The Remains of the Day (Secrets and Lies Ed) Paperback – 7 Jul 2011
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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 alternate Paperback edition.
The Booker jury got it right. This is a work that goes to the heart of a lost life. Beautifully composed, totally unsentimental, immeasurably tender. (Harold Pinter Observer Books of the Year)
The Remains of the Day is without doubt a novel of real quality. . . He has poured light into a life that has been closed by the emotional shortcomings of the character. The result is very English: the pathos is that of Brief Encounter or of the plays of Terence Rattigan . . . A remarkable, strange and moving book. (Sebastian Faulks Independent)
An intricate and dazzling novel. (New York Times)
Apart from being suspenseful, intriguing, elegiac and politically astute, this is also the funniest new novel I've read in ages. . . It is both subtle and humane . . . Simply read it for pleasure, and be richly rewarded. (Jonathan Coe Guardian Novel of the Week)
A remarkable, strange and moving book. (Independent)
A triumph ... This wholly convincing portrait 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)
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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
The past is constantly present in the characters daily life and determines thier actions.The butler is emotionally repressed and the housekeeper tries to help him but he is trapped... Read morePublished 11 days ago by manjushri
Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro is a poignant and thought provoking read.
It details the life of Stevens, a butler and his service to a Lord Darlington of... Read more
It has taken me a while to get round to reading this book, but I'm so glad I did.
Kazuo Ishiguro's writing is sublime, the characters he creates are beautifully drawn, it was... Read more
This is the best book I've read for a long long time and I really can't praise it enough. Ishiguro is pitch perfect in his portrayal of the repressed elderly butler, Stevens, as he... Read morePublished 29 days ago by GeordieReader
A wonderful book, very carefully crafted, every word seems to have been considered very thoroughly before inclusion, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys good quality... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jill Wright