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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller

Once in a great while, a book comes along that changes our view of the world. This magnificent novel from the Nobel laureate and author of Never Let Me Go is “an intriguing take on how artificial intelligence might play a role in our futures...a poignant meditation on love and loneliness” (The Associated Press). 

Booker Prize Longlist nominee • Good Morning America Book Club Pick • On President Obama’s Summer 2021 Reading List

“What stays with you in ‘Klara and the Sun’ is the haunting narrative voice - a genuinely innocent, egoless perspective on the strange behavior of humans obsessed and wounded by power, status and fear.” (Booker Prize committee)

Here is the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, 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.

Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: What does it mean to love?

©2021 Kazuo Ishiguro (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“For four decades now, Ishiguro has written eloquently about the balancing act of remembering without succumbing irrevocably to the past. Memory and the accounting of memory, its burdens and its reconciliation, have been his subjects.... Klara and the Sun complements [Ishiguro’s] brilliant vision.... There’s no narrative instinct more essential, or more human.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“It aspires to enchantment, or to put it another way, reenchantment, the restoration of magic to a disenchanted world. Ishiguro drapes realism like a thin cloth over a primordial cosmos. Every so often, the cloth slips, revealing the old gods, the terrible beasts, the warring forces of light and darkness.” (Judith Shulevitz, The Atlantic)

One of the most affecting and profound novels Ishiguro has written.... I'll go for broke and call Klara and the Sun a masterpiece that will make you think about life, mortality, the saving grace of love: in short, the all of it.” (Maureen Corrigan, NPR)

“Ishiguro’s prose is soft and quiet. It feels like the perfect book to curl up with on a Sunday afternoon. He allows the story to unfold slowly and organically, revealing enough on every page to continue piquing the reader’s curiosity. The novel is an intriguing take on how artificial intelligence might play a role in our futures...a poignant meditation on love and loneliness” (Maggie Sprayregen, The Associated Press)

Featured Article: Best Authors for Fans of Margaret Atwood


Iconic Canadian author Margaret Atwood is more than a beloved novelist, poet, and essayist. She’s also a feminist, environmental activist, and innovator. Atwood examines important themes across many genres, including nonfiction, poetry, dystopian fiction, science fiction, and retellings of mythology. If you've worked your way through all of her stellar audiobooks and don’t know where to go next, here are some listens by authors similar to Atwood for you to enjoy.

Editor's Pick

Ishiguro’s triumphant return to sci-fi
I love Kazuo Ishiguro because he’s a literary writer who is not afraid to venture into genre fiction—in fact, he embraces it, elevates it, and shows just how meaningful and insightful it can be, as he did with previous novels Never Let Me Go (sci-fi) and The Buried Giant (fantasy). His latest novel takes on the very sci-fi themes of AI consciousness and free will (I’ll admit, sold. Anything to do with robots, sold). But these Big Ideas are ultimately couched within the story of a girl who just happens to be a robot named Klara—and her self-determined mission to save the girl who chose her as an AF, or “artificial friend.” Ishiguro unfolds the layers of his stories organically in a way that somehow satisfies even as it rips your heart out (in the best way). And narrator Sura Siu only adds to the experience with her vibrant performance. I didn’t realize how much I’d been searching for that feeling Never Let Me Go gave me years ago, but I think I’ve found it once again. —Sam D., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Klara and the Sun

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well Worth Having Waited For!

Ever since I first read NEVER LET ME GO I have been a fan of Ishiguro's, running out to obtain every book of his that I could find. I was delighted when I got the news that this was out, and it was -- as I noted -- well worth having waited for. It has all the hallmarks I have come to appreciate: plot twists galore; characters with artificial intelligence who are often more human than the humans in the story; an examination of some point of society's mores; and excellent writing that doesn't get in the way of the story itself.

The reader, Sura Siu, does an excellent job. The time this took as an audiobook flew by, much to my delight.

Whether you are an old Ishiguro fan, or just discovering his work, I think you will enjoy this one very much, so please give it a try.

66 people found this helpful

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delicately yet expansively mind-blowing

Ishiguro's amazing, the ways he explores how small- and large-scale ethical issues transpire amid and affect interpersonal connection, how feelings of love, loyalty, dedication, and desire try to make sense of themselves in societies dominated by self-centered and greedy powerful interests. This novel may be his best yet. Holy cow the way he describes how Klara, the "artificial friend," perceives reality-- the book's told from Klara's point of view-- these passages are just gorgeous, like descriptions of Diebenkorn landscapes, yet they convincingly, startlingly represent the ways AI might translate complex images into useful data. And wow how this novel explores the nature of "humanity." Wow wow wow wow wow. Bravo.

