An elderly butler is on a five-day motoring trip through the West Country in the 1950s. The climax of his journey is to be a reunion with his former housekeeper. This 1989 Booker Prize-winner attempts to capture a period in British history and draw a portrait of a man in old age.
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During the summer of 1956, Stevens, the aging butler of Darlington Hall, embarks on a leisurely motoring holiday that will take him deep into the heart of the English countryside and thence into his past.Review:
The novel's narrator, Stevens, is a perfect English butler who tries to give his narrow existence form and meaning through the self-effacing, almost mystical practice of his profession. In a career that spans the second World War, Stevens is oblivious of the real life that goes on around him -- oblivious, for instance, of the fact that his aristocrat employer is a Nazi sympathizer. Still, there are even larger matters at stake in this heartbreaking, pitch-perfect novel -- namely, Stevens' own ability to allow some bit of life-affirming love into his tightly repressed existence.
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