Mini Review: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

TheRemainsOfTheDayCoverOfficial Synopsis from Goodreads: The Remains of the Day is a profoundly compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and of his fading, insular world postwar England. At the end of his three decades of service at Darlington Hall, Stevens embarks on a country drive, during which he looks back over his career to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving “a great gentleman.” But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington’s “greatness” and graver doubts about his own faith in the man he served.

Genre: Fiction, Literature
Setting: 1956 England, with various flashbacks to earlier in the main character’s life
My Copy Came From: I purchased a used copy from a library book sale.

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My Thoughts:

A beautiful, restrained novel. I decided to read this when Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and I remembered that I hadn’t ever read this book. I’m a huge fan of his book Never Let Me Go, and The Remains of the Day has long been on my TBR. While there was something keeping me back from loving this deep within my soul, I could appreciate the beautiful writing and the restraint that was evident here. This easily could’ve been a 500+ page book, but that would’ve ruined it. The ending was quiet and heartbreaking. I haven’t watched the movie version with Anthony Hopkins yet, and I’m very apprehensive as to how this could be as powerful on the screen as it was on the page.

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I wrote this spotlight instead of a full review due to my blog still being on somewhat of a hiatus right now. I’m back, looking at reviews and commenting on other posts, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I am unable to write full reviews at this time. I hope to be back to writing full reviews shortly!

Have you read The Remains of the Day? Which of Kazuo Ishiguro’s books is your favorite? Have you seen the movie The Remains of the Day?


17 thoughts on “Mini Review: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

  1. I remember I was assigned this book when I was an undergrad, but I don’t feel like I really got it. I know we watched the Anthony Hopkins film, or at least part of it. What do you love about this author? I wish I could go back in time with my brain today and do my undergrad years over.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I really love how he writes – every word on the page feels important and necessary. There isn’t any extra fluff to his sentences. That’s why I said that this book could easily be 500 pages or more in length. I think with another author it could’ve been too wordy and drawn out.


  2. I had the same response. I think Hopkins has the ability for the subtlety required (he was wonderful as C.S.Lewis in Shadowlands), but I haven’t seen the movie yet. Maybe I will put that on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Didn’t Hopkins win an award for that movie? I wasn’t happy with the end of the movie, and I don’t think I really got the depth of meaning/emotion/feeling that I might have from the book. I might just have to add it to my huge TBR bookshelf to see if I can get more from the book, I usually can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought Hopkins won an Oscar for this role too, but I just looked it up and he was nominated but lost to Tom Hanks in Philadelphia. He did win the BAFTA though. Emma Thompson was also nominated for her role, but lost to Holly Hunter in The Piano (a stunning movie and performance!).
      There is so much unsaid in the book – so much that you only see because you are inside the main character’s head so-to-speak, so I’m a bit unsure how the movie will be. The book is definitely worth reading – one of the modern classics! I’m guessing that the ending of the movie is the same as the book based on your comment about the ending.


  4. “Remains of the day” was a powerful novel which I loved. Also, I really enjoyed the movie, which I think did an excellent portrayal of the narrative. With Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins, how could it go wrong?

    Liked by 1 person

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