HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Loading...

The Remains of the Day (original 1989; edition 2005)

by Kazuo Ishiguro

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,449332235 (4.19)1 / 1142
Member:adamtyoung
Title:The Remains of the Day
Authors:Kazuo Ishiguro
Info:Faber and Faber (2005), Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)

  1. 60
    An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (bibliobibuli, browner56)
    browner56: The consequences of misguided devotion treated from both the British and Japanese perspectives.
  2. 40
    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (foggidawn)
  3. 51
    Persuasion by Jane Austen (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Slow, languid stories about regret and life choices not understood until they've passed by.
  4. 40
    What the Butler Saw: Two Hundred and Fifty Years of the Servant Problem by E. S. Turner (thorold)
    thorold: It's fascinating to put these two classic studies of the relationship between the English upper classes and their domestic servants side-by-side: one a delicate psychological novel, the other a gossipy work of social history.
  5. 20
    Mr Holmes by Mitch Cullin (Othemts)
  6. 10
    The House at Riverton by Kate Morton (mrstreme)
  7. 10
    The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (CGlanovsky)
  8. 21
    The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen (WSB7)
    WSB7: Both have the feeling of restraint/seil-restraint foregrounded.
  9. 10
    The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (CGlanovsky)
  10. 11
    Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Two inhibited, unreliable narrators
  11. 00
    Letters Back to Ancient China by Herbert Rosendorfer (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Nette aus der Welt gefallene Männer erklären die Welt.
  12. 01
    Deceits of Time by Isabel Colegate (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Both books discover Nazi affiliations in the past in prominent statesmen.
  13. 23
    Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (slickdpdx)
  14. 12
    When She Was Good by Philip Roth (cometahalley)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (305)  German (6)  Spanish (4)  Italian (4)  Dutch (3)  French (3)  Finnish (2)  Hebrew (1)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  All (330)
Showing 1-5 of 305 (next | show all)
this is a very quiet, affecting story. i can't quite wrap my head around the right words for a proper review. but i found these eloquent words from peter beech, writing for the guardian, which do a far better job of expressing my thoughts.

"Unreliable narrators – those mysterious figures the reader must try to work out – are ten a penny in fiction. Ishiguro, instead, likes to give us unwitting narrators: speakers who remain trapped in self-preserving fictions, mysteries even to themselves...The Remains of the Day is a book about a thwarted life. It’s about how class conditioning can turn you into your own worst enemy, making you complicit in your own subservience...Most of all, though, it’s a book about love. Stevens is forced to let go of his illusions about Lord Darlington, his filial pride, his cherished “dignity”, until all that remains is Miss Kenton and what might have been. The story reaches its low-key climax in the quiet surroundings of a Cornish tea-room. I won’t spoil it for you, except to say that, here as elsewhere, what is not said makes all the difference."

the novel is such a controlled and contained work, yet there is so much simmering, unaddressed, unsaid. the first person narrative adds feelings of intimacy and urgency but the restraints are never broken. there is a bit of humour in the book - i particularly enjoyed stevens' efforts as he tried to understand and master the art of 'banter'. for me, this is a melancholy tale specifically because of this idea of a 'thwarted life'. ishiguro does a tremendous job conveying this on the page.

(you may be wondering why i haven't given this 5-stars... as much as i was taken in by this novel, and deeply appreciate ishiguro's talents, i didn't love the ending. it was what i expected... and, really, nothing different could be expected. yet it felt a bit... off. i can't even explain this well and don't want to be spoiler-y.) ( )
1 vote Booktrovert | May 22, 2018 |
4.5 stars. ( )
  UDT | May 1, 2018 |
After "Never Let Me Go" and this book I find Ishiguro somewhat repetitive, and am inclined to let him rest. But I do owe him great pleasure and will remember him with warmth and gratitude. And will pester his characters in mine. ( )
  alik-fuchs | Apr 27, 2018 |
This is as clean and precise a dissection of a particular society at a particular time manifested in a particular person that one can imagine. Both the good and the bad is immaculately on display with a impeccable craftsmanship. If the author chose to publish a series of such literary portraits, I would pay in advance for the privilege of reading them. Unfortunately, it is the very limit of this book's scope that keeps me from rating it any higher. ( )
  larryerick | Apr 26, 2018 |
Disappointing.
I had heard so much about this author and was looking forward to reading one of his books for our book group.
I started with the audiobook version, narrated by Nigel Hawthorne, but found his voice too slow and the book was dragging, so I did something that I never do - I read it rather than listening to it. Even so, it failed to grab me. I really wasn't interested in "what makes a good butler", a question that was churned over and over through the novel. I actually think I'd have enjoyed the book if this hadn't been overplayed to such an extent.

