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Review: The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day is a hard book to describes. Ostensibly about an aging butler who’s given a few days off to tour the English countryside, there are many, many layers to this complicated novel. Stevens is the prototype of the repressed butler who has a preoccupation with maintaining one’s “dignity.” Being a butler is not simply a job; it’s a way of life. Stevens’s relationship with the lively housekeeper Miss Kenton is shaky, and Stevens prides himself on the way he deals with her. His obsession with being the “perfect” servant is a little unsettling at times, and there was nothing in his behavior that I could sympathize with, but in all this is a wonderful psychological study of a man who essentially doesn’t have a life of his own. I've never seen the movie, but as soon as I read this book, I added it to my Netflix queue.

Also reviewed by: Semicolon, Books 'N Border Collies, A Guy's Moleskin Notebook, Books I Done Read


Teddy Rose said…
I saw the movie whe it first came out years ago and loved it! I have had the book on my TBR for a very long time. Now I own it, so I'm getting closer to actually reading it. LOL!
One of my favorite books ever. The movie is enjoyable, but as usual for me, the book was richer, wiser, and deeper. But definitely see the movie.

You have a wonderful site and I've so enjoyed prowling around here! I'm adding you to my list of Splendid Locales so I can return more easily! Edward, too!

Oh, and my husband re-reads The Nine Tailors every winter on the first really cold night!
Kim said…
Always wondered about this book! Thanks for the review0-I think this will go on my to-be-read pile.
(page after page)
Anonymous said…
I have a feeling that the butler's life is the family's life. Ishiguro is a favorite author and he's very known for unreliable narrator. I haven't read this but I'll come around finding my copy. :)
Iliana said…
This is my favorite Ishiguro novel. I was impressed by the film too. Would love to hear what you think of it so keep us posted!
Anonymous said…
I need to see this movie, too. Let me know what you think.
Sandra said…
This was the first film I ever saw that I felt remained true to the story the book told. It was a nice surprise back then. It didn't happen often. Books and movies are very different creatures but you can hardly recognize filmed stories sometimes. I liked this book very much.
I'm enjoying looking around your blog.

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