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The Remains of the Day | [Kazuo Ishiguro]

The Remains of the Day

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (31 )
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4.3 (31 )
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4.5 (30 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rochelle 03-31-13
    Rochelle 03-31-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    62
    ratings
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    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Chocolate 05-03-15
    Chocolate 05-03-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    4
    1
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    "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
  •  
    perspective 02-21-15
    perspective 02-21-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    34
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    "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
Sort by:
  • Mukesh
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    9/19/12
    Overall
    "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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    12/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Remains of the Day to be better than the print version?

    I gave not read the print version so cannot judge


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

    Mrs Dalaway people shaped by life


    Have you listened to any of Dominic West’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No and so not applicable


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

    Very sad but reflective


    Any additional comments?

    Great book for opening up an awareness of life choices

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas
    Stillorgan, Ireland
    12/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Remains of the Day to be better than the print version?

    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!


    What did you like best about this story?

    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


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I most enjoyed Stevens debates about the term dignity


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I'd recommend this strongly to anyone!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ian Johnson
    6/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful writing"

    A pleasure till listen to. I found myself imagining Anthony Hopkins as me Stephens. Now isn't to see the film again

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Karina
    5/5/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ann Downey
    3/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth repeat listening. Brilliant"

    Brilliantly narrated, very fine critique of the "necessary illusion" through which the servant lived,and lost, his life.
    Excellent. Tragic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • gordon
    RADLETT, United Kingdom
    1/4/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Surbiton, United Kingdom
    12/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • tothemanorbornfreak
    12/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • andrew
    12/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A plodding, tediously didactic, non-story."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The dialogue was extremely stilted and seemed unrealistically 'buttoned-up' - conversations were either banal or not believable; originally my suspicion was that it was an awkward translation from Japanese, but Wikipedia says the author has lived in the UK since he was five, so I guess it can't be blamed on being 'lost in translation'.! I am astounded that the book has won any prize and can only assume that the film adaptation made for a more lively and interesting experience. It was impossible to develop any empathy or even interest in the fate of the central character (also the narrator in the novel) and this made the whole boring narration very tedious and unengaging. Characterisations and dialogue were thin caricatures. It was as though the author wanted to make some points about society between the wars in the UK and felt he had to labour every point umpteen times via a tedious medium. I have never before felt sufficienlty motivated to write a review - this is my first - but this book was a real stinker and it compelled me to respond.


    What could Kazuo Ishiguro have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Warned the listener, about 15 minutes in, that they might as well skip to the last 30 minutes and save themselves the agony of enduring the rest of the book.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes, it was fairly pedestrian too (probably couldn't be hleped)..


    Do you think The Remains of the Day needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    definitely not


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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