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Read: Klara and the Sun is intriguing but underwhelming

Klara and the Sun is a novel by Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro, that tells the story of Klara who is an ‘Artificial Friend’ with extraordinary observation skills. In a future dominated by elites and artificial intelligence, will Klara find a human to serve and fulfil the reason she was created?

My thoughts:

The premise of this book is intriguing – how exactly will humans treat robots with artificial intelligence? Even if they look and sound like us, and can converse in complex ways, will we view them as just appliances or as entities that deserve respect and even love?

Written in first person, from the point of view of Klara the ‘artificial friend’ or AF, we are privy to her thoughts and interpretations of the world around her and the interactions she has with people. 

Initially, I was curious to see where this story would lead. There were moments of genuine emotional intensity and they novel raises some very challenging issues about how human’s treat each other and their property.  

Interestingly, I found I had a sympathetic view of Klara because we see the world and humanity through her eyes and thoughts. There is an innocence to her that is beguiling. She is certainly ‘nicer’ if less complex than the human beings she interacts with and I think the author has deliberately used this to point our our species failings

Ultimately though, I was disappointed by this book. I found the narrative to be quite dull and Klara’s thoughts were often full of minutiae that slowed the plot.

The ending was sadly underwhelming. 


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