The Remains of the Day
12 journalers for this copy...
Acquired on a 3 for 2 offer.
Edited on 4th February 2005 to change the cover image to that of the UK edition of this novel. eMeReS is right - this is much more redolent of the novel than the previous cover graphic.
I've seen this book cited for the character of Stevens as a classic "unreliable narrator" in respect of his self-deluded account of his former employer's Nazi sympathies and this is indeed true. It has also justifiably been celebrated for its depiction of life above and below stairs in a great English house between the wars.
More than that, however, it's a profound study of loneliness. Stevens is emotionally stunted, pompous, snobbish, tedious, nit-picking, self-justifying and more, but in the end he is also one of the loneliest literary creations I've encountered, unable to step outside his role to interact with others on an individual, human level and this ultimately costs him an opportunity he doesn't realise he has lost until the end of the novel.
"The Remains of the Day" is both a comedy of manners and a political study of dark and difficult times. The extent to which Stevens is changed at the end is ambiguous and no doubt every reader will take their own view.
Journal Entry 3
from not specified, not specified not specified on Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Arrived today with a beautiful postcard. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks again Fellraven.
Journal Entry 4
from not specified, not specified not specified on Friday, August 27, 2004
Sent it to Zazou yesterday.
I truly enjoyed this book. Beautiful prose, extraodinary character, full of subtlties and metaphors, comical at times and very very moving, a pleasure to read.
Thanks BDF! Never received a book so quickly and thank you Fellraven for the postcard!
I also really enjoyed reading this story.
How can one live only to please one's employer and to be appreciated by him. Stevens does not seem to have a mind of his own. He reacts and thinks only accordinly to his master's wishes, expectations (or what he thinks they are...).
On it's way to brasileirandesa :-)
hi! i received the book like two weeks ago but i've been busy with school so i totally forgot to do this journal entry.. sorry!! i'm having my final exam on monday so that's when i can finally start reading the book.. can't wait!
so anyway, your book is here with me.. safe! haha! thank you for letting me to read it! kisses and hugs!
Excellent news! After having been stalled for several months, this book is back on the move!
Open to anyone anywhere. Please read and forward within 4 weeks of receipt and be prepared to post it to another country if necessary.
BFD (Aveiro, Portugal)
Zazou (Vaud, Switzerland)
brasileirandesa (Raisio, Finland)
eMeReS (Leiden, Netherlands)
yvonnep (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
bcosta (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Atnaturesmercy (NJ, USA)
Icanfly (MI, USA)
Caligula03 (CA, USA)
10. vicki9170 (FL, USA) <--- Here (11th January 2006)
actually the book is on it´s way to emeres. sent it last week so emeres should have received it already.. sorry it took me so long! but i enjoyed reading it!! thanks!
The book has arrived safely. I leafed through it a bit already. I always like to see how books are structured before I get into them, it looks promising. I will report back when I'm finished.
Beautiful book. Although I also had other things to read I decided to read just a few pages to get the feel of the book, I should have known better ... of course I couldn't put it down again.
It was very moving indeed, at times I felt the urge to call out: For heaven's sake Stevens, open your eyes! (at two points I actually did).
I joined this bookring because I loved the film and was curious to see how the original would be. I won't venture into saying that one or the other is better, since it has largely to do with taste in my opinion. I think the film has captured the outside of Stevens quite well, the book gives far more insight into his motives and the complicated thought processes that hold him captive.
I would love to reread it some time, I am going to put this one on my bookshopping list for the future. Thanks for sharing Fellraven, and I loved the postcard as well.
I will PM yvonnep now. I saw her on the list of participants for the meeting next Sunday, so maybe I can hand it over personally. Or else I'll get her address and mail it asap.
Edit: yvonnep is indeed going to the meeting in Utrecht today , so the book will change hands there. I have also added a scan of the cover, I like it better than the one that is shown on the bookshelf, more connected to the story.
Thank you Fellraven en eMeRes. I loved 'When we were orphans'. So I think this will be a fascinating read too.
This book didn't come easy to me... at times Stevens irritated me, especially in his relation with Miss Kenton. But then I got a glorious insight :-) : Stevens remembered me of Data, the android of Startrek. The android has no emotions, doesn't know what love, sadness or humour is. Stevens doesn't seem to recognize his feelings for Miss Kenton (and her feelings for him), he doesn't seem to recognize any feelings and this left me with a very sad feeling. How much can one fool oneself?
