Sarvas on Ishiguro v. Lipsyte

Today’s installment of the Tournament of Books pits Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go against Sam Lipsyte’s Home Land. Mark Sarvas renders the judgment.

When I first received word that my match-up for this year’s Tournament of Books was going to be Sam Lipsyte’s Home Land versus Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, my initial reaction was “You bastards.” Because here are two novelists I admire–two novelists who could not be more different in voice and style. And although I’d read Home Land and touted it as a Recommended Title at my blog, The Elegant Variation, Never Let Me Go was a Booker shortlist that has garnered some of the best reviews of Ishiguro’s career, including a love letter [reproduced here] from James Wood in the New Republic. It promised great things. Clearly, I had a Gordian knot ahead of me, and hell if I knew what I was going to do.


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