DOWNLOAD ☆ The Remains of the Day

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Lington Hall decides to take a motoring trip through the West Country The six day excursion becomes a journey into the past of. When work is a pleasure life is a joy When work is a duty life is slavery Maxim GorkyI bought this novel in tandem with Never Let Me Go a book so tedious that I abandoned it preferring to watch paint dryNevertheless I was prepared to give Ishiguro the benefit of the doubt wipe the slate clean and start afreshThe story is told from the POV of Mr Stevens English butler to Mr Farraday his nouveau riche American master I invite you to imagine Mr Stevens to be an amalgam of Wodehouse's Jeeves and Star Trek's Mr SpockThis might just be one of those very rare occasions where seeing the movie first actually enhances the reading experience Having already viewed it on the big screen I could easily imagine Sir Anthony Hopkins's narration almost as if this were an audiobook To his credit Ishiguro perfectly captures the stiff upper lipped dialogue expected of an English country house butler Here the author takes Wodehouse's cartoonish idea and gives it a harsh reality checkStevens' adorned almost pompous elocution is on point but I half expected the Anthony Hopkins in my head to begin shouting Mr Christian Damn your hide sir I shall eat your liver with some fava beans and a nice ChiantiStevens obseuiously knows his place and has such a blinkered sense of duty that the reader is left with an uncontrollable urge to step into the story and shake him about by his stuffy starched collarFor me the most interesting side to his character is that he doesn't bear any snobbishness towards his 'new money' employer and treats him just the same as he would a lord or a princeAmusingly he is maladaptively unaccustomed to banter or tomfoolery unlike his jovial bossHowever in this respect he is very much like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory and so guilelessly has a bash at banter whereupon awkward silences and a scurry of tumbleweed ensuesStevens is deserving of our pity; love is resolutely not on his radar and a visit by interested housekeeper Miss Kenton to his pantry with a vase of cheery flowers causes his dangly bits to retract into his sexless bodyHowever dear smutseekers I later thought I'd spotted a saucy Ishiguro euphemism and I uote Mr Stevens happened to encounter Miss Kenton in the back corridorUtter filth I cried and begin to thrash myself with birch twigs before realising that I'd allowed my imagination to run away with me yet again sighUnfortunately Mr Stevens is the architect of his own downfall his dogmatic restraint inevitably causing him to miss out on life and loveAlthough I doubt I shall ever be a true Ishiguro fan he has redeemed himself with this body of work and there is a telling poignancy to the reflective ending which prompted me to bump my score up to a respectful five stars Here is my butler esue star ratings guide 5 I say sir Most becoming4 Most generous sir I shall pass on your kind comments to the staff3 May I suggest an alternative sir2 Oh dear Will that be all sir1 I have no doubt that your father will be turning in his grave sir

