*Kazuo Ishiguro's new novel Klara and the Sun is now available to preorder*
From the Nobel Prize-winning author of Never Let Me Go
Winner of the Booker Prize
ONE OF THE BBC'S '100 NOVELS THAT SHAPED OUR WORLD'
A contemporary classic, The Remains of the Day is Kazuo Ishiguro's beautiful and haunting evocation of life between the wars in a Great English House.
In the summer of 1956, Stevens, the ageing butler of Darlington Hall, embarks on a leisurely holiday that will take him deep into the English countryside and into his past.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This poignant and beautifully crafted study in human dignity is narrated by exemplary English butler Mr. James Stevens. Set in 1956, The Remains of the Day follows the aging Stevens as he embarks on a driving tour of the countryside, reminiscing about his decades of dutiful service at Darlington Hall and anticipating a meeting with his former colleague, Miss Kenton. Stevens’ reflections gradually form an impression of missed opportunities and misplaced allegiances, leading to loss of pride, self-doubt and regret. Kazuo Ishiguro’s 1989 Man Booker Prize–winning novel is a tragic masterpiece and a tender lesson in humanity.
Greeted with high praise in England, where it seems certain to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Ishiguro's third novel (after An Artist of the Floating World ) is a tour de force-- both a compelling psychological study and a portrait of a vanished social order. Stevens, an elderly butler who has spent 30 years in the service of Lord Darlington, ruminates on the past and inadvertently slackens his rigid grip on his emotions to confront the central issues of his life. Glacially reserved, snobbish and humorless, Stevens has devoted his life to his concept of duty and responsibility, hoping to reach the pinnacle of his profession through totally selfless dedication and a ruthless suppression of sentiment. Having made a virtue of stoic dignity, he is proud of his impassive response to his father's death and his ``correct'' behavior with the spunky former housekeeper, Miss Kenton. Ishiguro builds Stevens's character with precisely controlled details, creating irony as the butler unwittingly reveals his pathetic self-deception. In the poignant denouement, Stevens belatedly realizes that he has wasted his life in blind service to a foolish man and that he has never discovered ``the key to human warmth.'' While it is not likely to provoke the same shocks of recognition as it did in Britain, this insightful, often humorous and moving novel should significantly enhance Ishiguro's reputation here.
Customer ReviewsSee All
An exceptional novel
A sad tale of suppressed emotions and misplaced priorities. One of the best books I've ever read.
A lot of sordid tripe
Mr Stevens the Butler takes coco in the parlour of the housekeeper Miss Fenton each evening (wink,wink,nudge,nudge) until she finds an old 'acquaintance ' Is now living nearby and regularly visits him. Our Mr Stevens gets the hump and declines to visit her in her parlour anymore.
There is a reason that this book won awards
Timeless. beautifully written in a style which tells a story in itself. Haunting story. A rare thing to have the main character who tells the tale yet is not really likeable. Though I suspect that some will like him or feel a certain sympathy.