I probably said it before, but I will say it again. I am a sucker for British classical stories. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about books or movies. I love them equally. And if I find a story that I can read and then watch the film, it is even better. The book I will talk about today is one of those cases, the only difference is that I’ve seen the ecranisation first and read the novel 10 years later.
What are the remains of the day in this case?
“The Remains of the Day” is written in the first person way by the Nobel-prize winning author, Kazuo Ishiguro. It has as main character a butler named Stevens, who finds himself after a life in service of the late Lord Darlington and the grandeur of the British life from the beginning of the 20th century, in the same mansion, but with a new employer (the wealthy American Mr. Farraday) and almost no staff to look after.
The book starts with Stevens receiving a letter from a former colleague, Miss Kenton, who writes him about her married life, letting him understand that she is unhappy. Due to this correspondence, Stevens decides to take a journey to Cornwall to meet Miss Kenton after twenty years and to propose her a re-employment offer.
Throughout the novel, our main character relives his youth years and describes his relationship with Miss Kenton and Lord Darlington. The end of the story finds Stevens focusing on the “remains of the day”.
The book is a sad one that makes you wonder about what is important in life. It is a novel not to devour, but to stay and analyse each chapter. It is brilliantly written and if you haven’t done so, and you like the genre, this Reading Badger recommends it with all its heart.