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The Remains of the DayStevens and England a past that takes in fascism two world wars and an unrealised love between the butler and his housekeeper. “The evening's the best part of the day You've done your day's work Now you can put your feet up and enjoy it” I suppose what one really needs at the end of it all in the twilight of life is to know that it was worth something that there was some meaning some purpose to it Because if it was all in vain why even tryWith The Remains of the Day Kazuo Ishiguro created a masterpiece mesmerizing evocative subtle elegant and perfectly crafted with precise mastery of language setting and characters At its heart it's a story of searching for something irrevocably lost in life a story of memory and its elusive unreliability It's beautiful and haunting with initial rose tinged glow of nostalgia slowly and subtly morphing into uiet gentle regret managing to coexist with dry humor and bits of satire It's a book of uncommon uality one that's impossible to forget one that deserves every ounce of praise that's it's been showered withWhat is dignity What is greatness How do you define your purpose These are uestions Stevens a uintessential English butler at the twilight of his life not surprisingly coinciding with the twilight of the British Empire ponders during his drive through the countryside in the search of an old friend a former housekeeper who Stevens thinks would make a great addition to the dwindled staff of a once great manor now owned by a rich American after the death of its former aristocratic owner the Lord in whose employ Stevens had faithfully spent several decades To Stevens the answers are initially clear the purpose and satisfaction the all elusive dignity itself lies in the unuestionable loyalty and devotion to the great ones of this world by association with whom you matter too But as the miles roll by the pull of Darlington Hall seems to lessen and bit by bit flashback by flashback in a surprisingly formal stream of consciousness the glimpses of the truth begin to appear and how unsettling they are Bit by bit mostly not through what he tells us but instead precisely through what he does not tell we come to see that poor Stevens is perhaps the most unreliable narrator there ever wasStarting from a formal stiff but still confident narration at the beginning of Stevens' journey we end up eventually on a bench on a pier glimpsing into his very private pain and heartbreak as he contemplates the remains of his life at the titular remains of the day Bit by bit through at times reluctant limited and yet unfailingly honest narration we get to experience the story of a man who put loyalty and faithful service above all pursuing the coveted dignity clinging to the well defined class roles and rigid expectations denying his own self in attempts to live up to the duty the uintessential Englishness that already in his time is becoming obsolete “However if a butler is to be of any worth to anything or anybody in life there must surely come a time when he ceases his searching; a time when he must say to himself 'This employer embodies all that I find noble and admirable I will hereafter devote myself to serving him” Stevens the most unreliable narrator manages to show us so much precisely through the things that he fails to tell the reader It's what's left unsaid that paints the real picture the disappointments the loss the lonely empty existence intentionally devoid of love and warmth “It is hardly my fault if his lordship's life and work have turned out today to look at best a sad waste and it is uite illogical that I should feel any regret or shame on my own account” Stevens in his earnest devotion remains loyal to the memory of Lord Darlington never fully admitting that the man he had spent his life serving and admiring was in fact not so great And how can he After all he has based his entire self worth his entire sense of being on devotedly serving a supposedly great and noble man feeling that in some little way he Stevens had something to do with shaping the fate of the world Openly admitting that Lord Darlington's made huge mistakes would shatter Stevens' entire self making everything useless missing his father's death going along with bigotry and prejudice and giving up a chance at love warmth and human companionship And yet at the end just for a moment or so the impeccable facade of uintessential English butler cracks and a pained confused man faces the realizations that are too unsettling to avoid “The fact is of course I said after a while I gave my best to Lord Darlington I gave him the very best I had to give and now well I find I do not have a great deal left to give” “Lord Darlington wasn't a bad man He wasn't a bad man at all And at least he had the privilege of being able to say at the end of his life that he made his own mistakes His lordship was a courageous man He chose a certain path in life it proved to be a misguided one but there he chose it he can say that at least As for myself I cannot even claim that You see I trusted I trusted in his lordship's wisdom All those years I served him I trusted I was doing something worthwhile I can't even say I made my own mistakes Really one has to ask oneself what dignity is there in that” The Remains of the Day is a book of loss and love and regret of things that define us and shape us about trust and loyalty misplaced and hopes and dreams crushed of selective memory and carefully constructed in self defense universes that let us try to be what we aspire to be and the cold brush with reality that inevitably comes To borrow Stevens' pained unexpected revelation “Indeed — why should I not admit it — in that moment my heart was breaking” “After all what can we ever gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out uite as we might have wished” Wonderful 5 stars

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DOWNLOAD ☆ The Remains of the Day ´ Librarian's note See alternate cover edition of ISBN 0571225381 hereIn the summer of 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 worldLibrarian's note See alternate cover edition of ISBN 0571225381 hereIn the summer of 1956 Stevens a long serving butler at Dar. Kazuo Ishiguro writes the anti haiku instead of consciousness awakening to the immediacy of the immutable natural world subjective memory is peeled back layer by layer to expose consciousness; instead of the joyous eruption of awareness the tension of the gradual decompression of ignorance; instead of a humility that acknowledges the unknowable on its own terms rambling that tries to fill the chasm of existential angst that has suddenly opened up like a sinkhole in being Yet what his writing shares with the haiku is the bringing about of enlightenment it arrives tarnished and the worse for wear in the end Stevens a butler has spent his life defining himself by his occupation However after having spent his best years in the service of the Nazi sympathizing British aristocrat Lord Darlington he necessarily grows introspective When his new employer a wealthy American that is himself a signifier of the changed order of postwar Europe urges him to take a brief vacation Stevens is forced to face the conseuences of his life's decisionsWithout his domestic rituals to brace him his identity unravels He grasps at the phantom of native British superiority which has proven illusory the empire lay in ruins and the men who comprised its ruling class are a weary and incompetent bunch the likes of his previous employer He remembers the imposing physicality of his long dead father but is forced to see the broken man who expired waiting upon others His threadbare philosophizing over dignity and what it means to his bearing and station finally collapses and he admits his own personal failings with fellow servant Miss Kenton who represents fleetingly a chance at redemption and happiness