Tuesday 16 August 2022

Mini-Review Time! - Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

 **This post contains affiliate links for Amazon.com; purchases made through these links will earn me a small amount of commission**

'Klara and the Sun' with a sunrise/set background

Title: Klara and the Sun

Author: Kazuo Ishiguro

Genre: Sci-Fi(-ish)

Buy now on Amazon.com 

Klara and the Sun book cover

The Verdict:

This is a weird one.

If I get vague at any point, it's because I'm avoiding SPOILERS. 

Even though I'm going to talk about the premise and the set-up a lot, I want to try to keep out of SPOILER territory - difficult though it is.

Klara is an AF - an Artifical Friend (a robot, basically,) - she lives in the Store until Josie and Josie's Mother buy her to keep Josie company.

The role of an AF is like... like a pet, mixed with a toy, mixed with an indentured servant, and, in Klara's case, also a medical alert dog. 

The ones we meet in this book are mostly designed for teenagers.

Before purchase, they all sit in the store, hoping to be bought. They get to rotate positions within the store, to give them the best chance of being seen. 

The most coveted position is in the window display, where they can tempt buyers in. 

I will leave that metaphor there; interpret it how you will. 🙈

The AFs know little about the Outside beyond what they can see through the store windows, and what Manager tells them about how to be of service to the children who buy them. 

Extra information about the world they inhabit isn't really necessary, and as this is written in Klara's first person Point-of-View (PoV,) we only get the vaguest of information about the society she lives in, gleaned mostly from snatches of overheard conversation.

But it's pretty obvious that said society isn't doing too well - even though most people seem determined to carry on with their lives as if nothing is wrong. (*Stops, looks to camera*)

I don't know how I feel about the ending - 

mostly because it tore my heart out and stamped on it 😅

 - but I loved reading this.

Klara is... the most beautiful, human, lovely character.

(Yes, the robot is an extremely human character. Possibly the most human and most humane character in this book.)

And the sad thing is that the actual humans treat her as less-than, not equal-to (or, in some cases, much more-than.)

They assume that she can't feel emotions.

They think she doesn't have wants or dreams or likes and dislikes of her own.

But still think that AFs are full of illogical superstitions - something very human, don't you think?

The Sun is a God to Klara.

And her main aim throughout the book is to enlist the sun to help Josie get well.

It's... ridiculously beautiful.

Content Warnings:

- serious, life-threatening, illness/disability

- grief

- anticipatory grief

- child/teen death

- messy divorce

- social discrimination

- homelessness

- implied mental health problems/possible alcohol abuse

- multiple layers of potentially sensitive metaphors re: robots serving humans

- brief violence

- isolation and loneliness

References to:

- 'creepy' older man

- armed, gated, communities

...As per usual, that's everything I remember; always be careful while reading!

Buy Now USA - Goodreads

Have you read Klara and the Sun?

Do you like endings that rip your heart out?

Talk to me! 😅💬

You can follow me on Twitter @CeeDoraReads, on Pinterest, and on Dora Reads @ BlogLovin. For more ways to support me, check out the Support Me page

Related Reading:

Remember to share and comment! 💖


  1. Ahh! It's been ages since I have visited. I hope you are well, Cee Arr! I am going to add Klara and The Sun to my wish list because it really sounds like a sweet read. How would you describe the writing style? Is it like...lyrical or is it more bare? I haven't read any Ishiguro stories before.

    1. Dina! Hope you're good! :) :) :)

      It's amazing - I love it. The ending ripped my heart out.

      ...It's hard to explain the style. It's lyrical but in a bare way?

      Here's a quote from it that, imho, is pretty typical of the style:

      'I’d begun to understand also that this wasn’t a trait peculiar just to Josie; that people often felt the need to prepare a side of themselves to display to passers-by – as they might in a store window – and that such a display needn’t be taken so seriously once the moment had passed.'

  2. I think this book would make me sad. I have an issue with the mistreatment of animals, robots, inhuman things with human feelings, etc. Poor Klara!


Comments? I love comments! Talk to me nerdlets!