The Remains of the Day Hardcover – 22 May 1989
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"An intricate and dazzling novel." --"The New York Times"
"Brilliant and quietly devastating." --"Newsweek "
"""A virtuoso performance ... put on with dazzling daring and aplomb." --"The New York Review of Books"
"A perfect novel. I couldn't put it down." --Ann Beattie
"The novel rests firmly on the narrative sophistication and flawless control of tone ... of a most impressive novelist." --Julian Barnes
An intricate and dazzling novel. "The New York Times"
Brilliant and quietly devastating. "Newsweek "
" "A virtuoso performance ... put on with dazzling daring and aplomb. "The New York Review of Books"
A perfect novel. I couldn t put it down. Ann Beattie
The novel rests firmly on the narrative sophistication and flawless control of tone ... of a most impressive novelist. Julian Barnes" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a story of hopelessness, a journey of self discovery and a love story, told simply. At the end, you are both exasperated with the narrator as well as desperately sorry for him.
an exquiste read
An aging English butler called Stevens sets off on a quiet motoring tour of Devon in the late 1950s. As he drives leisurely through the English countryside, he muses on times past and the exact nature of 'greatness', a quality which he has strived to attain all his life.
Stevens is perhaps one of the most distinctive characters that I have encountered during my reading life. He is the perfectionist to end all perfectionists, but his demands for everything to be correct are as stringent on himself as they are when he is supervising the rest of the dwindling staff at Darlington Hall. He is devoted to his work and does not let anything-or anyone-shake off his persona of efficiency and manners. This means that he hides his real emotions for most of the book, and is reluctant even to reveal them to the reader. His new master, an American, is fond of making jokey remarks to Stevens which would be unheard of when he was serving Lord Darlington and seem to shock him. His faltering attempts to make light bantering conversation add a touch of gentle humour to what is essentially a rather sad story.
Overall, The Remains Of The Day is a superbly crafted book, with all the plot's undertones of politics, romance, patriotism, etiquette and 'greatness' perfectly managed. One of the best passages has to be where Stevens explains why the English landscape is one of the world's greatest, and if you've ever visited Devon, even in this age of motorways and housing estates, you will see what he means. This book is really one of the best I've ever read, and the 1989 Booker Prize is well deserved. A true, beautiful classic.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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