The Remains of the Day is the second book I read by Kazuo Ishiguro after Never Let Me Go. Unfortunately, I could not love Never Let Me Go as much as I’d like to, and I had removed the author from my reading lists. It turns out that I needed to read the author after getting to know the English a little more. We decided to create a small book club with a few readers in London, and the friend who chose Ishiguro for our first book because he won the Nobel. The author has entered my life again; I am grateful for the bookclubs.
Remains of the Day is a novel that tells a story within a story. It is about the world, women, men, as well as the master and the servant; but manages to fit more in between. There is a “dignified” butler named Stevens in the lead role. Stevens is an intriguing character in every way. I should read Ishiguro just because he can create such a character.
The book feels like you are reading Stevens’ diary or having a long conversation with him. After a while, this character becomes flesh and bones, and you find yourself listening carefully to the butler of the mansion. This butler talks about fascism, regrets, love of duty, loyalty, and even how the world is ruled. If you are reading Ishiguro for the first time, I think it might be a good choice. Enjoy!
The Remains of the Day
The Remains of the Day is a profoundly compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and of his fading, insular world postwar England. At the end of his three decades of service at Darlington Hall, Stevens embarks on a country drive, during which he looks back over his career to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving “a great gentleman.” But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington’s “greatness” and graver doubts about his own faith in the man he served.
Kazuo Ishiguro is a British novelist of Japanese origin and Nobel Laureate in Literature (2017). His family moved to England in 1960. Ishiguro obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kent in 1978 and his Master’s from the University of East Anglia’s creative writing course in 1980. He became a British citizen in 1982. He now lives in London.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: