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Klara and the Sun

Klara and the Sun

Book - 2021
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"From her place in the store that sells artificial friends, Klara--an artificial friend with outstanding observational qualities--watches carefully the behavior 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 forever, Klara she is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans. In this luminous tale, Klara and the Sun, Nobel Prize winner 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?"-- Provided by publisher.
Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, is designed to be a playmate for real children. From her place in the store she watches the behavior of those who come in to browse, and those who pass on the street outside. In conversations with the other AI and the Manager, she remains hopeful she will be chosen. When a possibility emerges that her circumstances may change forever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans. -- adapted from jacket and perusal of book
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2021
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2021
ISBN: 9780593318171
059331817X
Call Number: F ISHIGURO
Characteristics: 303 pages ; 25 cm

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LPL_SarahM May 11, 2021

Ishiguro's famously sparse prose brings Klara-- an Artificial Friend-- to life in this novel about a not-too-distant future where AFs serve as companions to teens. Readers will be left to contemplate the lines we blur between nature and technology and who that makes us as a society. As with many of Ishiguro's books, you never quite have your finger on where the story is going, and when you finally get there, you may feel unsettled in a new way.

h
hamilton1031
May 11, 2021

Clumsy treatment of subject

t
theequ1nn
May 07, 2021

I felt this author took too many ideas from Haruki Marakami novel titled Killing Commendatore (which I have read four times). Same premise and plot, changed some characters around but same characters, I saw too may parallels.

LPL_MaryW Apr 27, 2021

Klara and the Sun is a parable, a warning, a neatly-crafted story that fits into an Artificial Friend-sized box, which—make no mistake—is not to say that it’s ordinary. Ishiguro explores the ethics of creating artificial intelligence that’s indistinguishable from humans, at least ideally. But Klara and her owner, Josie, are kindred spirits with vastly different fates. Is love still love when its object is replaceable, nay, disposable? Are some people more valuable than others; can grief ever be inappropriate? This seamless story examines our increasingly automated world, our obsession with usability, and the things that get left behind.

j
JLMason
Apr 25, 2021

Ishiguro writes deceptively simple stories. Klara and the Sun is about love and sacrifice. Its power lies in the naive yet perceptive observations of humans by the narrator Klara, an android designed to be pleasant and pliable, who views the world with wonder. Sacrifices are made for others in the name of love; most are selfish, few are selfless. The ending is deeply poignant. The layers of the book will stay with you long after finishing it.

w
Wako
Apr 08, 2021

Klara and the Sun is a work of literary fiction clothed in the guise of a sci-fi novella, and if you picked this up in the hopes of a thoughtful and meaningful sci-fi story, you will be sadly disappointed. Ishiguro builds an intriguing world, but only slowly reveals it in drips and drabs as our protagonist, Klara, learns to navigate her way through it. Key to this narrative approach is Klara’s limited understanding and unique perspective on life and the world around her. For example, the sun is essential to the existence of a solar powered A.I., yet instead of understanding this from a technical standpoint, Klara develops what feels like a pre-modern oral-tradition based mystical understanding of the sun. This limited and skewed framework for Klara’s understanding haphazardly extends to other aspects of the world around her, resulting in something more akin to a Small Wonder novelization than an I, Robot story.

Sadly, the literary aspects of the tale were mostly lost on me, as numerous repeated awkward phrasings served to pull me out of the story and switch me over to critical editor mode. The long and short is, go watch the Toy Story movies for a better take on many of the same subjects, and look elsewhere for a good sci-fi read. There's a lot of potential here, but in it's present state the story is a disappointment.

k
Katie_Dublin
Apr 01, 2021

Haunting. This was my first book by Ishiguro, but won't be my last.

l
laphampeak
Apr 01, 2021

As stated in previous reviews, Klara is an older AG model charged by solar and purchased by Josie’s mother for a covert undertaking. The reader gets to observe, through the “eyes” of Klara, behaviors of those with grief, illness, different social standing. My attention was held throughout as the author explored elements of light vs dark, hope, and what makes up the human heart.

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harrissusanc
Mar 24, 2021

A few years ahead of us in time, and few years behind in Japan. Klara, AF is adopted by Josie, elite, ill teenager, to whom she is devoted as much as to her power source, the sun. I love Klara’s gridded landscape, portraits of the troubled families, self-sacrifices, misunderstandings and heroic faith.

Ominous statement about science, art and human transformation. Perfect for our time.

b
betsymarzoni
Mar 18, 2021

Our narrator is Klara, an Artificial Friend, powered by solar and blessed with exceptional observational qualities and intelligence. She is purchased by the Mother to be a companion to her sickly daughter, Josie. Because Klara is a "machine" who previously existed only in a store and learns only through her observations, many details and explanations of terms are rather slow in coming. This device keeps the reader curious (for example what do they mean that a child has been "lifted") but also drags down the pace of the story. Observing human behavior through the eyes of Klara is one of the more interesting aspects of this book. My heart was captured by Rick, the one truly human character.

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