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The Remains of the Day

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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  135,642 Ratings  ·  8,724 Reviews
An elegant Everyman's Library hardcover edition of the universally acclaimed novel—winner of the Booker Prize, a bestseller and a perpetually strong backlist title, and the basis for an award-winning film—with full-cloth binding, a silk ribbon marker, a chronology, and a new introduction by Salman Rushdie.

Here is Kazuo Ishiguro's profoundly compelling portrait of Stevens,
...more
Hardcover, 213 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Everyman's Library (first published 1989)
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Janet Landman I found it significant in a number of ways. Most obviously, it showed Stevens suffering from the British class distinctions. We hadn't seen that…moreI found it significant in a number of ways. Most obviously, it showed Stevens suffering from the British class distinctions. We hadn't seen that before, because he seemed to take such pride in trying to be the best possible member of his "profession." The Dr's question showed that he saw through what the villagers appeared not to--that Stevens wasn't of the aristocratic class. And although Stevens says he was made extremely uncomfortable by the villagers' misunderstanding his social status, I think he secretly enjoyed being thought a very important person--someone who had met Churchill and Eden and Halifax. It's no accident that after that evening's festivities, he recalls that horrible incident when Darlington and his cronies made a mockery of Stevens to his face. Second, it shows Stevens being exposed to 2 new perspectives on "dignity," neither of which entails the extreme emotional constriction central to Stevens's view of it. I think these new perspectives on dignity might have made a bit of a dent in Stevens's, which is going to be very important in the end. Third, Harry Smith's view of dignity, in conjunction with these experiences and memories regarding class, contributes, I think, to Stevens's finally confronting the fact that Lord Darlington's life and work were "at best, a sad waste." Janet(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Michiel I asked myself this same question during reading. Although Miss Kenton was definitely one to appreciate the professionalism and quality with which Mr.…moreI asked myself this same question during reading. Although Miss Kenton was definitely one to appreciate the professionalism and quality with which Mr. Stevens conducted his work, that in itself does not seem enough to fall in love with him. Especially considering the inconsiderate and sometimes unpleasant way in which Mr. Stevens treated her.

However, I also believe that Mr. Stevens does not give a good portrayal of their relationship. Mr. Stevens' recollections mainly focus on their disagreements and how they grew apart. We are never shown the amiable nature or pleasant convsersation the two may have had during their daily parlor meetings. I am convinced that Miss Kenton and Mr. Stevens actually shared some connection during these meetings (even though Mr. Stevens will undoubtedly have remained very professional during them). Miss Kenton could probably see the man behind the butler in those instances, allowing her to fall in love with him. However, since Mr. Stevens does not consider such social interaction between them to bear any significance or relevance, he does not tell us anything about it.

Also, Mr. Stevens is a reasonable accurate narrator when it comes to describing what words were being said during a conversation. However, he is rather bad at conveying what emotions he himself showed during such conversations. There are a few instances in the novel where the people around Mr. Stevens explicitly comment on the emotional way in which he is behaving (such as the tears in his eyes when his father died or the way he storms through the halls when he hears Miss Kenton is leaving), while Mr. Stevens himself does not mention a word of such emotions. This leads me to believe that his attitude towards Miss Kenton would often be a lot more positive than what we can construe from his words.

Not until the very last chapter, we know Mr. Stevens actually cares for or even has feelings for Miss Kenton. When Miss Kenton mentions that she could imagine a different outcome with them being together, he shortly mentions to us readers that his heart broke at that instance.

So to come back to your question. I don't exactly know why Miss Kenton fell in love with Mr. Stevens. But I also believe that Mr. Stevens would not describe any such traits or any chemistry between the two in his memoirs, considering such information irrelevant.(less)

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Esteban del Mal
Apr 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, fiction
Kazuo Ishiguro writes the anti-haiku: instead of consciousness awakening to the immediacy of the immutable natural world, subjective memory is peeled back layer by layer to expose consciousness; instead of the joyous eruption of awareness, the tension of the gradual decompression of ignorance; instead of a humility that acknowledges the unknowable on its own terms, rambling that tries to fill the chasm of existential angst that has suddenly opened up like a sinkhole in being. Yet what his writin ...more
Adina
Just announced as Winner of the Nobel Prize 2017!!! Well deserved.

