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Klara and the Sun

Klara and the Sun

Book - 2021
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"From her place in the store that sells artificial friends, Klara--an artificial friend with outstanding observational qualities--watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change forever, Klara she is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans. In this luminous tale, Klara and the Sun, Nobel Prize winner 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?"--
Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, is designed to be a playmate for real children. From her place in the store she watches the behavior of those who come in to browse, and those who pass on the street outside. In conversations with the other AI and the Manager, she remains hopeful she will be chosen. When a possibility emerges that her circumstances may change forever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans. -- adapted from jacket and perusal of book
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2021
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2021
ISBN: 9780593318171
059331817X
Branch Call Number: FIC ISHIGUR 2021
Characteristics: 303 pages ; 25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Waiting to be chosen by a customer, an Artificial Friend programmed with high perception observes the activities of shoppers while exploring fundamental questions about what it means to love. (NoveList)

Fiction. Nobel laureate Ishiguro takes readers to a vaguely futuristic, technologically advanced setting reminiscent of his Never Let Me Go for a surprising parable about love, humanity, and science. (Publishers Weekly)


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w
WeBeYYC
Jun 16, 2021

bev

c
cloverpatch1
Jun 09, 2021

A really annoying prose style. Possibly ranks in the top ten worst ever. I get it but ...

b
Bududo
Jun 08, 2021

This is based on an interesting premise - one of a culture dependent on humanoid robots with advanced artificial intelligence providing companionship to adolescents. The beginning is quite promising but then the author gets rather repetitive. Also, the author does not have a very workable theory of how a AF (Artificial Friend) could be transformed to replicate a person - the target person's memory is the key but the author completely misses this concept.

k
krsbozo_menlo
Jun 03, 2021

I read this book at the same time as I was reading "The Remains of the Day," also by Kazuo Ishiguro. Both books tell the story of a servant, in this case the servant is artificial friend who will sacrifice herself for her human friend... at least that's how it appears to me. In "The Remains of the Day" the servant is an English Butler. Both books end with the servant reflecting back on his and her life; ironically, the artificial friend has an easier and more meaningful end than does the butler. I loved both books, really.

l
llewol
May 23, 2021

Really lovely novel narrated by Klara, an Artificial Friend. Set in the near future, Klara is a perfect naïve storyteller who has no context for her experiences other than what she has been programmed or what she has observed and learned in her short existence. And yet in many ways she has greater humanity than the humans who populate her story. It is so easy to imagine a world such as this and it is nice to have a take on artificial intelligence that doesn't centre on robots trying to take over the world. I especially like the way that much in this story is left for the reader to sort out as the realities are very slowly revealed and not everything is completely spelled out. Great novel by a great writer.

j
johnulee
May 21, 2021

The world created is similar to the one that exists today... those with and those without... opportunities. Klara (the robot) offers us insight of a child and how they think and evolve, what they consider as they accumulate experiences, language, etc... and thoughts outside their own world, motivations, goals, objectives, etc...
There are brief forays into the ethics of artificial life, but not really the point.

LPL_SarahM May 11, 2021

Ishiguro's famously sparse prose brings Klara-- an Artificial Friend-- to life in this novel about a not-too-distant future where AFs serve as companions to teens. Readers will be left to contemplate the lines we blur between nature and technology and who that makes us as a society. As with many of Ishiguro's books, you never quite have your finger on where the story is going, and when you finally get there, you may feel unsettled in a new way.

h
hamilton1031
May 11, 2021

Clumsy treatment of subject

t
theequ1nn
May 07, 2021

I felt this author took too many ideas from Haruki Marakami novel titled Killing Commendatore (which I have read four times). Same premise and plot, changed some characters around but same characters, I saw too may parallels.

LPL_MaryW Apr 27, 2021

Klara and the Sun is a parable, a warning, a neatly-crafted story that fits into an Artificial Friend-sized box, which—make no mistake—is not to say that it’s ordinary. Ishiguro explores the ethics of creating artificial intelligence that’s indistinguishable from humans, at least ideally. But Klara and her owner, Josie, are kindred spirits with vastly different fates. Is love still love when its object is replaceable, nay, disposable? Are some people more valuable than others; can grief ever be inappropriate? This seamless story examines our increasingly automated world, our obsession with usability, and the things that get left behind.

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