37 people found this helpful

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Mostly disappointing

Although definitely not the worst book of the last year or so, (Ready Player 2!), this goes down as my most disappointing listen in a great while. A great author, glowing reviews and I couldn't wait. Well, maybe I just didn't get it and here are a few of my gripes:
1. None of the characters are likable besides Klara the "robot" AF. The young woman who takes her in, Josie, is actually pretty uncaring to Klara and most of the time treats her like an appliance. At one point, she seems fine with Klara living in a closet for a while.
2. Klara's quest to save Josie is never questioned by the 2 people she recruits to help her even though a law must be broken to complete it. She simply asks them to trust her and they go along. Wouldn't you ask just a few more questions before agreeing to commit a crime?
3. Klara isn't very intelligent for being an AF. Wouldn't her creators put some knowledge of the world and Universe in her system if she was going to be around people and possibly tutor children and teens?
4. The writing is very bland and the dialogue awkward at times. There is a scene that takes place in a diner that was cringe worthy at best. Plot lines go places but are never finished, characters aren't ever fleshed out and the vagueness of many important plot points becomes extremely frustrating.
I could go on but overall, this seems like an unedited, first draft of a book. Very frustrating.

29 people found this helpful

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Disappointing:

This author starts with a good idea for a story, but fails to develop what possibilities artificial intelligence can bring. Overall, the story moves slowly with extended conversations that are neither entertaining nor informative. A much better example of artificial intelligence is "All Systems Red" by Martha Wells.

26 people found this helpful

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The Narrator is Terrible

I didn't make it through enough of the book to know if I liked it. (The first half hour or so is fairly impenetrable.) But I had to stop because the narrator has a sing-song amateurishness that no one should have to endure.

20 people found this helpful

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Beautiful book, excellent narration

Couldn’t wait for this new book to come out! It’s beautiful and heartbreaking, just like all Ishiguro.

20 people found this helpful

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Loose ends do not get tied

A strange dystopian novel which made for a dreaded and uncomfortable listen.The author opens several paths for the plot, but follows none. I was left bewildered. Why I think it is a weird and unsatisfactory read:
The place where they live seems ruled by some unspecified government and is heavily polluted. At the end, Klara--the robot-- is left without a purpose, abandoned in a field. The parents actually considered substituting a robot for their live child. The painter did not believe in the human soul. Klara believed a person was unique only in the love held in other people’s hearts, which I find to be a terrifying notion, not unlike a reputation—which is not of one’s own making but rather, true or false, made of other people’s opinions. What was the deal with Ryan’s mother and the school headmaster? What was being “lifted” and how were people chosen for that? Why was Josie’d father in a dissident community? What was Helen’s job? What was the sun? A friend liked the book so I read it. When I found it creepy, he said to read to the end. No improvement, no explanations given.

17 people found this helpful

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A masterpiece

I had a feeling about this book.
That feeling was right.
Kazuo Ishiguro is a genius, I have no doubt about it.
To get me reading this book with zero amount of boredom while being fully invested in the outcome is one thing but to get me to actually identify and sympathize with an artificial intelligence is another level of genius.
I'm mostly speechless when I want to describe why I love a book and this is no exception.
This book touched my heart, I liked that, I like heart books if that makes sense.

17 people found this helpful

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Good, but not The Remains of the Day...

... or Never Let Me Go. This is a solid book and a must listen for Ishiguro fans. Unfortunately, it doesn't measure up to his more celebrated work and, for that reason, it's a bit disappointing. I think the reason is that while Klara, an AF (Artificial Friend), is the protagonist, we relate to Josie. She is the person Klara befriends. And she's just not that well-developed a character. The resolution of her arc -- she suffers from an unnamed illness that may be terminal -- felt anti-climatic. Additionally, Ishiguro never reaches that mind trip level with Klara -- where the insentient being has an existential crisis. Having said all this, he's written a very readable, entertaining book. It just doesn't rattle your core the way the two aforementioned books do.

As far as the narration, it's good, but I question if Rick -- a young man from England who's been living in America awhile -- should have an English accent. More to the point, he sounds a lot older than Josie. I believe they should be around the same age.

All in all, I think most people will enjoy this. It's best, though, for your expectations to not be too high.

11 people found this helpful

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Deeply Moving - Uncanny

I found listening to the reading of this wonderful book by Ishiguro to have been a special pleasure - one not to be missed.

10 people found this helpful