Robin Smith, January 3, 2012 (view all comments by Robin Smith)
This is the novel that made the most impact on me in 2011. It was an enjoyable read, with a rare look at the running of an English Country House before WWII, and has a lot of insight I continue to ponder. It raises questions on many levels as the characters grapple with the challenges their lives bring. Ishiguro's writing is focused and clean, and his first-person narrator's voice never slips. And, on top of all this, the novel has a pensive and peculiar yet rather sweet love story in it. A beautiful book.
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Kristen M, February 7, 2010 (view all comments by Kristen M)
This book is slightly humorous in that Stevens is so unable to relate to normal human interactions. He thinks constantly of opportunities to practice "banter", which he believes is required to interact with his new American employer. The book is also very sad when you begin to realize that the entirety of this man's life is spent outside of himself, in service to others. He doesn't notice when others are trying to interact with him in a social or personal manner and indeed, he even discourages it when it does happen. This story is a portrait of a bygone era and a bygone profession.
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Vintage Books USA -
Heralded upon release for its elegance and restraint, The Remains of the Day has become a classic of British literature and one of my favorite books! Ishiguro's simple, painstakingly precise language beautifully captures a man and an era that prized decorum above truth, with perilous results. A gorgeous novel.
by Julian Barnes,
"The novel rests firmly on the narrative sophistication and flawless control of tone...of a most impressive novelist."
by Salman Rushdie,
"Brilliant...a story both beautiful and cruel."
by Ann Beattie,
"A perfect novel. I couldn't put it down."
by The New York Review of Books,
"A virtuoso performance...put on with dazzling daring and aplomb."
"Brilliant and quietly devastating."
by The New York Times,
"An intricate and dazzling novel."
by The Boston Globe,
"One of the best books of the decade."
by The New York Times Book Review,
"One of the best books of the year."
by Geoff Dyer, New Statesman & Society,
"[T]he novel persuasively implicates a broader section of the ruling class in the rise of fascism while emphasising the complicity of a huge army of subordinates that led ultimately to the Holocaust. This is no mean achievement, of course, but overall The Remains of the Day is less impressive than An Artist of the Floating World whose scheme and form it repeats almost exactly."
by Phoebe-Lou Adams, The Atlantic,
"[Stevens] is totally humorless and myopically preoccupied by his job. He should be dull. Mr. Ishiguro makes him immensely interesting by causing him to reveal to the reader what Stevens himself does not understand either about his own conduct or about the activities of the nobleman whom he served devotedly for most of his career. The author maintains this double-vision pattern without ever deviating from the overcareful style that he has created for Stevens, and the effect is funny and sad and ultimately disturbing, for questions of moral responsibility lurk behind the novel's highly polished surface."
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