Author: Kazuo Ishiguro.
Admittedly, I had preconceived notions about this novel. I thought it was going to be a long, dull book about a manor house. I was pleasantly surprised.
The book follows the story of Mr. Stevens, a butler in the highly esteemed Darlington Hall. He reminisces about his past when he used to be employed under Lord Darlington. It describes the various events that went on in the house and the duties that the various staff had to do for the everyday upkeep of the house. The story switches between the past and the present, where Stevens works under Mr. Farraday who owns Darlington Hall.
I must say, Mr. Stevens is one of the most likeable narrators I’ve ever come across. He was so eloquent yet not condescending. He was very welcoming and warm, and made the most mundane of activities seem interesting. He portrays the house duties like a wonderful play that must be performed to the highest degree.
Obviously, because Mr Stevens was so likeable, the writing is impeccably done. I felt like I was talking to a friend the whole way through the novel. He did have flaws which made him realistic. For example, his undying duty to Lord Darlington even after his death is quite noble, and reflects back to the age of chivalry or those polite sensibilities of the past. He even kept to his duty even when his father died which showed great strength of character. I just felt great sympathy and companionship with Mr. Stevens.
A thoroughly enjoyable period drama with the friendliest, most likeable narrator you could ever come across. A must read.