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Publisher's Summary

From the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature

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 Faber Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Pure delight

A wonderful glimpse into the customs and culture of a period in time when restraint mattered.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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very moving

the story fascinating, and the narration superb. brought the complex characters into my life, in such a way that I felt I knew them, and understood them. loved every minute of this story.

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Love remains at the end... <br /><br />

The crimes against humanity of the English class system... the grief of being robbed of the ability to love freely. Brilliantly written. Superbly read.

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A Life Lived Being Retold

At first I was going to describe this as a Seinfeld book - nothing happens. But then I thought more about it. It is a great story and the performance is superb. It seems like there is nothing happening in the plot but there really is. The author can take the mundane and the momentous and describe them equally with depth and meaning. It's really fascinating.

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Brilliant!

This is a classic work that has stood the test of time! A book with great story...but some important underlying truths about acquiring happiness.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great reading of an interesting story

There is a certain delicate nature to Stevens. He is a man caught between ages in a time of great change across the world. A perfect story that illustrates the nature of change and power of accepting it.

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Superb

Wonderful writing. Beautifully read. I didn't want it to ever end. Highly recommend this book

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You will breeze through this.

makes you think about your place and role in the world ? it won't heal you but it'll teach you alot.

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  • Sharon
  • Preston, Australia
  • 05-06-2015

Loved this book

A simple story of life and love told as a journey. Beautiful story and well read.

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  • Rochelle
  • 31-03-2013

Beautiful

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".

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Chocolate
  • 03-05-2015

Perfect

I loved it! The story is really great, the performance of the narrator is top range. I highly recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • perspective
  • 21-02-2015

There is a gentleness and sadness in the writing

Would you consider the audio edition of The Remains of the Day to be better than the print version?

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.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Remains of the Day?

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.

What about Dominic West’s performance did you like?

Originally I thought his voice was too young but in the end I felt he had read the story with the poignancy it required.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, this is a book that takes time, it is a journey.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nadine Snyman
  • 18-08-2018

WOW!!!

Ishiguro is a master story teller....and after listening to the audio version of this book I understand (and now also agree) with all the fuss that is made about this author ... I loved this book. The narrator (Dominic West) did it every service it deserved and I couldn’t imagine a more superb performance. There were so many things that enjoyed about this book and I am afraid if I tried to start listing them I would miss something. Ishiguro captured so many themes in this beautiful work, which constantly evoked sentiments which just deeply touched me (which was perfectly executed each and ever time by Dominic!) There was such a true essence to main character telling his life story which will make it hard to forget him. I would recommend this book to anyone and myself would reread this book! It deserves the award it won and it definitely is on my “best read” list.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-05-2018

wow

‘Lord Darlington wasn’t a bad man. He wasn’t a bad man at all. And at least he had the privilege of being able to say at the end of his life that he made his own mistakes.'.... nice

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  • Tyrfingur
  • 13-03-2018

Marvelous

The remains of the day is without a doubt one of the best pieces of literature from the 20th century.

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  • Niksa Spremic
  • 26-02-2018

Worth it!

Written and read wonderfully. It calls for you to pause and seriously reflect on life.

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  • Fredrik
  • 28-10-2017

Wow, what a story.

This book moved me to my inner core. It made me think about life and the choices I made in a new and brighter light. No wonder Ishiguro won the nobel prize, it was well deserved.

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  • Cliente Amazon
  • 11-10-2017

Great book and reading.

An almost Victorian novel in style and character. I love the way it was set.

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  • ShwetaSriram
  • 25-01-2017

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.

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  • Emily Essex
  • 14-05-2016

heartbreaking

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.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-07-2015

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!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • gordon
  • 04-01-2015

A Great Listen

What made the experience of listening to The Remains of the Day the most enjoyable?

A moving story.

What does Dominic West bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

West is one of the best narrators I have listened to. He evokes emotions of the characters perfectly and establishes setting exquisitely.

Any additional comments?

Wanted it to continue!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • AReader
  • 26-01-2013

Delicate

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.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mukesh
  • 19-09-2012

Very impressive

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.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • tothemanorbornfreak
  • 08-12-2014

A beautifully detailed portrait

If you could sum up The Remains of the Day in three words, what would they be?

Glorious, unique, draining

What other book might you compare The Remains of the Day to, and why?

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!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The one where Miss Kenton demands to see what book Mr Stevens is reading. The atmosphere is so charged.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The final scene between Mr Stevens and Miss Kenton. My heart was breaking too.

Any additional comments?

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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Claire
  • 04-11-2015

Heartbreaking and delightful

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

100% yes - brilliant narration, perfect length of book, nothing extraneous, piercingly memorable characters: heaven. (I'd like Dominic West to record more unabridged audiobooks, he does such a good job here.)

What other book might you compare The Remains of the Day to, and why?

Can you think of another book where a character is so full of wistful melancholy at what might have been, yet is so innately trained to compartmentalise his emotions that he doesn't even realise the full extent of his own longing, and spends the whole book trying to distract and deny himself? I can't. This is exceptional. And to relate that to the interwar period, wider social changes and the destruction of country houses makes it a very humane historical novel. You could compare it to Gosford Park, Downton Abbey, or Brideshead Revisited for historical setting and class distinctions.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I adored the scenes with Sir Reginald Cardinal because they were pure light relief and his relationship with Stevens was very encouraging. Of course, the final scenes on the pier are like a huge sigh of resignation after a build up of tear-inducing tension: so understated yet so powerful.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, it made me laugh at several moments throughout (I found Stevens' father's bumbling funnier than I should, perhaps - I just couldn't help but envision the slapstick) and cry: when Miss Kenton tells Stevens that she and her 'friend' have been laughing at him behind his back, I wanted to scream at Stevens, "Say something, man!" His restraint is perplexing at times, but that's what makes him such a fascinating, believable and significant character. I can see myself re-reading this novel every year or so - I don't think I've ever enjoyed a book so much. Stevens broke my heart. (I can see a lot of myself in his stoic consistency - idiocy by any other name!)

Any additional comments?

I recently watched the film for the first time - a mistake, really, I should have waited a bit longer after reading the book so that I couldn't compare the two so closely - of course the book is better.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Karina
  • 05-05-2015

Very enjoyable

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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Philip
  • 13-06-2016

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!!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • 20-12-2014

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!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful