Rereading: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
As Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro's unsettling story of a community of clones, comes to cinema screens, Rachel Cusk finds herself both intrigued and repelled by the novel
Saturday 29 January 2011 00.06 GMT
n Kazuo Ishiguro's 1995 novel The Unconsoled, Ryder, a pianist, is due to give an important concert in a foreign city. The novel is written in the form of an extended anxiety dream: manifold impediments spring up to delay his arrival at the concert hall; at one point he realises he hasn't practised the pieces he intends to play. In a field outside the city where, through labyrinthine causes, he finds himself, he comes across the dilapidated wreck of his old childhood family car. "I stared through the spiderweb cracks [in the window] into the rear seat where I had once spent so many contented hours. Much of it, I could see, was covered with fungus." The elasticity of the subconscious is also the novel's elasticity – it is more than 500 pages long – and likewise the novel's procedures are those of its adopted system of Freudian values.