Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

78%

26 Critic Reviews

With The Remains of the Day, Ishiguro turned away from the Japanese settings of his first two novels and revealed that his sensibility was not rooted in any one place, but capable of travel and metamorphosis.
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

The Remains of the Day is a profoundly compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and of his fading, insular world 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. 

A tragic, spiritual portrait of a perfect English butler and his reaction to his fading insular world in post-war England. A wonderful, wonderful book.
 

About Kazuo Ishiguro

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Kazuo Ishiguro is the author of five previous novels, including The Remains of the Day, which won the Booker Prize and became an international best seller. His work has been translated into twenty-eight languages. In 1995 he received an Order of the British Empire for service to literature, and in 1998 was named a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.
 
Published July 14, 2010 by Vintage. 258 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, History, Children's Books, Religion & Spirituality, Romance, Law & Philosophy, Cooking. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Remains of the Day
All: 26 | Positive: 24 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Below average
on Sep 26 2011

This novel has won high praise in England, and one can certainly respect the convincing voice and the carefully bleached prose; yet there is something doomed about Ishiguro's effort to enlist sympathy for such a self-censoring stuffed shirt, and in the end he can manage only a small measure of pathos for his disappointed servant.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Salman Rushdie on Aug 17 2012

With The Remains of the Day Ishiguro turned away from the Japanese settings of his first two novels and revealed that his sensibility was not rooted in any one place, but capable of travel and metamorphosis.

Read Full Review of Remains of the Day | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Salman Rushdie on Aug 17 2012

With The Remains of the Day Ishiguro turned away from the Japanese settings of his first two novels and revealed that his sensibility was not rooted in any one place, but capable of travel and metamorphosis.

Read Full Review of Remains of the Day | See more reviews from Guardian

Globe and Mail

Good
Reviewed by Salman Rushdie on Aug 15 2014

With The Remains of the Day, Ishiguro turned away from the Japanese settings of his first two novels and revealed that his sensibility was not rooted in any one place, but capable of travel and metamorphosis.

Read Full Review of Remains of the Day | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

Christian Science Monitor

Good
Reviewed by Merle Rubin on Aug 01 2010

Delicate, devastating, thoroughly ironic, yet never harsh, this is a novel whose technical achievements are matched by its insightfulness.

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We Love This Book

Good
Reviewed by Danny Arter on Nov 04 2011

It is a novel that remains alarmingly relevant to this day, and its inclusion in WBN 2012 ought to give Ishiguro, and this exceptional novel, a new throng of admirers.

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Boston Review

Good
Reviewed by Alan A. Stone on Sep 28 2014

Stevens's journey of introspection ends with the same denial of self with which it began. He has once again wrapped himself in the religion of service. This sad story may not be authentically English, but it is all too human.

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Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by hanabyra on Nov 01 2014

The Remains of the Day does not rely on dragon-slaying heroes or magical worlds. Instead, it tells the story of a butler and what could have been his life, delving into a devastating, moving, complex, and enchanting exploration of regret. The Remains of the Day is, without a doubt, one of the finest masterpieces I have had the pleasure to read.

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Brothers Judd

Good
on Jan 09 2001

This is the odd paradox of the novel : Ishiguro has crafted this character who readers love, but is suggesting that he should be someone else entirely.

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http://www.bookdrum.com

Good
Reviewed by Suzanne Bosworth on Nov 23 2015

Winner of the Booker Prize, and vividly portrayed on screen by Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, this book was a heart-breaking classic the moment it was written.

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http://www.bookdrum.com

Above average
Reviewed by mediaweasel on Sep 28 2014

Ishiguro skilfully paints a character so driven by the need to serve that he is unable even to imagine his employer might have the compassion to let him be with his father when he falls ill and dies.

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Book Review Circle

Above average
Reviewed by Ashmita Saha on Sep 28 2014

The book has been a pleasurable read to me but I am afraid I am unable to carry any lasting impression of it in my mind. It is subtle in its message and leaves a sense of, as the name suggests , peaceful resignation at the end.

