Sunday, July 17, 2016

Remains of the Day

I am surprised that I have not already written about this book... but I am glad that I did not because I have a different way of looking at it now with comparison to what I have already read by Ishiguro.
When I first read it, I had already seen the movie with Anthony Hopkins, and Emma Thompson (two of my most favourite actors!), and I already loved it.  This is unfortunate, because the movie predisposed me to see things that aren't too apparent with the book (unless you already know what to look for).
Second time around I began to see a theme with what I have read so far in A Pale View of Hills, An Artist of the Floating World and Remains of the Day.  They are all retrospective novels, they all look back in to their past (and they are bittersweet).  Also, the protagonist does at some point try to make a change, but really it is too late to do so and learning to live with events and their consequences is inevitable and unusual in each story.  Of course, it is only a stressful situation for the lead character, and once the book concludes you do see that it isn't really as bad as you once thought it was, but I love how you are drawn in to the story and carefully held there until it is over.
Remains is a departure from the first two books, a story that is heavily steeped in a British culture that is almost extinct now (or the book would have you believe so),  it was extremely interesting to read about the life of a servant in a large country estate, and about the measures he took to be an excellent butler.   I am in awe of how Ishiguro has taken me from Japan in the first two books to England in the third and has immersed me in the distinct cultural experience of each country.  I am very excited to see where he will take me next!

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