Saturday, April 20, 2013

26 Books that Changed My Life: #18 The Remains of the Day

R: Regret

I thought I would spend the month of April delving into the literature that has made me the person I am today.

1] In this list you will find some of my favorite books, but you will also find books that I appreciate and books that I would recommend although they may not be my favorite. These are books that changed my way of thinking or my way of looking the world. These are books that helped solidify the core of who I am.
2] These books are in order of the theme that I came away with not alphabetical by title or author.

About this book:
In 1956, Stevens, a long-serving butler at Darlington Hall, decides to take a motoring trip through the West Country. The six-day excursion becomes a journey into the past of Stevens and England, a past that takes in fascism, two world wars and an unrealised love between the butler and his housekeeper. Ishiguro’s dazzling novel is a sad and humorous love story, a meditation on the condition of modern man, and an elegy for England at a time of acute change.

Publication Date:  first published in 1989

Why this book:
I learned from this book to do what my heart desired and to live without regret. I have never read a book that more beautifully describes the longing of living a life without sharing your passions and desire. Stevens shows us that it can be done, but he also shows us that it shouldn't be done. I remember reading the ending of this book and thinking about how long he lived with his heart bruised and broken. I also learned that it's ok to be selfish every now and again, if people didn't think of themselves before others at some point in time we wouldn't get anywhere, or be anything, but the ghost of our former selves.

So, I'd written this post before reading this article, but here's what author Jessica Soffer said about this book:
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro - Stevens, our narrator, is going out on a limb, pursuing love after a life of anything but. We’re rooting for him, for love, holding our breath, wishing. In the end, Stevens makes a choice and it might be a letdown. And yet, it’s exactly appropriate. He acts according to the lines in which he was drawn. Fiction, at its best, brings us so close, brings us to our knees, and then reminds us, however abruptly, perhaps disappointingly, of the difference between us and them. We are not Stevens. Stevens is Stevens. And we are better for knowing him: why he didn’t, couldn’t, and why we might have but won’t.


  1. You've got a great idea for a theme. I love that you took so much away from this book, that's the best part of reading.

    Have fun with a-z. :)

  2. I've never read the book, but I did see the movie and enjoyed it a great deal. I like the way you've described the book.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  3. For some reason, although I think I recall the movie, it doesn't sound the like the same plot. But, I do know I enjoyed it! Happy A to Z!




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