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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Book Review -The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

I've started reading Japanese authors very recently and have really hit the jackpot as it were with what I've selected. I went for this book (again amongst dusty piles) and just got hooked on the cover.

A really stiff upper lip kind of man and a steely beauty both not very young and I fell for it - really bad. The book took me by surprise because I did not even read the outline of the story - just picked it up and didnt I get a very very pleasant surprise.

The book set in the mid 1950's proceeds from a very Englishman's home is his castle sort of story where our story teller is the very upright, dignified butler, upholding
the traditions of centuries of what a good butler should be - professional to the last, loyal to the utmost and maintaining the "very important dignity" of the household to which he is affiliated.

We see a relationship budding between the housekeeper and the butler and despite all the best efforts of the housekeeper to thaw Stevens, his first priority is always to the master of the house. First Lord Darlington and after the house is sold to an American gentleman Mr. Farraday with whom Stevens tries very hard to maintain a position of equilibrium without bordering on the familiarity which Mr. Farraday sometimes seeks.

The book reminded me (forgive me if I am so out on this) on the Jane Austen style of writing - though the story did not end as a very happily ever after kind of tale, the book was enthralling and I would recommend this small book of just under 250 pages. The book is an old publication (1989 Booker Prize) but no apologies for that. I just get my books way later than all of you out there. Am just grateful that due to recommendations of such fantastic book bloggers, I have a permanent TBR list on call.

The book was for me a real relaxer as it were from the frustrations and anxiety of the journey I underwent over the last four days. I started the Historian and thats due next.

1 comment:

chasingbawa said...

I'm so glad you liked this book because it is also one of my favourites! For me, Ishiguro is more British than Japanese because he grew up in the UK, but he's also written a couple of titles set in Japan. I've got The Pale View of the Hills which I'm saving for the Japanese Literature Challenge later this year.