The Remains of the Day — A Review

4 May

Blog Post #25

I was browsing through my book lists on Good Reads looking for a “good read” — ok, ok, I can HEAR your groans! It was a tough decision as there are countless intriguing titles on my Want to Read list. While I was trying to decide, I took a casual look at books I have previously read and I came across this review for “The Remains of the Day.” This was a book I enjoyed immensely when I read it a year ago and I am sharing my Goodreads review here. 

RemaiinsKazuo Ishiguro’s  The Remains of the Day  is an eloquent and moving novel. His writing style is easy and comfortable, and his story imparts a deep range of emotions — both joyful and sad — I fell into the book immediately and hated to be called back from Darlington Hall to my own living room. I was so sad when I finished reading the very last word, sad that the story was ended.

This book is the narrative of Stevens,a stoic English butler, whose one aim in life is to be the best butler he can possibly be, to attain the highest level of service, to have “dignity” above all else. In the opening of the book, he embarks upon a journey in the countryside of England, ostensibly to renew a friendship with a former coworker, with hopes that he can convince her to return to the manor where they once worked together. As the story unfolds, the reader learns a lot about Stevens from his memories and meandering thoughts as he travels through small villages towards his destination. The entire novel is written as if the reader is hearing Stevens’ own thoughts and seeing his own impressions, witnessing the vignettes of the past that have led him to this sojourn. At times, I wanted to reach out and shake him, make him break out of his stoicism…give in to his emotions.

Stevens’ reminiscences are sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and at times, achingly sad. His motoring holiday turns out to be an unexpected journey of self-discovery and we, as readers, are an intimate part of that journey. Ishiguro is a master at capturing all the nuances and complexities of the human psyche. There is one specific moment in the book that, for me, was so completely overwhelming — almost unbearably poignant, that it will forever be etched in my heart.

The Remains of the Day is, quite simply, a beautifully written book. Have you read it? What did  you think?

Watch Kazuo Ishiguro talk about The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go.

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Brynne’s Daily Drawing #25

#25

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8 Responses to “The Remains of the Day — A Review”

  1. brontespageturners May 5, 2016 at 12:43 am #

    Great review. I loved this book too! Bronte

    Like

    • cgjohnston May 5, 2016 at 8:12 am #

      Thank you for your comment, Bronte! Have you read any other of Ishiguro’s books?

      Liked by 1 person

      • brontespageturners May 6, 2016 at 12:32 am #

        Shamefully, no! There are so many authirs I want to try that sometimes I stick to one book per author. Shocking I know!

        Like

      • cgjohnston May 6, 2016 at 8:38 am #

        I know what you mean — so many books, so little time! I do, however, sometimes fall in love with an author’s writing style and can’t help reading more of their work. Also, I belong to a bookclub and of course, some of our book choices are written by authors I have already read. I have also read, Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go which I enjoyed quite a lot and I will probably read more of his novels in the future. What can I say? I can’t resist a good read! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. danibrown57 May 5, 2016 at 8:09 am #

    That’s been on my To Read list too, so I will take a page from your book 😉 and read it soon. And you are reading and enjoying historical fiction! Fhat’s like me reading and liking a post-apocalyptic novel, Lol.

    Like

    • cgjohnston May 5, 2016 at 8:50 am #

      Lol, Dani! I loved “The Remains of the Day”. I consider this novel a study on character, love, loss and regret rather than a piece of historical fiction.Maybe I have been missing out by ignoring that genre?

      Like

      • danibrown57 May 5, 2016 at 8:56 am #

        I’ll concede same if you will! 😀

        Like

  3. cgjohnston May 5, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    Hehehe! I hope you do read this book soon, Dani — I would love to know what you think about it. I think it would be a great book club pick. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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