The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Act two of my ‘books into films’ series : The Remains of the Day

I usually read a novel before I watch a movie to avoid tarnishing the tale with any preconceived notions consciously or subconsciously embedded in my brain. The Remains of the Day was one exception and I didn’t mind the reversal in this instance. I loved both book and film equally. Kazuo Ishiguro is a writer whose elegant prose leaps of the page like a skilful arabesque. Immediately I was transported to the world of English aristocracy and the lives of their staff between the two wars.

Ishiguro’s voice is heard through Stevens, a long-serving and loyal butler for whom tradition and discretion are paramount. There is something very sentimental about this book that I read with endearing fondness. Stevens as narrator is quiet, traditional and naive but incredibly likeable. I couldn’t help but fell a bit sorry for him – lost loves and a life that could have been. Stevens is entirely unflappable; he manages to almost overflow with dignity in the face of the decaying traditions around him. The virtues he hold dear, especially loyalty, cement Stevens as a character of enormous worth and credibility. In many ways he is the true master of the house staunchly defending his employer, Lord Darlington, until the last page.

This is a very sweet novel and one I always think of with great fondness. It should be read sitting under a tree in a beuatiful garden (or at least sitting next to a pot plant on the couch).

* This novel also holds the illustrious position of being awarded eight Academy Award nominations as well as winning the coveted Man Booker prize in 1989.

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Author: Tome To Read

Book, wine and food lover. I created this blog to discuss the things I love.

2 thoughts on “The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro”

  1. This goes in the good category of the novels i have read. It talks about the butler system in England. The plot is well laid out. The protagonist recalls his experiences, who is a butler. One might redefine the meaning of ‘dignity’ after reading this novel. Language is good. I would definitely recommend this as part of academic curriculum.

  2. Let me tell you, this is an incredibly touching story. Having read it, i’m sure this would remain a favourite of mine for years to come. you may not find the idea that the book is about an ageing butler very interesting. but quite surprisingly it gets you thinking. If you are not able to finish the book quickly,do be patient, the work deserves your time. Can you imagine the kind of loyalty n faith it takes a man to spend his life in its entirety for someone else? I’m positive that people of our generation cannot possibly understand such selflessness and here is a man who forgets to live for himself…

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