuraNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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In memory of my mother
Shizuko Ishiguro
(1926-2019)
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When we were new, Rosa and I were mid-store, on the magazines table side, and could see through more than half of the window.
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Mr Capaldi believed there was nothing special inside Josie that couldn’t be continued. He told the Mother he’d searched and searched and found nothing like that. But I believe now he was searching in the wrong place. There was something very special, but it wasn’t inside Josie. It was inside those who loved her.
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