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Publisher's Summary

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?  

©2021 Kazuo Ishiguro (P)2021 Faber Audio

What listeners say about Klara and the Sun

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Dr
  • 06-03-2021

A mixed bag

Great writing, but frustrating plot with interesting twists diluted by extended passages of detail not contributory to the greater story.

3 people found this helpful

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Subtle and Understated

The story is subtle and the AF pleasantly naive, but it works. What didn't was the narration which was painful at times to listen to - especially the appalling English accents! Please Audible vet your narrators!

1 person found this helpful

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What does it mean to be human?

The author explores deep, intimate questions in a different way. with the use of high-tech 'artificisl friends". The initial question is : can human feelings of agape love, empathy, hope be duplicated into robots? Of course that makes the question of what these qualities are, not as a definition but how they are manifested?.
The narrators work was very good, at first I found Phillip's voice strange but it certainly was identifiable.
A great companion to Never let me go. elegant, easy to read but deceptive in its simplicity.

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Poignant and perfect

The story of Klara’s maturity from store toy to loyal friend with all its sacrifice and pain is etched forever in my mind. Here we learn that complexity and depth can work alongside faith and innocence. Even artificial intelligence can never know if the decisions made are the right call. Wonderful

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couldn't stand it

Jus coukdn't get past the second chapter. Will try reading the novel as the painful narration and extensive dialogue showed too difficult to listen to

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  • michaela schmied henning
  • 06-04-2021

A really good read

I can really recommend this book. A beautiful and sometimes sad story with many details and humanly warm wisdom.

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  • Tim Martin
  • 04-04-2021

Much to consider

As the risk of sounding cynical, I found the 'what it is to love' theme of only secondary interest here. I much preferred the AI implications, especially the known unknowns of how an AI 'reasons'. Even Klara's novel perspective of parceling stimuli into overlapping boxes was a useful reminder of how humans default to the human experience of awareness as the universal gold standard (spare a thought for the animal kingdom). Not wild about the narrator though - a more neutral accent would have suited me better... Juliet Stevenson I'm thinking would have been spot on.

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  • Amazon Customer: NR
  • 18-03-2021

A magnificent novel

A wonderful work of imagination, close observation, and lovely writing. There’s an underlying sadness to the work, delicate and haunting. Kazuo Ishiguro at the top of his powers — my favourite living writer.

The performance is worthy of the novel.

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  • Anonymous123
  • 11-03-2021

Interesting but undeveloped.

The narrator was incapable of reading with an English accent, which was required for two of the characters. Otherwise she did a good job. The story was underdeveloped, in my opinion. Many critics disagree with me and one even found it a “masterpiece”. I did recommend it to my friend because it raises interesting issues rather than delve into them.

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  • papapownall
  • 05-03-2021

Quite a high ranking story

Recently, Kazuo Ishiguro has lamented that new authors face extreme pressure from social media and this impinges on their ability to be as experimental in their writing as they would like. There are, however, no such pressures on an old master such as Ishiguro. He is hardly prolific with this. only his eighth novel in nearly forty years.

Although the story told from the point of view of a toy in a shop which is borrowed from fairy tales, this has a decidedly modern spin. Set in the near future, this has a distinctively dystopian Black Mirror feel as we hear the tale told by Artificial Friend ("AF") Klara who is a sort of post-modern Tamagotchi. It is a brave writer who is able to even contemplate recounting a narrative such as this through deliberately stilted diction of a robot girl and some of the phrasing is strange such as "oblongs" (presumably tablet devices), Klara's view of the world through "boxes" and Klara's estimation of ages and ranking of the people she meets. This is quite a high ranking story from a true master. which is both captivating and spell-binding.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Corrina A Dalby
  • 05-03-2021

Disappointed

I was looking forward to this book, but it was very disappointing- the story was predictable and the narrator flat. I groaned regularly as the was story was so transparent- it would be ok for a 12-13 year old teenage market but definitely not for adults - in a word Boring! Sorry

9 people found this helpful

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  • JulieB
  • 04-03-2021

From the very first line.....

... Klara draws you into her world and we learn as she learns. A fantastic read

9 people found this helpful

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  • Sarita E.
  • 12-03-2021

Spoilt by bad narration

The story is good. But. The narrator has obviously never met an English person. She seems to think they all speak like The Queen or Noel Coward! How can a teenage character who has never even visited England have an RP accent?

7 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-03-2021

Not as good as I hoped

Not as good as I assumed it would be. Shallow. The who thing seemed just enough for a short story. Or like an introduction to a great story that never happened. Disappointed. Well read though.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Mikey-Joe
  • 04-03-2021

Unfulfilling

The novel approaches many interesting ideas and concepts but unfortunately leaves them unexplored. The story indicates clearly where it's heading, revolves around some inevitabilities but resolves them all in essentially a singular paragraph.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Mary Jane 50
  • 15-03-2021

Loses its way.......

This book starts and end with something close to the style and thoughtfulness I’ve come to expect from Ishiguro, though it is nowhere near as thought provoking and satisfying as ‘Never Let Me Go, which is a similar genre. But it is a long way from one of his best. It becomes entangled in environmental questions without any clarity of idea or purpose, giving it a contrived and slightly ‘woke’ feel. The portrayal of the English character, Helen, is extremely irritating, seemingly based on all the false and silly ‘Hollywood’ ideas of Englishness that are so inaccurate and irritating to anyone who is English, and unworthy of the writer, whose previous portrayals of English characters have been so natural. It feels as if this novel is aimed directly at an American, rather than an international, audience. And the prolonged and incredibly repetitive, and therefore boring, exchange between her, her son and her former lover are both unnecessary and irritating, and detract from the main theme of the book. This section seems to act as a ‘filler’, as if the author has run out of ideas and just needs to fill in a few more pages to reach a ‘number of words’ target.
Generally the narration is pretty good, moving from very robotic in Klara’s early days to much more mature as Klara fits in with her new ‘family’, which works well. But again, the interpretation of Helen’s English accent is both hackneyed-Hollywood style and very irritating.
Is this a book, like Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, that I could read, listen to or watch in film form (and there’s little doubt this will appear before long on the big screen) again and again? No, definitely not. It will more than likely end up in my archive, never to re-emerge!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Paddy Killary ( killary45@aol.com)
  • 21-03-2021

Banal story, poor performance

I bought this after listening to the first three episodes of the serialisation on BBC Radio 4, but that was a mistake. The abridgement into 10 episodes (140 minutes in total) on the BBC is a much better way to listen to this story than the whole 610 minutes in the full book. The short version was intriguing, raising many questions in the listener, but the full version reveals how shallow the concept is, and how little Ishiguro has to say about any of the major themes he raises.

The performer has a difficult task in giving us a first-person narration from an android and as Klara is acceptable, but she fails very badly in giving us the voices of the other characters. In particular she makes a complete mess of the English accents and makes the American born boy sound like a English talk-your-weight machine with a 1950s BBC robot voice.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Camilla Galashan
  • 16-03-2021

Great story, terrible attempt at British accent

The actor is wonderful in many respects, however their attempt at a British accent is strange. For me it was incredibly off putting making me dread the sections with certain characters. So if you find a bad British accent off putting I would recommend the print version.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Janet
  • 14-03-2021

Enjoyable but...

Maybe for young adults, I wanted more depth. The accent of the narrator doing an English accent was very annoying.

2 people found this helpful

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