flawed but haunting Mar 29, 2007
The first half is a little boring, because it's all about the daily life of children at a slightly peculiar progressive boarding school, and it's narrated in the curiously muted voice of one of them, Kathy, now grown up. Where's this all going? I wondered. It's only when you find out that the children are clones who are being raised to be of medical use to nonclones that the book takes off. The chatty flatness of kathy's voice -- the muted affect -- is i suppose intentional. Subtly, the clones have been raised to accept their fate as inevitable. This part i found a bit unbelievable. Since the clones are in fact indistinguishable from others, and the ever-so-slightly-in-the-future UK is still a big modern messy country, not a 1984-style police state, you would think it would be a lot harder to keep the clones in line than it is in this book. If illegal immigrants can survive by the hundreds of thousands without being caught by the police, so could clones who ran away. So then the question becomes: why don't they?
I agree that if human cloning ever became a reality, clones would have all the rights of people conceived the old fashioned way. By the time it happened, it wouldn't be any more (well much more) shocking than in vitro or donated eggs. I see this book more as a meditation on exploitation and how people rationalize it and internalize it. I read the book when i came out, and it's stayed with me.