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Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro once said that he 'tends to write the same book over and over, or at least I take the same subject I took last time out and refine it.' He's selling himself short with that remark, in my opinion, but it's fair to say that his latest novel Klara and the Sun , about an artificially intelligent android purchased as a companion for a lonely teenager, covers similar ground to Never Let Me Go . Both novels reflect on what it means to be human, and are narrated by characters who have been brought into existence for a purpose, leaving them with a sense of inevitability about their own fate. Are we really in a position to decide what defines humanity? Klara is a solar-powered  artificial friend, or AF, built to keep a child company in a near-future America in which children - middle-class children, at least - are educated by private tutors online and rarely mingle except at organised gatherings specifically designed to teach them social skills. After a time spent

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