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 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.
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.
I gave not read the print version so cannot judge
Mrs Dalaway people shaped by life
No and so not applicable
Very sad but reflective
Great book for opening up an awareness of life choices
The audio version is not as good as the book itself, but the book itself is so good that I don't believe it takes away from the audiobook at all!
Dominic West brings the whole character of Stevens to life with all his doubts, inconsistencies and flaws, but makes him all the more real because of it
I most enjoyed Stevens debates about the term dignity
I'd recommend this strongly to anyone!
"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!
"Fantastic tragic read..."
Unparalleled depths of subtlety. Kazuo Ishiguro is a magnificent writer, and captures that edge of English self-deprecation and self-sabotage perfectly.
A pleasure till listen to. I found myself imagining Anthony Hopkins as me Stephens. Now isn't to see the film 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.
"Worth repeat listening. Brilliant"
Brilliantly narrated, very fine critique of the "necessary illusion" through which the servant lived,and lost, his life.
"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!
"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!
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