4 07 2015

The Remains of the Day by Kazoo Ishiguro


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.

A really outstanding novel this. It’s a book which I had unaccountably avoided reading for many years. Actually this is possibly because of it’s Booker prize winning status, film tie in and general popularity. So, unwarranted prejudice on my part. Anyway, having finally got round to it I realise what I was missing. Terrific and powerful.


four stars






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