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The Remains of the Day
The Remains of the Day
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
The Remains of the Day is a profoundly compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and of his fading, insular world in postwar England. — At the end of his three decades of service at Darlington Hall, Stevens embarks on a country drive, during which he looks back over his career to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving "a ...  more
ISBN-13: 9780679731726
ISBN-10: 0679731725
Pages: 256
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 238 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 7
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  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed The Remains of the Day on + 774 more book reviews
10 member(s) found this review helpful.
An elderly English butler, having received the suggestion that he borrow his new employer's car and 'get out and see the country', decides to go visit a former housekeeper, who worked with him. The reader is initially unsure of their relationship, but a romantic interest is implied (although denied by the narrator.)
Gradually, through his internal thoughts, we begin to see that his stated pride in the traditions of skilled service are a hollow shell, that his former employer was not the paragon of nobility that he had hoped and believed he was, and that he feels his life was likely wasted. He remains unable to engage in regular human interaction, finding even the interactions of other servants with similar backgrounds nearly impossible to understand.
I haven't seen the movie that was made of this book, but it seems a very strange choice for film adaptation, as most of the significant aspects of the novel are in the mind of the main character.
The book however, is an excellent character study, beautifully written. It does remind me of another of Ishiguro's novels, "An Artist of the Floating World." Although the characters in each book are very different from each other, they both deal with a similar sort of self-denial and shame.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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6 member(s) found this review helpful.
One of my favorite books by Ishiguro. He captures 1930s and 40s life in a British country house with a large staff so well that it is hard to believe this book wasn't written then.
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
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4 member(s) found this review helpful.
I don't know why a person with an obviously Japanese name writes a book about an English butler, but this is one that shows up on all the "best" lists, so I ordered and read it. It is reminiscent of l9th century English works, well written and an interesting take on the pre WWI mindset of England.

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  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
reviewed The Remains of the Day on + 813 more book reviews
Stevens may not be Jeeves, or even Crichton but he is still the commensurate butler. After reading this you should certainly have a inking of how to run a stately English manor house. After three decades serving a lord, he is sent off on holiday by his new employer. We are treated to his reminiscences as he meanders to his destination, partly to see if a former housekeeper will return to the fold. Insightful, informative, downright humdrum at times, Mr. Ishiguro is still a treat to read.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed The Remains of the Day on + 3 more book reviews
I truly enjoyed the narrator's voice here. I also enjoyed the questions of honor and dishonor as they are raised by the recollections.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
reviewed The Remains of the Day on + 38 more book reviews
As another reviewer stated, this book is deceptively simple and straight forward if you let it be. Without giving too much away, Stevens is a man who dedicates himself to his father's lifes work without questioning what his real passion is. Ishiguro is a master of wrapping up the human condition in a haunting little bow.