peteg's blog - noise - books - 2015 11 10 Ishiguro TheRemainsOfTheDay

Kazuo Ishiguro: The Remains of the Day.

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Kindle. I ploughed through this while bored in Margao, Goa, and read it perhaps too quickly in a day and a bit. It was the day before Diwali, and I got stranded by the closed shops; wifi is not prevalent in India.

I've been saving this one up for a long time, and had previously put it off after seeing the movie. My expectations may have ruined it, and I felt I knew too much about where things were going. As always Ishiguro adopts a structure that is difficult to execute persuasively, viz that the narrator be observant and intelligent enough to record and order his observations but obtuse enough not to draw the conclusions that the reader is intended to. I think he did a better job of this in his later and far more seamless When We Were Orphans, though this story clearly resonated with England at the time of publication. Here it is artificial for Stevens to be writing that other characters observe his crying as his father passes while not saying anything about his own emotion, where at other times he does so at length.