Historical Fiction

The Remains of the Day

by Kazuo Ishiguro

Quick take

What can we ever gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished?

Why I love it

A good, fulfilling and purposeful life '“ a life well lived. At the end of the day, isn’t that all anyone wants? If you think an aging English butler would have little to teach you about how to live, you will be very surprised. Perhaps 'œteach' is not the right word, because we actually learn from his mistakes, subtly revealed as the façade of his perfectly ordered life is slowly pulled away. ...


This is Kazuo Ishiguro's profoundly compelling portrait of Stevens, the perfect butler, and of his fading, insular world in post-World War II England. Stevens, at the end of three decades of service at Darlington Hall, spending a day on a country drive, embarks as well on a journey through the past in an effort to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving the "great gentleman," Lord...

Member thoughts

38% Love
44% Like
13% Dislike
  • Colleen K.

    Iowa City, IA

    "This is a beautiful meditation of a butler's road trip to visit an old friend. He reflects on his vocation, his former employer, a lost love, and the influence of his father. "

  • Angela S.

    Manchester, IA

    "This was a perfect book to read in the rainy weather we currently have. I flew through this book in a weekend. I savored every word in this quiet story told through the memories of the English butler."

  • Lisa T.

    Vista, CA

    "I actually began reading this book out loud,to myself, in a British accent. It helped with the narrative. Also, I could hear Anthony Hopkins voice narrating. It's a bit stodgy, but it's about a butler"

  • Rosemary G.

    Downingtown, PA

    "Exquisitely written story of an older man reflecting on his life's work and whether it mattered and his lost relationships with his father and the woman he loved. Heartbreaking! Stays with you."

  • Lorna Z.

    Yucca Valley, CA

    "As always the book is better than the movie."

  • Hannah F.

    Harrisonburg, VA

    "Ishiguro managed to tackle themes as broad and towering as the definition of dignity and the meaning of loyalty and service."

  • Janet R.

    Salt Lake City, UT

    "Loved it."

  • Amy C.

    Sheffield , VT

    "This book...... loved it."

  • Elaine H.

    Aurora, IL

    "One of my favorite authors, did not disappoint. He has a way of subtly revealing a story without explicitly saying it. The story truly made you reflect on life's questions we may all face in the end."

  • Marilyn P.

    Star, NC

    "This is a well-written, thoughtful, powerful, little novel. As Mr. Steven's tries to figure out his life, the reader is drawn into the complexities of his own. Loved it."

  • Ashley C.

    Huntsville, AL

    "A classic. Read it in just a few sittings - everyone should read this book. Quite thought-provoking."