The Remains of the Day is a beautifully written poignant account of one man’s lifetime of duty. A novel about class and changing times in England.
As Stevens travels through the English countryside he pontificates on the role of a great butler. Recounting memories of his father, also a butler, with his own experience in running a great house. Increasingly shadows of doubt creep into memories of the master he served. Was he really such a great man?
Deeply personal and moving, this one will stick with you. I felt a great sense of sadness and regret for a life served rather than lived.
What is the point of worrying oneself too much about what one could or could not have done to control the course one’s life took?
The Remains of the Day won the Man Booker in 1989. Ishiguo was awarded The Nobel Prize in Literature 2017. Described as “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world”.
The film adaptation starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson has also been nominated for 8 academy awards. I haven’t seen it yet but look forward to Hopkins’ portrayal of Stevens. Feels like that casting will be spot on.
The Remains of the Day is Nobel Prize Winner, 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.
“We may now understand better, too, why my father was so fond of the story of the butler who failed to panic on discovering a tiger under the dining table; it was because he knew instinctively that somewhere in this story lay the kernel of what true ‘dignity’ is.”
The Remains of the Day
My book #36 in 2018
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
NEXT UP: I want to read more by Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go and The Unconsoled