Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1989 Booker Prize Winner

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro


Publisher: Faber & Faber

Length: 272 pages

About: Dignified butler narrates his story 

Style: 1st person

Where: England

When: 1910s-1950s


Publisher’s synopsis:

A compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and of his fading, insular world in postwar England. At the end of his three decades of service at Darlington Hall, Stevens embarks on a country drive, during which he looks back over his career to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving “a great gentleman.” But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington’s “greatness” and graver doubts about his own faith in the man he has served.



“As far as I am concerned, Miss Kenton, my vocation will not be fulfilled until I have done all I can to see his lordship through the great tasks he has set himself. The day his lordship’s work is complete, the day he is able to rest on his laurels, content in the knowledge that he has done all anyone could ever reasonably ask of him, only on that day, Miss Kenton, will I be able to call myself, as you put it, a well-contented man.”




Kazuo Ishiguro's third novel, ''The Remains of the Day,'' is a dream of a book: a beguiling comedy of manners that evolves almost magically into a profound and heart-rending study of personality, class and culture. At the beginning, though, its narrator, an elderly English butler named Stevens, seems the least forthcoming (let alone enchanting) of companions. Cartoonishly punctilious and reserved, he edges slowly into an account of a brief motoring holiday from Oxfordshire to the West Country that he is taking alone at the insistence of his new employer, a genial American, Mr. Farraday.

New York Times, Lawrence Graver, 8th October 1989 for full review click here


Not so good:

As David Lodge, chairman of the judges in 1989, said, it's "a cunningly structured and beautifully paced performance". So cunning, in fact, that it sometimes feels as if we're being duped – that Ishiguro is leading us on an elegant but deliberately dizzying dance rather than a real emotional journey. But the fact that the book is cleverly put together is the strongest objection I can raise against it.

The Guardian blog, Sam Jordison, 26th November 2010 click here for full review


About the author

Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan in November 1954 but moved to Britain in 1960. He received an OBE for Services to Literature in 1995, and the French decoration of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1998. He lives in London.



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Novels by same author:



1993 Oscar winning film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thonpson








2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

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