Apart from the above discussion, the book covers some quite interesting aspects of the influence of the wealthy on the outcome of WWII and the demise of the large houses with their extended staff, in the aftermath of the war. There is also a burgeoning love affair that is seriously hampered by the complete suppression of emotion.

In my attempt to get through this book before the meeting, I actually watched the movie, which was an accurate rendition of the story, and just as frustrating.
So, would I read another book by Ishiguro? Well, maybe, but I would be ready to move on to something else pretty quickly if it didn't grab me fairly early on. ( )
  DubaiReader | Apr 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 305 (next | show all)
We can work out the date of Stevens's expedition ... Ominous dates. ... the Suez crisis dominated British current affairs. ... Stevens is not returning to a golden evening ... there are no remains -- except in the sense of `corpse'.
added by KayCliff | editWhere was Rebecca shot?, John Sutherland (Mar 5, 1998)
 
The Remains of the Day is too much a roman à thèse, and a judgmental one besides. Compared to his astounding narrative sophistication, Ishiguro's message seems quite banal: Be less Japanese, less bent on dignity, less false to yourself and others, less restrained and controlled. The irony is that it is precisely Ishiguro's beautiful restraint and control that one admires, and, in the case of the last novel [The Remains of the Day], his nerve in setting up such a high-wire act for himself.
added by jburlinson | editNew York Review of Books, Gabriele Annan (pay site) (Dec 7, 1989)
 
Kazuo Ishiguro's tonal control of Stevens' repressive yet continually reverberating first-person voice is dazzling. So is his ability to present the butler from every point on the compass: with affectionate humor, tart irony, criticism, compassion and full understanding. It is remarkable, too, that as we read along in this strikingly original novel, we continue to think not only about the old butler, but about his country, its politics and its culture.
 

» Add other authors (65 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ishiguro, Kazuoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kriek, BarthoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rybicki, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stiehl, HermannTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
In memory of Mrs Lenore Marshall.
First words
It seems increasingly likely that I really will undertake the expedition that has been preoccupying my imagination now for some days.
Quotations
The English landscape at its finest—such as I saw this morning—possesses a quality that the landscapes of other nations, however more superficially dramatic, inevitably fail to possess. It is, I believe, a quality that will mark out the English landscape to any objective observer as the most deeply satisfying in the world, and this quality is probably best summed up by the term 'greatness.' And yet what precisely is this greatness? I would say that it is the very lack of obvious drama or spectacle that sets the beauty of our land apart. What is pertinent is the calmness of that beauty, its sense of restraint. It is as though the land knows of its own beauty, of its own greatness, and feels no need to shout it.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
A butler looks back over his career at a fine English country house while on a trip to visit a former colleague.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679731725, Paperback)

The novel's narrator, Stevens, is a perfect English butler who tries to give his narrow existence form and meaning through the self-effacing, almost mystical practice of his profession. In a career that spans the second World War, Stevens is oblivious of the real life that goes on around him -- oblivious, for instance, of the fact that his aristocrat employer is a Nazi sympathizer. Still, there are even larger matters at stake in this heartbreaking, pitch-perfect novel -- namely, Stevens' own ability to allow some bit of life-affirming love into his tightly repressed existence.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:36 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The novel's narrator, Stevens, is a perfect English butler who tries to give his narrow existence form and meaning through the self-effacing, almost mystical practice of his profession. In a career that spans the second World War, Stevens is oblivious of the real life that goes on around him -- oblivious, for instance, of the fact that his aristocrat employer is a Nazi sympathizer. Still, there are even larger matters at stake in this heartbreaking, pitch-perfect novel -- namely, Stevens' own ability to allow some bit of life-affirming love into his tightly repressed existence.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.19)
0.5 2
1 12
1.5 4
2 86
2.5 21
3 381
3.5 123
4 1143
4.5 273
5 1191

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 126,463,443 books! | Top bar: Always visible