The Remains of the Day - Kazuo IshiguroThis is the story of Stevens. The head butler of a stately home in Oxfordshire. The story is told in the first person. Its set in the early fifties but the majority of the book is Stevens reminiscing about his time during the period between the two world wars in which he ran the country seat of his employer Lord Darlington.
I found the register of Stevens English clipped manner very enjoyable to read. Stevens is a character that I felt both sorry for, frustrated at, and really really liked all at the same time. Even though he was at the top of his profession and was respected by colleagues he was still the servant of another man. This seems to cause all kinds of conflicting emotions for Stevens as he's not too sure of what his place in life is. The main other character in this is Miss Kenton the head housekeeper of Darlington Hall who Stevens has an antagonistic relationship with but at the same time also has a sublimated respect for.
I thought this was a good window on the British class system in a period that saw the first subtle crumblings in the structure of the Britsh Empire. I would like to see the film adaptation of this starring Anthony Hopkins and I also think that with some slight editing work on the conversations between Stevens and Miss Kenton this would make a brilliant one man play. A good historical and emotional read. That is all.