Thursday, November 21

Book Review: The Remains of the Day

Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Title: The Remains of the Day
Genre: Historical Fiction, Drama, Classic
Pages: ebook
First Published: 1989
Where I Got It: On my self (Got a free copy of the ebook here)

"In 1956, Stevens, a long-serving butler at Darlington Hall, decides to take a motoring trip through the West Country. The six-day excursion becomes a journey into the past of Stevens and England, a past that takes in fascism, two world wars and an unrealised love between the butler and his housekeeper. Ishiguro’s dazzling novel is a sad and humorous love story, a meditation on the condition of modern man, and an elegy for England at a time of acute change."

I had to read this for my Contemporary Literature class. I normally don't read books set in the 1950s...just not my cup of tea really. However, it also included the 1940s/WWII, so it made up for the decade I'm not a huge fan of. Don't know why...but I don't care for the Cold War era. 

Anyways, this was pretty good. It was a different angle to look at the world of WWII and the fall of England as a superpower. They still had great power, but the USSR and USA took over the reigns of hegemony in the world. There was a lot, and I mean A LOT, of symbolisms and themes and all that fun stuff. It was a short book, but jammed packed with a lot of meaning. However, it wasn't overbearing and made your mind swirl. It was written in a way that was simple and the common reader would understand it and enjoy it. was rather boring sometimes. Especially at the beginning of the book. Good lord...I learned SO much about being a butler then I ever wanted to know. I pushed through it and it got 100% better. As my professor said...just get through the prologue and things get better. Well...more entertaining, but the plot begins to thicken with some subtle drama. Poor Miss Keaton. I felt bad for her. Stupid Mr. Stevens being thick-headed and selfish. All he cared about and thought was important was being a butler to Lord Darrlington. Which was a waste of time, because Lord Darrlington was a Nazi supporter. Mr. Stevens ignored it and thought that Lord Darrlington was just an innocent puppet to the Nazis. NO. I'm sorry Mr. Stevens, but he knew what he was doing. 

Getting off my rant before I spoil anything....

This was an okay novel; heck it was my second favorite novel out of my class. It was slow...and I mean slooooooooow at the beginning of the book. BUT it does get better, even though much drama occurs. It's a simple and quick read that is also free. Glad it was free though, because the library at my school wanted like $10 for it. I wish I could say that this ends happy, but it really doesn't end happy. It has a good moral lesson though. I would recommend this for those that like the classics and are looking for a quick read. Out of five stars I shall stamp this with 3 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Miss Keaton and Mr. Farraday 
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Lord Darrlington and Mr.Stevens (I respected him for seeing the errors of his ways, but...yeah)


Lisa said...

I feel like most books I read for my courses started out boring and then eventually got better. It was like they wanted to torture us for a bit and you only got rewarded by it getting better if you stuck with the book.

Carole Rae said...

Lisa....I completely agree with you. I think thats what makes a classic. hahaha. Boring at first and if you stick with it, it gets better and you are rewarded.

Blodeuedd said...

I have seen the movie?...I think

Carole Rae said...

B, it has Anthony Hopkins in is on my list to watch sooner or later.

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Anna said...

I've been curious about this one, but the slow beginning makes me hesitant to give it a try. Great review!

Carole Rae said...

My professor warned us and told us it was totally worth the slowness....I agree.