‘The Remains of the Day’ by Kazuo Ishiguro

Quite enjoyed this old world novel about a butler who travels around the UK in his employer’s car. On the trip he does a lot of reflecting about his life, his vocation, and possible regrets and missed opportunities because of his never wavering devotion to duty. Think Carson in Downton Abbey and English class conditioning. The novel takes in fascism, two world wars, and an unrealised love between the butler and his housekeeper.

The book reads like a classic, and to be honest not much happens in it, but its strength is in subtlety. It’s reflective of a bygone era, atmospheric, and the strength of the novel is in the writing, indeed, it won the Man Booker Prize for fiction in 1989. There is no doubt that Nobel prize winning author Ishiguro is a master at his craft, which is also evident in another novel of his that met with great success called Never Let Me Go. It was shortlisted for the Booker in 2005. Both that novel and this one have been made into movies with star studded casts.

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