Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Review of The Remains Of The Day

What remains with me from this novel?

It's a story about a man, Mr Stevens, who has been a butler his entire life, pleased with serving others. When his employer suggests that he takes a few days off and perhaps take a trip around the country, he grasps this chance to see a little bit of England.

On his way through the country he reflects on his past life, the events that happened and the decisions that he made. In his dignified way he lets on that he might have made mistakes in order to keep peace and be the personification of what he thinks is a great butler.
He has succesfully erased his own personality when he served Lord Darlington, his longest employer, and has trouble adapting to his latest employer, a less restrained American going by the name of Farraday.

On one hand he reflects of what stays with him of his trip that day and on the other hand he takes trips down memory lane explaining why he has done the things he has done.
In the end you're left wondering if his utter denial of his own mind and his own set of emotions has been smart or not. He seems content with his life, but he admits that his life could've been very different and maybe happier if he had given in to certain impulses his work ethic couldn't allow.

It's a classic, that's for sure. Already adapted ages ago with Athony Hopkins in the lead.
My thing with classics is that I'm not always as blown away by them as others are. It's not because they are written in a specific way or they touch a subject that's quite unusual, it's necessarily a novel that needs to survive the test of time.
My initial thought on this novel was that it lacked a little pace, but it's still capable of holding your attention. You want to know what happened, you want to know what will happen, because another protagonist of this story or maybe she is meant as the antagonist is Miss Kenton.

She is portrayed as a possible love interest if Mr Stevens wouldn't have been so stubborn in doing his job and hiding his emotions. In the end they meet and a lot is being said without words being uttered.

It's a novel I can't easily put my finger on. It's too interesting to be put down, but the subject feels a little tedious and oldfashioned. Even though I didn't connect with the person talking I remained a faithful listener.

I'm giving it a 6,5 out of 10. The reason I'm not giving more is that I believe this novel will be too easily forgotten again.