A contemporary classic, The Remains of the Day is Kazuo Ishiguro's beautiful and haunting evocation of life between the wars in a Great English House. In the summer of 1956, Stevens, the ageing butler of Darlington Hall, embarks on a leisurely holiday that will take him deep into the countryside – and into his past.
©1989 Kazuo Ishiguro (P)2012 Canongate Books Ltd in partnership with Faber and Faber Ltd
I'd seen the movie - a long time ago - but had never read the book.
It is simply & beautifully told. Stevens sets out on a road trip in his employer's car for a week. The week is filled with reverie of his life over 30 years as butler to a great household & his relationship with former housekeeper Miss Kenton.
Stevens' focus throughout his career has been on dignity within his role as butler & we become aware what he has sacrificed to achieve & maintain this goal. He too seems to become aware & regrets the impact the sacrifice this focus has had on his relationship with his father & also his potential love interest.
Stevens' character is well crafted, the story is a moving one of a life when the large English houses were the hub of political activity. It is wonderfully told & narrated.
Stevens weighs his regrets but resolves to enjoy the remains of "his day".
I loved it! The story is really great, the performance of the narrator is top range. I highly recommend it.
"There is a gentleness and sadness in the writing"
I originally thought the narrative voice was too young but as the story progressed, his voice took on the gentle quality of the writing and his tone was just right. Sometimes, words need to be spoken aloud to appreciate the lyrical quality. This had a gentleness and a deep sense of loss.
The use of the journey to tell the stories about his life as a butler, his loyalties to his father and his ignorance in love.
Originally I thought his voice was too young but in the end I felt he had read the story with the poignancy it required.
No, this is a book that takes time, it is a journey.
"brilliant writing and narration"
My brother recommended this book as his all time favourite. I listened to the wonderful narration by Dominic west and I can understand why he loved it so much. my brother has read the book and I am sure he will love this version even more.
"This novel works at lots of levels."
i immensely enjoyed this book. The reader is perfect. It shows a slice of history undergoing change. The author show the foibles of human nature with care and gentleness. Very touching. Clever. Satisfying.
I was so into this book, you really get a feel for all the characters. The narrator is awesome, he brings out the different personalities of all the charters. It was a wonderful experience.
"Nostalgia for a time that has so much to teach us"
I loved this book. The narrator was excellent. It was all so understated, but just wonderful at placing you in a time when (some) people really knew the meaning of good manners. A lesson for us all. The plot is so subtley revealed through the eyes of one man alone... Just wonderful!
A touching and at times difficult look at the Old World of England, through the eyes of an utmost professional. Interesting and resonant thoughts on loyalty, duty, class, love and the conflict between what might better be called 'tatame' and 'honne', the private and public self. Dignified, warm, at times genuinely funny narration by Dominic West, who conveys Mr. Stevens with total conviction.
I hadn't read the book or seen the film. I could hardly put my ipod down. So sad, so elegaic. ..A chronicle of wasted time...Probably won't listen again in case it makes me too sad.
"A Great Listen"
A moving story.
West is one of the best narrators I have listened to. He evokes emotions of the characters perfectly and establishes setting exquisitely.
Wanted it to continue!
"A beautifully detailed portrait"
Glorious, unique, draining
I have absolutely no idea. I've never come across anything like it before. But I intend to listen to all of Kazuo Ishiguro's other novels as soon as possible!
The one where Miss Kenton demands to see what book Mr Stevens is reading. The atmosphere is so charged.
The final scene between Mr Stevens and Miss Kenton. My heart was breaking too.
Basically this is a book about an English butler's life told in reminiscences that included meditations on a butler's duty, anecdotes of guests in his employers house, and his almost totally repressed emotions. But it was nothing like as dry as that sounds. It was stunning. I was amused, educated, irritated and devastated in turn. While I ended up feeling mentally thrashed, I feel I could immediately start listening to it again.
I had no expectations before reading the book, it was a little slow to start in the first chapter, but thereafter it picked up well and I began to sense I had a real feel for the characters and the story took shape. Narrator was able to do the different voices well and had a calm accent which was easy on the ears.
"Outstanding. A completely mesmerising read!!"
Bittersweet, funny, and absolutely captivating. Stevens' musings on duty, dignity, and banter are brilliantly portrayed in the most exquisite prose. The unrequited affection between the butler and housekeeper is almost palpable. My favourite Ishiguro novel without a doubt! West's deadpan butler is superbly narrated (with Stevens' emotional quiver in the final scene done to absolute perfection). Highly recommended!!
"West and Ishiguro are a Great Combination"
I really enjoyed this, my second Ishiguro of the year. I loved the warmth of the narrative voice and how we never feel as if we’re supposed to be criticising Stevens, the butler, but I did find his lack of awareness and social conventions humourous - although this is contrasted well with some of the more poignant aspect of the novel. West does a fine job!
"An enjoyable read"
The narrative is engaging. There is no complicated plot and the narrative appears to be made up of flashbacks and observations about people and life but I found that interesting.
Not that I recall.
A good read but, in my opinion, not as good as Never Let Me Go.
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