54 Following

Michael's Book Babble

I'm an indie author and a scribbler of inane babble. I talk about books I've read/liked. Or at least, that's the plan.


Most of the reviews will be considered "mini-reviews." Usually, it's mostly my reaction to what I've been reading. There are people who are far better at doing full and helpful reviews. But I still have fun doing them, and hope you enjoy them!

Quietly powerful, and fully absorbing

The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day is a novel that sneaks up on you. It’s so unassuming because of how subtle and quiet it is. But subtle and quiet novels have the ability to be quite powerful when done correctly. The story focuses on Mr. Stevens, a butler who worked under Lord Darlington. Through diary entries, Stevens reflects upon his life and also revisits memories long forgotten. Memories that also bring to light that his former employer who he lived to serve wasn’t necessarily the kindest and wisest man he makes him out to be. He’s also on a trip to visit one of his past co-workers, Miss Kenton.


Sorry for the lack-luster synopsis. I’m always terrible at writing those things, and it’s really hard to write a decent one for this novel without giving away crucial twists. The last few pages in particular are extremely powerful and heartbreaking. At first I didn’t know what to make of Mr. Stevens as he can come off as quite cold and emotionless, but in reality nothing could be further from the truth. By the end of this, I really did feel for Stevens.


I listened to the audiobook, which is read by Simon Prebble. Prebble gives another solid reading, and he captured the character and tone of Mr. Stevens perfectly.


Apologies for a short review. This one, for whatever reason, was a tough one to write. It’s hard for me to sum up the novel, or my feelings. All I can tell you is I really enjoyed it, and I’m sure it’s one I’ll revisit. Don’t let the subtle or quiet tone fool you for a minute. This is a powerful, powerful piece of work that’ll stay with you long after you’ve finished.


4 and a half stars