⭑⭑⭑⭑½ (4.5/5 see book reviews)

Three sentence summary

Klara is an artificial friend (AF), which is a solar-powered, blade-runner-level tween android and general-AI sold (at what I picture as the Apple Store) to rich, non-android tweens to help build their social skills.

Rich kids, like Josie, Klara’s “owner” (the dynamics of tween/AF relations are purposefully cringy at times), undergo gene splicing (called lifting) when they’re very young because of the gattaca-esque nature of college admissions in this timeline; however, gene splicing is very risky and can cause serious illness or death.

Possible spoiler alerts from here forward

In the novel they say that Klara is “special” and “observant”; Mr Capaldi, the creepy artist rants at length about how we have so much to learn from AFs and says Klara is remarkable; so what seems like a naïve/make-believe bargain between Klara and the Sun for Josie’s life may be more than it appears to dumb thinking meat like us.

Random thoughts

Early in the book we meet Rosa, the same generation AF as Klara who is displayed in the AF store along-side her. Early in the novel we see Klara looking out for Rosa:

When I was lucky enough to see [the Sun] like that, I’d lean my face forward to take in as much of his nourishment as I could, and if Rosa was with me, I’d tell her to do the same.

And then briefly, as an aside, in a particularly distressing scene

I […] saw the lonely woman sitting by herself at Mr Vance’s diner, unnoticed even by the diner manager, pressing her forehead against the window towards the dark street outside, and it occurred to me how very much the woman resembled Rosa.

The end of the novel questions human’s obligations to general AI. We’re awful in all timelines.


  • Title: Klara and the Sun
  • Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Pages: 321
  • Format: EBook
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • ISBN: 07-3528-124-6
  • Genre: Science Fiction