May contain spoilers*
I just read this. It’s a book where, strikingly, an Artificial Friend (Artificial Intelligence based specie named Klara) reminds us what does it mean to be a human.
Well, its an Ishiguro. The grace and consistency in writing was, therefore, something I had expected and it didn’t let me down.
Otherwise, it’s a dystopia – by genre. Fiction. But very very authentic story telling. There’s truth in how Ishiguro writes. Reminds one of how someone brilliant defined fiction as a lie that says a lot of truth, or, put differently, the real story of something that never happened.
Ishiguro, here, looks into the future; a future of gene editing and Artificial Friends (“AF”). Klara, who is the voice we hear, is an AF. A remarkably perceptive and sensitive one. She’s been humanised so beautifully that you’ll relate to her more than the human beings (or so they claim!) in the book. Her innocence, naivety, and intelligence will charm you – to the sun (you’d understand!) and back.
All in all, apart from the beauty of its telling, the book is an interesting peek into the not-so-distant-future and how we’d negotiate with a world full of designer kids and artificial friends. How and what would it mean to be a human then? It helps you see the philosophical and ethical questions that would confront us in such a world, but does not burden or overwhelm you with those (as a non-fiction on the subject may sometimes do).
It helps you see and live-in such a world. And what a ride we are in for!
A 4/5 for me. Strongly recommended.