Sunday, May 26, 2013

Book Review: "The Remains of the Day"

My husband called this novel "the butler book." As in, "are you still reading the butler book?" He came up with this title, I'm sure, because every time he would ask me what the book I was reading was about I'd say something along the lines of "well, it's about a butler..." and then not know what else to say.

Upon finishing this book, I'm still not sure how to explain what Kazuo Ishiguro's novel The Remains of the Day is about. A road-tripping butler on a six day reminiscing streak would probably the closest I could come to a plot summary and I understand that this description doesn't exactly illicit sparks.

But I can tell you what this novel is: subtle, quietly provocative, brilliant in its use of syntax to create character development, gorgeous in its use of layers to build tone. This is a book that sticks with you, even though its hard to explain why. If you enjoy literary fiction, take a chance on it- I think you'll see what I mean.


  1. This is one of my three favourite books of all time (the others being Gone with the Wind and Wally Lamb's I Know This Much is True). I've read it twice, both times in awe. Ishiguro is the master of subtlety and precision.

  2. I like that- "subtlety and precision." It describes Ishiguro's writing style perfectly.

  3. I get more out of his books each time I read them. I think a lot of it depends on the time of your life when you read Ishiguro's novels. At the moment I'm reading "Never Let Me Go" for the second time and it seems like a different book - somehow better and more awe-inspiring.

    Am I gushing? Yeah, I reckon I definitely am a bit of an Ishiguro fangirl!

    1. I definitely want to read "Never Me Let Go" at some point. So many books on the list for this summer, and I'm always glad to be reminded of more!


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