Monday, September 8, 2008

The Remains of the Day -- Kazuo Ishiguro

Okay, folks! This one is a book and a movie. I read the book first, for my book club.

Stevens is an old-school butler in the tradition of fine England. However life isn't what it used to be. When Stevens receives an intriguing letter from the former housekeeper, he takes his new employer's suggestion and goes for a tour of the country. Along the way, he reminisces about his service to Lord Darlington between the two World Wars.

This book is rather fascinating. Stevens reminded me of Jeeves for a bit at the beginning, and his accidental humor kept me reading. Pretty soon though I was trying to figure out what Stevens is really up to. This is a "read between the lines" novel -- Stevens doesn't give you the whole story. Imagining what other people must have been thinking kept my mind on the book whenever I wasn't reading it and long after I finished.

Part philosophy, part love story, part memoir, the book kept my book club talking -- that's for sure.

So, I decided to rent the movie. I was interested to see how the adaptation had gone. I have to say I like the book better -- you just understand more. However the movie was good too, and kept the four of us who watched it talking for quite a while too.

An interesting piece. It's all mental. Recommended.

--Alysa

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