The Remains of the Day

I guess if you`re name is Kazuo Ishiguro most people upon seing momentarily imagine samurai, geishas, sake, sumo wrestlers and lots of hentai images. And after that you spend days and days convincing a person that you`re not Japanese. You can even write a book from the viewpoint of an elderly English butler and still the readers will await Kurosawa appearing in the novel. The hero of the novel, named Stevens, has been a butler at Darlington Hall for some three decades. Now he goes in his masters - an American gentleman`s - car on a journey through England as the first travelling vacation of his life. He doesn`t go very far though and most of the time he still thinks about the glorious days of the past. Not that his past had any glory at all - butlers rarely make history after all but he can philosophise about different great butlers of his days and about his master - the late Lord Darlington. As the book proves, a perfect butler is only remotely human - he doesn`t have any emotions, any opionions, he`s a monster who can`t love anyone but his master. At first Stevens seems to be a normal fellow but as the book gets closer to the end and he glorifies everything his master the reader learns to know that Stevens isn`t really sane in fact. That`s quite a scary book, although nobody gets mutilated, killed in obnotious ways, no-ones eyeballs are squeezed and made into jelly but I still found it very very scary. And very English. Too English I even guess. The whole butler, housekeeper shinanegan is just a lot of bullshit IMHO. A proletaric folk doesn`t need that! Let`s follow Marx, let`s follow Lenin! Well, maybe not, but I still don`t like people of Stevens`s kind. Not that I must like the hero in order to enjoy a book, but the way he treats people and his impression of the world make me shiver.
2006-01-05
8.0
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