Klara and the Sun

Hardcover, 303 pages

English language

Published Jan. 7, 2021 by Faber & Faber.

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4 stars (7 reviews)

From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change forever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.

In Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro looks at our rapidly changing modern world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love?

6 editions

A very readable journey

4 stars

A very readable journey into a possible future. A very interesting narrator, an artificially intelligent humanoid with good observational abilities but limited reasoning, which ultimately allows her to draw some curious and false conclusions.

Minor things about the proposed future slightly irk, for example we seem to have autonomous artificial friends, but driving is still something done by humans. Walking around is likely more difficult to automate than driving around, though companionship does not appear to be as difficult as we might have thought/hoped. That said, the future inhabitants all have something called an 'oblong', which seems to be roughly a futuristic smart phone. Do we then really need the artificial friends to be humanoid in look? Why can the artificial friend not simply be interfaced with through the oblong? Lastly, it seems that the artificial friends can perform chores if asked, why then does the main family still have …

An amazing book; can I have more stars to give it?

5 stars

This is one of those very rare books that reminds me of what books are at some level all about. That makes me want to go about and knock about two stars off of 99% of my prior book ratings, to make room to properly differentiate this one.

It's hard to say too much that's concrete, without giving it away. I was closer to tears at the end of this than I can remember with any book for a long time. Not easy maudlin tears, but deep oh-my-god tears about what a universe this is.

The people are very fully people; the viewpoint character is not a person, but ... well, that would be a spoiler also. But the viewpoint it gives her allows Ishiguro to say some amazing and touching and true and thought-provoking things without coming out and saying them (because nothing he could come out and say …

Ishiguro is a modern master

5 stars

I love everything I've ever read by Kazuo Ishiguro. His prose isn't filled with vocab words and doesn't ever even feel anything but mundane, and yet somehow, every single line is poetry. This book did not disappoint. Lovely, loving, heart-rending... and also exploring the very real potential futures of artificial intelligence, machine learning, friendship, and disposability.

Worthwhile but not one of my recent favs

3 stars

Content warning Ending mention


  • Fiction
  • Robots
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Dystopian
  • Science Fiction
  • Chronic Illness
  • Disability