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Publisher's Summary

Kazuo Ishiguro's Booker Prize-winning masterpiece became an international best seller on publication, was adapted into an award-winning film, and has since come to be regarded as a modern classic.

The Remains of the Day is a spellbinding portrayal of a vanished way of life and a haunting meditation on the high cost of duty. It is also one of the most subtle, sad, and humorous love stories ever written. 

It is the summer of 1956, when Stevens, a man who has dedicated himself to his career as a perfect butler in the onetime great house of Darlington Hall, sets off on a holiday that will take him deep into the English countryside and, unexpectedly, into his own past, especially his friendship with the housekeeper, Miss Kenton. As memories surface of his lifetime "in service" to Lord Darlington and of his life between the wars, when the fate of the continent seemed to lie in the hands of a few men, he finds himself confronting the dark undercurrent beneath the carefully run world of his employer.

©1989 Kazuo Ishiguro (P)2018 Vintage Canada

Critic Reviews

“This is a work that goes to the heart of a lost life. Beautifully composed, totally unsentimental, immeasurably tender.” (Harold Pinter, The Observer)

“Apart from being suspenseful, intriguing, elegiac and politically astute, this is also the funniest novel I've read in ages.... Both subtle and humane.... Simply read it for pleasure, and be richly rewarded.” (Jonathan Coe, The Guardian)

“A perfect novel. I couldn't put it down.” (Ann Beattie)

What listeners say about The Remains of the Day

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A little posh, at first

It might seem as though the story is solely about trivial manners of servitude to an employer, and this might frustrate or offend an average reader. However, give it time to develop, and you will find that the narrator is, while truthful, unreliable in some ways. His life lesson and change is the focus of this story, and it’s moral can apply to a person of any wealth or profession. A pleasant read, overall, with an outstanding audiobook performance.