Ishiguro gently seduces the reader by narrating "The Remains of the Day" from the unlikely perspective of a genteel English butler during early twentieth-century Britain. Nothing particularly dramatic or exciting happens, but the fastidiously professional Stevens gently pulls at our heartstrings in this restrained but elegantly written account of unreciprocated love and professional devotion. The pacing is slow, but the style is perfect. Like Ishiguro's more recent "The Buried Giant," there is a deep melancholy just beneath the surface and finishing this book left me in a bit of a funk.
I read somewhere that this is one of Jeff Bezos's favorite books. I suspect that Stevens's self-annihilating professional devotion in service of Lord Darlington (the customer!) resonated with Bezos. Stevens's unconventional relationship with his father likely hit close to home as well.
I'd recommend listening to the audiobook version - Simon Prebble's narration is spot on.