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"The Remains of the Day" - Kazuo Ishiguro
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Author:  p.falk [ Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:54 pm ]
Post subject:  "The Remains of the Day" - Kazuo Ishiguro

Got this off of a whim (a 'flight of fancy' as the youth are wont to proclaim).

It's written from the vantage of an English butler in the 1950s. Reading more than a few books from English authors that involve butlers and that era I'd say Kazuo has a very solid grasp on the language style.

Not too far into it yet, but very enjoyable.
I saw the film adaptation of his book "Never Let Me Go". If this is any bit as moving as that one....

Author:  p.falk [ Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "The Remains of the Day" - Kazuo Ishiguro

A fun bit of historical fiction.

The main character, Mr. Stevens, is a butler for a very prestigious house/lord: Lord Darlington. Lord Darlington is an English lord who fell into a bit of disrepute for some incautious (but innocent enough) associations with the likes of Oswald Mosley... which, according to the butler Mr. Stevens, was prior to some of the more nefarious manifestations of Mosley's actual intent.

Also, Lord Darlington's house/mansion was where Lord Halifax and Ribbentrop had met. According to the butler this was all prior to Ribbentrop's true aims being made clear. The butler goes to lengths to explain how many notable figures in England, at the time, were both welcoming and unaware to the true (or eventual) aims of Ribbentrop. Though, posterity being less forgiving toward Darlington.

All of this is relayed in the way of flashbacks as Mr. Steven's makes his way out west to both do some sight seeing and an attempt to win back to the house a housekeeper named Miss Kenton. Lord Darlington has since died and an American gentleman (Mr. Farraday) has bought the prestigious house. He has given Mr. Stevens some time to go on a trip. Even allowing Mr. Steven's to borrow his Ford. The present day for the book is 1950s.

There are a few very touching moments that sneak up on you and give you a moment of pause.

The dialog is incredible. Ishiguro has a very solid handle on the manner of butler professionalism.
It's not Jeeves and Bertie funny... but Mr. Steven's does leave himself open for some very funny moments. Mainly due to the incongruity of his serious manner contrasted with Farraday's jovial "American" humor. Mr. Steven's tries to adapt to it by offering a few jokes of his own. The lead up to it is so hilarious in how mechanical Mr. Steven's is in thinking of the proper come back to Mr. Farraday's jests.

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