Posts Tagged ‘Coming of Age’


S4E2M – Never Let Me Go (movie)*


Wherein Dan Gonzalez and Margret O’Reilly rejoined me late at night from a Chicago skyscraper to explore this faithful and tonally similar adaptation of the book. Our conversation pointed out how the movie was uniquely subtle from a sci-fi perspective, and yet more revealing and advantageous for grounding the viewer in the setting and world. We also recognized that the film focused more on the “love-triangle” aspect of the book, but couldn’t quite decide on why. Margret was particularly impressed with the Japanese aesthetics the director incorporated into the film, which complimented the narrative well. The meaning of the title was explored as well as a few of the more obvious differences between the two works–in particular we discussed the changes in the scene from which the title originated. Ryan and Margret got into the existential dilemmas of clones and how that reflects on what it means to be human, while Dan wondered what one would take away from this film as opposed to the book. Lastly, Margret expressed her genuine appreciation for how in-sync the director was with the author’s underlying work and wanted to put both of them in a room and play some Bob Dylan to see what might happen. A good time was had by all (except the clones) !!!!



Dan, Margret, and Ryan (likely not clones)



“Never Let Me Go (2010)” by Mark Romanek (Keira Knightley) (movie)

Ryan: 3 1/2 Stars “…a fair enough adaptation that manages to capture the breathless quality of a very nuanced novel…”

Dan: 4 Stars “…a general adaptation which focused more on the dynamic of the relationships between Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy as opposed to the general theme of the [book]…”

Margret: 3.85 Star “…a thoughtfully interpreted adaptation to the book with a focus on the relationship aspect…”




Check out Facebook pages for our guest Dan Gonzalez’s now defunct musical groups “Sisero,” and “Beautiful and the Just.” You can listen to music by the latter on Soundcloud here:

During our discussion we mentioned certain Japanese aesthetics, which the Director chose to incorporate into the film to better illustrate the narrative. Some of these are detailed in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy here: Romanek discussed this choice a bit in a Vanity Fair article (“Mark Romanek Talks About Adapting Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go for the Big Screen”) which can be found here:

On the show we also talked about the Director’s impressive resume of music videos he directed. In particular, we mentioned the acclaimed Johnny Cash cover version of the song “Hurt” originally recorded by industrial act Nine Inch Nails. Romanek previously worked with the original artist on their videos for “The Perfect Drug” and the more controversial and infamous “Closer.”

Here is the Johnny Cash version directed by Romanek which compliments the mood captured in our subject movie:


Be sure also to check out the fine arts instagram account  of our guest Margret O’Reilly (@nueroart). Here is a painting of the famous Star Wars character Yoda:


* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.



S4E2B – Never Let Me Go (book)*


Wherein returning guest Daniel Gonzalez (“The Martian” (S2E10) and NDIOS voice-over announcer Margret O’Reilly join me in a discussion of melancholy and ill-fated love juxtaposed against a subtle horrifying dystopian reality. We discuss the author’s cross-cultural biography, its probable influence on the temporal themes explored in this novel. Dan pointed out how different this novel is for the themes and genres it touches upon when compared to recent coming of age dystopian books like the YA works “Divergent” (S2E3) and “Hunger Games.” This work goes in a different direction of somber reflection and acceptance rather than revolution. As we got into the various character motivations and muted tensions underlying the narrative structure we all came up with a deeper appreciation for the work despite our general agreement that it starts slow and we began reading (for right or wrong) with preconceived notions that the conflicts would resolve in more typical action-based resolutions. All this is cast against a lively ambient soundscape of city noises recorded high above the traffic nightlife in a Chicago skyscraper–safely towered away from the terrors of “cloning” and “donations” and the desperate quest for “deferments” which abound in the English countryside of fictional Hailsham.



Dan, Margret, and Ryan set in their tower above chi-town's nightlife. Dan, Margret, and Ryan set in their tower above chi-town’s nightlife.



Never Let Me Go (2005)” by Kazuo Ishiguro (book)

Ryan: 4 1/2 Stars “…A touching wail uttered into the emotional void that dwells between those frayed wires which hold together the complex relationship between the individual, community, and society…

Dan: 3 Stars “…In hindsight, I appreciate that it was a dystopian world, however the author was trying to show us a different side…the mundane, the banal, the everyday life–to what it feels like to live in this world…”

Margret: 3.85 Star “…Overall it spoke to the constructs of realizing one’s fate and accepting one’s fate…there was kind of a melancholic resoluteness…it was more of a metaphor for reality…”

(Click the links to read full written reviews on


Beautiful and the Just

Beautiful and the Just

Our guest Dan Gonzalez is a musician and some of his more notable musical projects are the now defunct groups “Sisero,” and “Beautiful and the Just.” You can check out some music by the latter on Soundcloud here:

On the show we talked about how the author received a Nobel Prize for Literature (see Vox article “The 2017 Nobel Prize in literature goes to Kazuo Ishiguro, author of Never Let Me Go”  at: However, he was noted as a talented writer early on  in his career and included in a 1983 list of writers to watch by editor Bill Buford: Granta’s “Twenty under forty.”  This 2013 Guardian article “Then and now: Granta’s best young British novelists” from takes a thirty year look back at those authors and includes a reprint of the old press photo which includes a young Kazuo Ishiguro: For further reference, here is webpage from the British Council which provides a brief biography of the author, a bibliography, and a list of awards:

Also, our guest Margret O’Reilly occasionally expresses her creative side through the fine arts. Some of these are posted on our instagram account (@nueroart). Check out this painting which seems fitted to our subject topic on this episode:


* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.