Wednesday, January 05, 2005

BOOKS: "Tonight, I find myself here in a guest house in the city of Salisbury..."

The Remains of the Day
by Kazuo Ishiguro
I've been wanting to read this book for years, but when I finally committed myself to finding a copy, it was surprisingly difficult to track down. But worth the effort.

Imagine that P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves wrote a memoir at the end of his career, and imagine that in this memoir he came to the realization that he'd wasted his life as a handservant to noblesse oblige, and then imagine that reading this memoir totally fucking broke your heart. That pretty much sums up this novel. I've never read such an example of gut-wrenchingly sad yet controlled narrative. Jesus, I'm going to cry just thinking about it.

Read this book. But try to time the ending better than I did. I finished it all alone at 3 am this morning and had to wake up my dog to give me a hug.


Her Ladyship said...

Oh my god, I feel the exact same way about "Remains of the Day." I first read it when I was living in Italy and just desperate for *anything* in English. Now I have to read it at least once a year. Every time I read it, I get more out of it. It really is a good reminder that work is not everything.

Tammy said...

Yup, I think this is going to be one those books I revisit regularly, too. I actually read it far too quickly, because it was paining me so much that I needed to see how things turned out, just to get the horror behind me... kind of like ripping off a bandage. But I'm going to slow down next time and really let myself wallow in it.

mo pie said...

When I first read this book, I thought I didn't like it. Then I couldn't get it out of my head. Now it's one of my favorites! It's amazing.