Klara is an Artificial Friend. Think somewhere between Bicentennial Man and Teddy Ruxpin and maybe a little Big Hero 6, but a bit darker at times. Ishiguro’s style is well-known through his books Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day thought his one compares more closely with NLMG. His subtleties in language and character draw you in and answers are usually revealed slowly, through an overheard conversation or a forgotten dropped slip of paper. Klara begins the story in her store waiting for a young person to choose her for their home.
Ishiguro started this story with an almost fable-like plot for children and then other themes started to develop. I thought I could see the basic framework of that story as I read about Klara. Watch the video below to gain some more insight about his novel from the author.
The most striking part of the book is Klara’s character development. She begins the book looking out the window gaining knowledge of the people’s interaction through observation. The story is told through Klara unreliable point of view. She is missing the context of just about everything. There is talk of some sort of genetic enhancement and social cliques and schooling may or may not be organized around these augmentations. Many more things will be revealed about this near-future world as the book progresses. I don’t want to give any of it away… It’s much better for you to experience it through Klara’s eyes.
Existing fans should enjoy this one… And if you haven’t read any Ishiguro, this would be a good intro to his style of writing.