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The Remains of the Day (FF Classics) by [Ishiguro, Kazuo]
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The Remains of the Day (FF Classics) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 297 customer reviews

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Length: 276 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Amazon Review

The novel's narrator, Stevens, is a perfect English butler who tries to give his narrow existence form and meaning through the self-effacing, almost mystical practice of his profession. In a career that spans the second world war, Stevens is oblivious of the real life that goes on around him--oblivious, for instance, of the fact that his aristocrat employer is a Nazi sympathizer. Still, there are even larger matters at stake in this heartbreaking, beautifully crafted novel-- namely, Stevens' own ability to allow some bit of life-affirming love into his tightly repressed existence.

Review

'A triumph... This wholly convincing protrait of a human life unweaving before your eyes is inventive and absorbing, by turns funny, absurd and ultimately very moving.' --Sunday Times

'A dream of a book: a beguiling comedy of manners that evolves almost magically into a profound and heart-rending study of personality, class and culture.' --New York Times Book Review

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 736 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Export - FF Classice (Export) edition (8 Jan. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9YE6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 297 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,632 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Written in the first person singular this is Stevens the butler’s story, but like Gone with the Wind before it, it signifies the end of an era. The loss of the great houses and their structured way of life as Darlington Hall is sold to an American. Now staff numbers are reduced as they are no longer needed. The narrator’s voice is that of the very formal butler, Stevens, who attributes a decline in standards due to staff not having enough work and too much time on their hands. Dignity and professionalism are words constantly used throughout the book and this is something the narrator obviously values and is very proud of. He refers to conversations with colleagues where the merits of individuals are discussed. How those who rise through the ranks quickly are often not of the same quality as those more experienced. He makes reference to the Hayes Society and how they only admitted the best. In the writers opinion his father would have been an ideal candidate due to his dignity in office.

There is a tension between Stevens and Miss Kenton over how to address his father, since tradition demands he is addressed by his Christian name as the under butler, but Stevens maintains she should address him as Stevens Senior as befits his status. When his father passes away he maintains his sense of duty saying that is the way his father would have wanted it. Another example is when he refuses to acknowledge he had previously worked for Lord Darlington, the idea of maintaining privacy and confidentiality.

The idea of tradition, dignity and hierarchy is challenged at the end of the book when he is forced to stop at Morecombe. The villagers assume he is a titled gentleman, but more educated eyes see through this and recognise the traits of Stevens’ profession.
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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have no idea why it has taken me so long to read this novel, despite having read most of this authors work and loved it, and yet this, deservedly, is regarded as his classic. Perhaps, subconsciously, I was afraid of being disappointed but, if so, then I am glad to say that I certainly was not. In many ways, this is classicaly understated; as English as you can possibly imagine. Stevens has spent his entire life and career in service, as a butler, with thirty five years working for Lord Darlington at Darlington Hall. When we meet him it is 1956 and the days of the aristocracy and great houses are dying out. Darlington Hall is now in the hands of Mr Farraday, an untitled American, who is a kind and thoughtful man. So thoughtful is he that, when intending to go abroad, he encourages Stevens to take a trip of his own, even offering the use of his own car. This isolated and repressed man decides to visit Miss Kenton, now Mrs Barr, the former housekeeper at Darlington Hall.

During Stevens journey, he muses on his past life. It is fair to say that Stevens has spent most of his time building barriers between himself and others. His entire reason for living has been to serve Lord Darlington, who we gradually realise is undeserving of such utter loyalty. Meanwhile, his feelings for Miss Kenton, and hers for him, are poignantly revealed. Kazuo Ishiguro is a genius of an author and much of the substance of this outstanding novel lies in what he doesn't say (or write), as much as what he does - an almost impossible task for any other author. His gentle unveiling of the absurd posturing of Stevens, his inability to deal with either his own, or others, feelings, his sad regret, and Miss Kenton's attempts to breach his defences are heart rending. This is one of the most touching, and brilliantly written, novels I have read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is Ishiguro's Booker-winning work, and the novel that established his reputation as a modern realist writer to be reckoned with - a reputation that he will turn on its head with later works like "Never Let Me Go" and "The Buried Giant" that defy such strict categorisation, and with good measure.

The story begins with an English butler, Stevens, who worked in a stately mansion owned by Lord Darlington, in whose home various powerful and reputable political figures has graced with covert meetings leading up to the Second World War. That Stevens had been and still is a capable and loyal butler becomes evident through his unremitting service, which he recounts in first person, even as he takes on a motorcar journey to Little Compton, Cornwall, in response to a letter he receives from his former colleague and housekeeper, Miss Kenton, when she left Darlington Hall some twenty years ago. They had shared a volatile working relationship during Lord Darlington's heyday.

And that is where the real story lies, which is almost obscured by Stevens's doddering and often self-censoring narrative, where he edits and revises along the way, seemingly unsure of what had really happened. He admits as much when he says, "But now, having thought further, I believe I may have been a little confused about this matter", when he tries to recall an occasion when he had caught Miss Kenton in a vulnerable state. He often turns preachy about his profession, and reiterates the importance of dignity ad nauseam, but through it all, the reader begins to realise that the more he elaborates, the more he hides, and in the end, he says more than he knows.
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