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The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day (original 1989; edition 1990)

by Kazuo Ishiguro

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10,436282275 (4.19)1 / 1063
Title:The Remains of the Day
Authors:Kazuo Ishiguro
Info:Vintage (1990), Edition: Mti Rep, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)

  1. 60
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  5. 10
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English (265)  Italian (3)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  German (3)  French (2)  Finnish (2)  Hebrew (1)  All (282)
Showing 1-5 of 265 (next | show all)
I read (or listened) to this book while driving to visit a friend. I was unaware that a good portion of this book took place over a road trip of the main character while reflecting on their life. It was oddly coincidental and really just added another bit of enjoyment to this book. I haven't yet seen the movie that was made from this book, but I hope I enjoy it as much as I did this book. I don't know how Ishiguro does it, it seems like he can jump from genre to genre but they are each just as enjoyable. Because I listened to this back in June and my reviews then didn't save, I hope I am able to get around to reading (or listening to) it again in the future, so I can do a much better than this one four months later. ( )
  princess_mischa | Oct 24, 2016 |
The Remains of The Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.

The story is about a perfect English butler who decides to take a vacation after more than thirty years of service at Darlington Hall in England. Ishiguro is a great writer and didn’t let his readers down with this novel. He describes some feedback on the Late Lord Darlington before he goes on with the American businessman who recently purchased the Estate. Out of the twenty-seven servants at Darlington Hall it’s now down to three. Stevens is the butler who now serves the new owner. When I got done reading the novel I sighed because it was relaxing and interesting. There were no frills or thrills but just a serine journey with the most suitable unknowledgeable person that only knew the confines of Darlington Hall. So in a way there was some dry humor for the reader.

Duty, loyalty, and dignity are the sole values Stevens lives for as a butler. Stevens new vacation adventured was brought up to him from the new owner who himself would be away for some time. He offered Steven the estate car to go anywhere he pleased. Stevens gave it some thought and decided to take in scenery along the countryside and arriving at Mrs. Kenton’s for an overdue visit. Mrs. Kenton was the housekeeper at Darlington Hall for many years before she decide to get married and move away. Stevens dealing with Mrs. Kenton was cold and formal but as you read on it becomes increasingly aware that there are feelings developing between them that go beyond those of a co-worker relationship. Stevens never did show any emotions toward Mrs. Kenton but she harbored feelings for him that at times angered her because he did not notice and I believe that is the reason she left and got married.

Before Steven leaves on his vacation he analyzes his past performance as a butler and now admits to himself that he had been making small mistakes as he is getting older and it has disturbed him extremely. He felt like his life was falling apart and he was forced to realize that his blind aristocratic ways may have misguided him. His obsession with being the perfect butler has cost him a relationship with a charming woman who had fallen in love with him. Stevens ultimately faced the, “remains of the day”, as the remaining years of his life.

Stevens is ready to start his adventure in the world he does not know. However, he does know his destination is to see Mrs., Kenton and stooping along the way to admire different sites that he was not acquainted with. On his journey he had a few problems arise and he learned some new things about maintaining a car. As the story goes on it keeps the reader mysteriously wondering what was going to happen after so many years of not seeing or hearing from Mrs. Kenton. This is a wonderful story that you shouldn’t pass up. Like I said it has no thrills but it is heartwarming… ( )
  Juan-banjo | Oct 17, 2016 |
This was an amazing book: slow, quiet, layered, but so easily readable. ( )
  dcunning11235 | Oct 17, 2016 |
3 stars ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
This is a book I had to persevere with, but it was well worth the effort. The life of a butler is a very curious thing indeed, comical, often boring, sometimes ridiculous, it was hard at first to relate to Mr Stevens, but the bigger picture dawned on me eventually. In the end I was left to ponder whether he was a dedicated hard working man, a naive fool, an idealist, or simply a product of a past era, or maybe all of these things. And of course the story is there to warn us against the sad consequences of such blind faith. ( )
  Estramir | Sep 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 265 (next | show all)
Just below the understatement of the novel’s surface is a turbulence as immense as it is slow; for The Remains of the Day is in fact a brilliant subversion of the fictional modes from which it seems at first to descend.
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 (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ishiguro, Kazuoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kriek, BarthoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rybicki, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stiehl, HermannTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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.
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Book description
A butler looks back over his career at a fine English country house while on a trip to visit a former colleague.
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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)

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