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by Michael York,Kazuo Ishiguro

The Booker Prize-winning novel is now a film from Columbia Pictures starring Academy Award winners Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.The Remains of the Day is a profoundly compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and of his fading, insular world in postwar England. At the end of his three decades of service at Darlington Hall, Stevens embarks on a country drive, during which he looks back over his career to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving "a great gentleman." But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington's "greatness" and graver doubts about his own faith in the man he served.Michael York has performed with Britain's National Theater as well as on Broadway. His film credits include Cabaret and The Three Musketeers. His television work includes "Jesus of Nazareth" and "Space."
Download The Remains of the Day: (Movie Tie-In Edition) epub
ISBN: 0394586735
ISBN13: 978-0394586731
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary
Author: Michael York,Kazuo Ishiguro
Language: English
Publisher: Random House Audio; Abridged edition (August 29, 1993)
ePUB size: 1877 kb
FB2 size: 1956 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 887
Other Formats: azw rtf docx lit

I fully admit that I purchased this book only after reading that it had won the Nobel Prize for Literature. I love books and I was curious, I suppose, of how such a book might read. Did it—could it—live up to the hype?

It easily surpassed it. It is a magnificent story deserving of every literary award there might be. It is, as is my personal standard for a five star rating, a truly transformative read. It’s worthy of six stars, truth be told.

It is a story of the generational change and socio-economic and political transformation that overtook England during the period between the Great World Wars. Told through the eyes of a shrinking class of English butler who had a front row seat at the changing of the guard between the landed nobility and the professional politician and businessmen of the Post-war Era.

The questions raised by the transformation are eerily relevant today. Can the institutions of democracy work in a world writ complex by technology and globalism? Is governance better left to a technocratic meritocracy that rules on behalf of the people but above their direct control?

America and Americans, and one visiting US Senator in particular, are portrayed in a predictably garish light given the time and the protagonist. The Senator is loud and uncouth and a manipulative schemer who wants to dictate to the Europeans. Even the American landscape is described as dramatic but a bit overdone.

The English “greatness,” as its described, however, is handled with British wit and aplomb. It’s the kind of classic British humor that is inevitably met with a wry smile rather than the guffaw that most comics seem to reach for today. The butler’s own loss at how to deal with the banter he suspects his eventual American employer expects from him is a humorous thread throughout the book.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the book, however, is the writing itself. It is beyond good. It is almost hallowed, using that term in a strictly descriptive rather than the religious or spiritual sense. And what makes it so, as is the case with most great literature, is the fact that the prose makes no obvious attempt to reach such heights of grandeur. There isn’t a hint of any attempt to over-achieve.

The author deals with many other themes within the confines of the primary tale. Life purpose, the plight of the lion in winter, the constant battle public figures face between public perception and reality, and the human quest for identity, all get explored with a deft literary hand that is a breeze to read, easy to enjoy, and will inevitably leave the reader with literary memories that are sure to flash back for years to come.

There is no money line per se. The book is chock full of both literary excellence and astute human insight. One of my favorites was: “A butler of any quality must be seen to inhabit his role, utterly and fully; he cannot be seen casting it aside one moment simply to don it again the next as though it were nothing more than a pantomime costume.” We often refer to it as “authenticity,” but it is key to success in all professions and, of course, all personal relationships.

Mr. Ishiguro has clearly left his legacy. We should all be thankful. And grateful. The publisher is currently offering the book at an extremely reasonable price, the Kindle price of which is below any of the top ten fiction books on the New York Times bestseller list, making it an extraordinary value.
Beautifully restrained book. If you're looking for an author who holds your hold and forcefully tugs you through every emotion, every thought, and every conclusion, this isn't the book for you. But if you appreciate a stunningly subtle and yet laser precise portrayal of a man who has spent his days in the pursuit of "dignity" - another word for being emotionless - and who realizes too late that he gave his life to an employer who didn't deserve it and withheld his love from a woman who did, then pick this book up, savor it, and be prepared to laugh, cry, and think.
An engrossing 1st person narrative from the prototypical pre-WW2 British butler, about serving the "upper class", wasted lives, lack of emotional connectedness, and the fine line between humanitarian ideals and being duped by an evil Nazi regime. All the more incredible due to the Japanese ethnicity of the author, despite his upbringing in England. His 1st novel not set in Japan, but England, very deservedly earned him a Nobel prize in Literature this year. One of the best books you've never read....
I didn't quite like the book initially and found it rather dull and slow paced. However, after I picked it up again (after almost three months), I started to like it more and more. The beauty of the classical English language. The natural presentation of the narrator and his life make this book a great and enjoyable read, particularly more and more toward the end of it. Perhaps I will enjoy it even more as I get older. This is a book that calms down one's soul and let one reconciles with one's past when the day is turning to the night.
I think Ishiguro should have the Nobel Prize. In all his books (and I have read most of them) he shifts into new grounds. This is wonderful. Most writers pick a bene and write the same book over and over (sometimes with the same characters). Not Kazoo Isiguro. Each book arises from a different ethical or moral question; each involves the subtle reworking of memory -- the fragile, terrifying aspect of looking back at one's life; and each is magnificent.
This is surely one of the best 100 books of all time.
sophy burnham
Don't be put off by readers who give the "story" or "plot" low points. They would be better off buying a John Grisham or Lee Child action thriller.

The author writes in an understated somewhat stern way, but you will feel the abyss of the human condition between the lines. An outlandish mix of Jane Austen and Franz Kafka! The author was only 30+ at the time of writing this book, amazing. Ishiguro has published only six books so far, but those six books has given him a deserved Nobel prize.
A beautifully written novel. This story of a repressed butler in pre-war Britain who placed loyalty to his employer and profession over his own happiness, in a setting very similar to Downton Abbey, is a moving mediation on the perils of letting one's life go by without fully paying attention, and subsuming one's passions for duty/ work.
This remains one of my favourite books. The way that Ishiguro draws the reader into the butler's world is truly masterful. Stevens is the epitome of a high class butler: discreet, dedicated and loyal. In a journey to visit an ex housekeeper, he shares, through a series of flashbacks, seemingly small incidents that occurred while he was serving in the great house of Lord Darlington. Through Stevens' perspective - both what he says and doesn't say - a sense of loss, regret and misplaced loyalty is conveyed. Ishiguro is able to show significant historical events and culture through the lense of one ordinary person. This is a book that I will read many times and treasure for its outstanding literary merit and excellent characterisation.