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Parental Book Reviews

Excellent
on Nov 21 2015

The Remains of the Day is not only a postmodern novel, but postmodernist, the term reserved for the novels that are meant to be self-aware and metafictional; that the author knows about the period and set out to make a novel embodying this ethos. The result is outstanding, a true magnum opus, and worthy of praise.

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The Blue Bookcase

Good
Reviewed by Connie on Jun 01 2010

Stick it on the shelf...This book is a rather quick read, so it's great for a day at the beach or any other leisurely day.

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Literate Housewife

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer on Aug 31 2012

Something so simple conveyed so much. I may no longer relate completely to my 20-year-old self as a reader, but there are now two of us who have loved The Remains of the Day.

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Lit Lovers

Good
Reviewed by Molly Lundquist on Nov 01 2014

Ishiguro is an agile angler who lets out his line, bit by bit, before he reels us in. He withholds and then carefully releases information. Only gradually do we come to understand the true significance of Stevens's 30 years with Lord Darlington.

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Of Books and Reading

Good
on Nov 23 2015

The writing is simply beautiful and very elegant, despite bringing to fore the ugliness sometimes. The Remains of the Day is one of my favourite books and I strongly recommend it.

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The Mookse and the Gripes

Good
Reviewed by Trevor Berrett on Jul 10 2008

Ishiguro’s ending is much better than the film’s not-so-subtle, disappointing resolution...A perfect ending...

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http://www.sheilaomalley.com

Good
Reviewed by Sheila on Nov 20 2007

Ishiguro is a marvel. The voice of this book is so specific, so clear and true … you would have sworn that Ishiguro himself had been a butler, or that his father had been one. But no. It is just his imagination...

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Cannonball Read IV

Below average
Reviewed by quorren on Jun 11 2012

In Never Let Me Go, Ishiguro had a good grasp of handling the bittersweet. While he shows some of that same mastery here, he does venture into maudlin too often for my taste.

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A Case for Books

Good
Reviewed by Anna on Jan 05 2011

It is difficult to express the beauty of the book as it's strength lies largely in Ishiguro's writing - he is a master of creating a mood with his language and the loveliness of the book comes from the writing and the carefully created main character rather than an exciting plot, indeed very little actually happens.

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Book Club Classics

Good
Reviewed by Kristen on May 04 2008

...I loved it as a reader, too. I would recommend that you read it in one or two sittings, though. Since the syntax is a bit more complex, it is easier to get into the novel and then stay with it, rather than attempting to pick it up for a few minutes here and there. Otherwise, I definitely recommend it!

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Benefits of a Classical Education Blog

Good
Reviewed by Alex Thompson on May 14 2014

The book pulls all of its strands together in a lovely closing 20 pages which at once conclude it definitively and lets us in on the delicate and precise motions going on behind the scenes to get everything on display working like a well-served meal at an old British house.

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https://shereadsnovels.wordpress.com

Good
Reviewed by Helen on Oct 04 2015

The only other book I’ve read by Kazuo Ishiguro is Never Let Me Go, which I enjoyed but didn’t love as much as this one, although it’s difficult to compare the two as they’re so completely different.

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Follow the Thread Blog

Good
Reviewed by David Hebblethwaite on May 17 2012

...what Ishiguro does is take a character who might border on caricature and make a fully-fledged individual of him. So I’ve come to appreciate Ishiguro’s work that bit more with The Remains of the Day...

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http://mangalapalliv.wordpress.com

Good
Reviewed by Vish Mangalapalli on Jan 10 2008

A very unusual plot, extremely suggestive and controlled conversation set against a momentous backdrop of an uncertain, explosive and anxiety ridden Europe that make it a modern day classic.

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Reader Rating for Remains of the Day
83%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 648 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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