Sunday, April 4, 2010

Remains of the Day

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (NY: Vintage, 1988).

This novel won the Booker Prize, and it's easy to see why. Ishiguro perfectly catches the nostalgic yet insular world of postwar England as experienced by Mr. Stevens, a career butler who has lived most of his life at Darlington Hall. As he drives through the English countryside on his first ever holiday--courtesy of his new employer's largesse--he reflects and writes about the changes he's seen. Although he maintains a clear perspective on the events in his life and his role as a butler, especially with regards to his relationship with former Darlington Hall housekeeper Miss Kenton, the reader lingers over alternative perspectives. An enticing, bittersweet read that touches the soul.

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