“great read, 4.5 stars, subtle writing”nssbc wrote this review 7 hours ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Kazuo Ishiguro has captured the essence of some of the British upper class, pre World War II, whose belief that Hitler's Germany was a political miracle, and that Hitler was a genius, whose beliefs should spread elsewhere, especially to Britain. The essence of the story however is that of a man, who serves that great lord, as butler, and master of the house. His life is governed with the terrible fault of withholding all emotion, and giving blind and complete heart and soul to his profession, never questioning the world around him. His inability to respond to human emotion to those close to him, is the true expression of tragedy.
Watching him attend to a large dinner party, while his father lies dying upstairs, is a heart breaking portrait of a man lost to reason. The rejection of an attempted friendship, and perhaps more, from the kind and warm head housekeeper portrays the loneliness of a man absent the ability to deviate from his sense of duty and order, and feel a human side.
Towards the ending, after a bittersweet reunion with the now retired housekeeper, the story ends with his firmly looking forward to the future service to the new owner, reminiscing that he still has "The remains of the Day" to look forward to.”
“The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The protagonist of this novel is an English butler named Stevens. He has worked in Darlington Hall for more than thirty years. He is a meticulous man who believes that maintaining a strict professional decorum in all his interactions with other people is the ultimate symbol of dignity. For most of his years of service, Stevens was unquestionably devoted to the now deceased Lord Darlington . The story unfolds in 1956, when the residence is acquired by a wealthy American named Mr. Farraday. Upon the insistence of his new employer, Stevens decides to go on a road trip. It is during this brief vacation that Stevens reflects upon his life’s choices and their consequences. As Stevens recalls the past, his views and actions are questioned and the faulty character of his former employer is revealed. Stevens’ fixation on becoming a dignified butler prevented the development of his own perspectives and intimate relationships. In Stevens, readers will find a lonely man whose misplaced values led him to sacrifice family and friendships for his career.
Connections: I would include this book in a summer reading list at the high school level. The narrative would enrich a discourse about regrets, how our profession shape who we are, the necessity of living a balanced life, the importance of self-expression and understanding and following our personal values.
“This was a lovely little book. I was pretty impressed with Ishiguro creating this authentic voice for his main character, Stevens, who is prim, proper, fastidious and engaged in the process of trying to convince himself of many things that are probably not true. Then we watch as Stevens struggles with what really happened, what his boss was really like, how he might have gone wrong with the housekeeper and with his father. This is a book for people who don't mind books where nothing really happens. There's not a lot of action. It's primarily a reflection, a book about memory.”Erin wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“disk 3 track 18”Kristin W wrote this review 2 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I was honoured to be given the opportunity to give this book, as part of the World Book Night 2012. This was my first choice and enabled me to wax lyrical about this deceptively simple story, which explores in detail the reflections and experiences of a butler, Stevens, as he contemplates his life in service and the relevance of a life spent in service at a time of profound social change. Empathetically written, Ishiguro's prose is a sheer delight and his attention to detail and fine emotional expression is quite touching. Certainly not a thriller, yet I feel the intentionally pedestrian pace merely accentuates the absolute quality of the writing. A truly exceptional read!”Andrew Burford wrote this review Wednesday, April 17, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
Poignant and moving story of an aging English butler reflecting on his career and life. Writing in a very conversational style, Ishiguro draws the reader in quickly and, despite the rather dry subject matter, creates a page-turner of the highest order.
“04/13: Good Housekeeping reminded me of this one.
Overview: The Remains of the Day is a profoundly compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and 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 great gentleman.” But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington’s “greatness” and graver doubts about his own faith in the man he served.
A tragic, spiritual portrait of a perfect English butler and his reaction to his fading insular world in postwar England.”
“A fascinating study of the changes that two world wars forced upon British society, as seen through the eyes of an aging butler. Anyone interested in the relationship between the upper class and their domestic servants, as seen in Downton Abbey, should read this book for a more realistic, non-romanticized description of that world.”Sarah W wrote this review Wednesday, April 10, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A beautifully and creatively written narrative, told in the first person by the rather clueless main character. He picks up clues along the way and in the end, reading his story is a bit like watching a train wreck happening in slow motion. It has light moments as well, however, and teaches an important lesson about life well-lived vs. not-so-well lived.”dixielandings wrote this review Thursday, April 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No