***

Every day, for the past week I've encouraged myself to start writing this review. It feelt impossible to find my words to discuss such a literary masterpiece. Who gives me the right to even try?
After staring blankly at the screen for some time, I finally remembered a beautiful passage that can perfectly describe what I felt about this novel. So, I will let the author describe his work. Although the quote depicts the magnifice
...more
Siria
This is one of the most beautifully mannered, subtle books I've read in a long, long time. Ishiguro's command of prose is perfect; there was never a point where I felt that this book wasn't written by a consummate English gentleman's gentleman. Remains of the Day is also one of the best examples of first person POV that I've read. Stevens' voice is always clear and distinct, and always used to frame the narrative in such a way that the reader is able to see things and guess things which the prot ...more
Kecia
Aug 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who appreciate subtly
It's not what happens in this story that's important, it's what doesn't happen. It's not what is said, but what is not said.

I almost feel like Stevens in a real person and not a fictional character. He may well be the most tragic figure I've had the honor to meet/read. He tried so hard to do what he thought to be the right thing and in the end it all turned out to the wrong thing...I cried for at least a half hour after I finished the final page. It was a bittersweet moment when he admitted to h
...more
Bookdragon Sean
So Ishiguro has won the noble prize for literature 2017. This quote from the yeasterday's guardian article says it all to me:

The British author Kazuo Ishiguro said he was both honoured and “taken completely by surprise” after he was named this year’s winner of the 2017 Nobel prize in literature, even initially wondering if the announcement was a case of “fake news”.

[...]

“Part of me feels like an imposter and part of me feels bad that I’ve got this before other living writers,” said Ishiguro. “Ha
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Nataliya
“The evening's the best part of the day. You've done your day's work. Now you can put your feet up and enjoy it.”
I suppose what one really needs at the end of it all, in the twilight of life, is to know that it was worth something, that there was some meaning, some purpose to it. Because if it was all in vain, why even try?

With The Remains of the Day Kazuo Ishiguro created a masterpiece, mesmerizing, evocative, subtle, elegant and perfectly crafted, with precise mastery of language, setting an
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Petrik
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-physical
4.5/5 Stars

Kazuo Ishiguro just won the Nobel Prize for Literature this year and this book supports that achievement. The Remains of the Day is a wonderful book to close my reading year in 2017.


This book was first published in 1989 and since then, there have been countless professional reviews on it that everything I said here—although they are my honest opinion—would most likely be just something similar to any of those reviews. That’s why I’ll keep this brief; The Remains of the Day is a thorou
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Annet
Beautiful, beautiful book, wonderful writing, great story. I am now officially a fan of Ishiguro, a book so different from Never let me go, which was also an incredible story to me. This story however is very different but equally high quality, which in my opinion indicates the quality of the writer, able to put down totally different stories, both intriguing in their own way. It is beautiful in language, heartbreaking in storyline, gives a view of life in England in between wars and how politic ...more
Fabian
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mood, atmosphere, character. Encapsulation of the zeitgeist, social commentary; "The Remains of the Day" delves into the dark side of humanity. So much is held within the pages of this marvelous book, the account of one of the last butlers to work at a large manor in England. What is Dignity? seems to be the major thread that unites all of his different experiences of becoming a largely marginalized person, of becoming someone with a worth different from others. The love story is heart wrenching ...more
Perry
Glad Ishiguro Won Nobel in Lit. This Novel is in My Top 3 of All Time. Most Profound.

Regret came shivering through my veins,
And bound my tongue in iron chains;
My soul in prison seem'd to be,
And ever must if torn from thee

"The Recall to Affection," Susanna Blamire

There's a shadow hanging over me. Oh, yesterday came suddenly.
"Yesterday," Lennon-McCartney, 1965

It is nearly impossible to describe this novel without at least alluding (as I do above) to one of the very most heartbreaking scenes in all
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Kazuo Ishiguro (カズオ・イシグロ or 石黒 一雄) is a British novelist of Japanese origin and Nobel Laureate in Literature (2017). His family moved to England in 1960. Ishiguro obtained his Bachelor's degree from the University of Kent in 1978 and his Master's from the University of East Anglia's creative writing course in 1980. He became a British citizen in 1982. He now lives in London.

His first novel, A Pale
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More about Kazuo Ishiguro...
“What is the point of worrying oneself too much about what one could or could not have done to control the course one's life took? Surely it is enough that the likes of you and I at least try to make our small contribution count for something true and worthy. And if some of us are prepared to sacrifice much in life in order to pursue such aspirations, surely that in itself, whatever the outcome, cause for pride and contentment.” 290 likes
“Indeed — why should I not admit it? — in that moment, my heart was breaking.” 280 likes
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