Kazuo Ishiguro - Remains of the Day, The

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Algot Runeman
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Kazuo Ishiguro - Remains of the Day, The

Post by Algot Runeman »

Remains of the Day, The

The writing of this book isn't from an author's perspective, though at first it seemed so. Written with a first person voice, the main character, the butler Mr. Stephens, is recording his thoughts. In addition, his writing is directed toward others in service, not to a general public. The writing technique almost worked for me. I was ultimately disappointed with it, though.

Mr. Stephens chooses to gradually reveal himself through what seems a conversation, rather than a journal. If it were more explicit as a journal, I think that might work better. As it is, the conversation appears to be composed in his head. By being sliced out of what may have been a lifelong habit, it seems to be more like a one shot deal. These revelations of the thoughts of Mr. Stevens appear to start and end with the trip he takes to visit Miss Kenton.

Unfortunately, though the actions he takes are in Mr. Stevens' voice, the feelings of Mr. Stevens are revealed by what Stevens writes, but others say. "Are you feeling quite well, Stevens?"

That didn't work for me. Stevens does not seem astute enough about his feelings. He denies them to himself. He is in character as a butler at all times. It seems improbable he would carefully quote the reactions of others to illustrate that he does actually suffer from some human feeling. The description on the book's cover flap (which I read after the novel) describes the novel as "brilliantly crafted" and that is its problem for me. It seemed crafted, not genuine.

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Re: Kazuo Ishiguro - Remains of the Day, The

Post by Darb »

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