Klara and the Sun




Klara and the Sun is a futuristic tale told from the perspective of Klara, an AF or Artificial Friend. She has incredible observational qualities who watches carefully the behaviour of humans, and when a human decides to pick her, and the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change forever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans. The entirety of the story largely follows the story of Klara as Josie’s AF and the truths and complexities of humans that Klara eventually has to unravel.


A unique and very welcome take on AI, including the upper emotional limits and the ethics of it. I appreciated the fact that Klara was not all knowing like most written AI, giving a new insight to what if an AI evolves over time like humans rather than be a stagnant all knowing metal deity.

The relationship Klara has with the sun is so precious and gorgeous its so fascinating to read. I love the idea that the Sun was utilised as a healing power, now slowly being diminished by pollution, a direct correlation to the world we live in today.

The experimental writing of Ishiguro by using cubism in Klara’s thinking is so genius; since she is a robot, she can’t identify multiple human emotions and thus groups them into little cubes of anger or sadness to break down the fundamentals of a human since not everything is a binary. This book is art. It is such a creative way to explain how robots can “feel” emotion- or simply understand it. But I also understand that many readers may be put off by this style of writing.

I loved how the writer introduced us to a world without explaining everything but showing it through the eyes of Artificial Intelligence. It is interesting how Ishiguro keeps Klara’s vision- how she thinks and sees the world, all the same throughout the book The way she tries to understand the humans and believe in their best side. She acts as almost a lens for us, seeing that she is observing this world that she also has to learn more about, which parallels with us the readers who also are an observer of this new strange world.

One of the main themes of the book is how humans get lonely and the lengths they go to combat it which is emphasised further in the dark twist the book later takes. However the story never went anywhere with it making it slightly disappointing. I wanted to see further exploration of the moral and philosophical dilemma that was introduced and how the humans would react to it.

Another dissatisfying aspect is that we didn’t get to know enough about the dystopia. One of my favourite parts is actually at the beginning when Klara is in the shop. It was a setting that we got to know intimately. But I also understand what the writer was going for, focusing more on connections and emotions.

I felt like Klara never really got to know Josie, her owner/friend, which speaks to the dynamics of servitude I guess. The truth is this book is quite slow to get through, and certain areas are quite lengthy, but the whole concept and its study of sickness, loneliness, human relationships and emotions are what makes the book.


Book Details

Published: 02 March 2021
Page Count: 303 pages


Content Warning Summary

  • Chronic illness
  • Terminal illness
  • Child death