2:16 PM 24 SEPTEMBER 2016
I was honoured to be given the opportunity to give this book, as part of the World Book Night 2012. This was my first choice and enabled me to wax lyrical about this deceptively simple story, which explores in detail the reflections and experiences of a butler, Stevens, as he contemplates his life in service and the relevance of a life spent in service at a time of profound social change. Empathetically written, Ishiguro’s prose is a sheer delight and his attention to detail and fine emotional expression is quite touching. Certainly not a thriller, yet I feel the intentionally pedestrian pace merely accentuates the absolute quality of the writing. A truly exceptional read!
2:09 PM 24 SEPTEMBER 2016
I was so impressed by The Remains of the Day that I was inspired to move on to this book by the same author. Admittedly it was also shortlisted for the Man Booker prize, but the quality of the writing was nonetheless similarly beguiling. Ishiguro has created another thought-provoking novel, which tackles some quite profound issues around what it is to be human, the tyranny of a new form of slavery and the ethics of a system prepared to sacrifice the few for the good of the many. Albeit a fictitious social framework, it nonetheless invites critique around other man-made discrimination, which cast some people as powerless, or ‘undeserving’. Brilliant book, the nuances of which were not fully captured (in my view), by the movie interpretation.