I agree with Fellraven's notion of the classic 'unreliable narrator', with this respect that you can ask yourself if the reliable narrator will ever exist.
The form of the book is a firm circle. We meet Stevens and his pondering on bantering. The story develops itself and it seems that under the influence of his reflections on his life and the input of people he meets Stevens changes. But no, in the end Stevens is back with learning how to banter.
I can't say I liked the book, but it's a fascinating read.
The book will travel on to Brazil, to bcosta.
The book arrived safe and sound. I'll read it asap.
I really enjoyed this one. I wanted to punch Stevens for supporting his employer's nazi tendencies and for treating Miss Kenton so coldly.
Sento to atnaturesmercy.
Thanks for sharing!
Arrived safely. Can't wait to read it!
Update - 5/15: I just started reading this a few days ago, so I apologize for the delay. I'm about a third of the way through and expect to finish it within a few days.
I had a hard time getting into this book at first since I found it to be much more slow than I expected, but once I got used to the style I ended up really enjoying it. Stevens managed to both anger me and make me feel sorry for him at the same time. The relationship between he and Miss Kenton was frustrating and heartbreaking at times, yet I'm glad at the end they were both able to come to terms with it. I'm not quite sure how much progress Stevens himself has made throughout the course of the novel, but I'd like to hope he at least realizes many of his errors by the end.
I will PM icanfly now and mail it out ASAP once I receive an address.
Received as part of a bookring--It will be traveilng with me to provide quiet entertainment over the Fourth of July week.
I must say I really enjoyed this book. I was fortunate enough to read most of it on a private balcony overlooking Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota during a week of fabulous weather. I agree it is a very moving story. It never fails to amaze me how different other's lives are than my own. Stevens, as he learned from his father, takes great pride in his work but sacrifices the opportunity of having personal relationships with others. What kind of childhood must he have had to have such a solitary focus in life? I must also agree with the reader who compared him to Data. I can just see that look on his face as he considers learning how to banter.
I'll forward on to caligula03 as soon as I have an address. Thanks for the opportunity to participate.
Book has arrived. Thank you.
8/17: arugh48187 wants to be skipped.
It took me until page 46 to really get into the book. I started and stopped the book a number of times until he really got started on his trip. Then I was hooked. Stevens's unexpected opportunity to travel gives him the time to rethink his life as a buttler, coming to the conclusion that he was probably not the great buttler he thought himself as. Much of the book is spent reexamining his relationship with Miss Kenton with whom he had a numerous differences of opinion. It's also a study at class, ethnicity and culture, specifically the encroachment of outsiders (neuveau riche Americans) on the well ordered English lifestyle.
Journal Entry 22
at on Friday, August 19, 2005
Released 14 yrs ago (9/2/2005 UTC) at
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I am mailing the book to vicki9170 as arugh asked to be skipped. She has found a different copy of the book.
I was clearing out my trunk to pack for our trip tomorrow and I found this envelope. It must have fallen out of my bag back in September and slipped under my son's stroller. I will mail it when I go to the post office on January 3rd.
I'm so sorry! :(
Received today. Fellraven, do you want me to send this back to you when finished or release??
This book has finished its travels under my guidance so feel free to do with it as you wish when you've finished with it.
Journal Entry 26
Island Center 2701 N. Rocky Point Drive in Tampa, Florida USA on Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Released 12 yrs ago (5/3/2007 UTC) at Island Center 2701 N. Rocky Point Drive in Tampa, Florida USA
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Leaving in the newspaper rack on the inside of the Cafe.
Journal Entry 27
from not specified, not specified not specified on Saturday, August 04, 2007
I found the book on top of the free local newspaper rack in the deli in the lobby of the building in which I work. I was quite intrigued by the concept of bookcrossing, and had an interest in the book in any event, so I took it home. It took a while for me to get to reading it (about a month) but I just finished. I found the book strangely enjoyable and compelling -- so much seemed to happen in a narrative in which nothing much at all was happening. Very subtle. I am having a very hard time picturing it as a movie, though -- it seems like it would be no small task to translate to the screen well. Though I have no problem picturing Emma Thompson as Miss Kenton (I presume?).
I intend to re-release it to the wild. I am about to visit Atlanta and I may bring it with me to lend to a friend there. Else, I will return it to the spot in which I found it.
Edited to add: I suppose I, like Stevens, am an unreliable narrator. I didn't read the other comments until I wrote my original comments. Looks like it took me more than a month to start reading it! Oops.