I'd do nothing but reading if I could (ok, maybe eat some great food, buy some fancy shoes between two books...oh, and spend some quality time with the gorgeous guy I married while I am on reading-break anyway...)
This felt way longer than the page count warrants.
The voice of the first person narrator is dry and fraught with many boring details about being a butler and the job of a butler - I profession I never really felt much interest in...
The picture his narration paints is that of an unintelligent, emotionally stunted, stubborn and overly ambitious person. And the ambition is to be the perfect butler.
The protagonist is one of the most unlikable persons I ever encountered in books.
He is not evil or bad. Just not very smart, not very nice, no higher morals, just his stubborn loyalty towards his lord.
An example: his employer is politically active in the 1930ies in the so-called appeasement politics to an extent where he socializes with British fascists. One consequence is that he orders Stevens (the protag) to fire all Jewish employees in the household. Stevens does it. Without any kind of resistance or even a lot of consideration.
This was much much worse than Downton Abbey, where the maids and servants at least are portrayed as human beings.
I have no clue how realistic this is, but it was boring and aggravating to read. Not sure if that was the intention of the book.
I can see no reason whatsoever why Miss Kenton would ever be in any way romantically interested in Stevens. Unless it was his "position" in the household. He was cold and insensitive, he ridiculed her and was emotionally unavailable.
Until he suddenly decided to travel to her and expect - what exactly?
This really left me confused - it is supposedly a good book, the author just won the Nobel prize.
But this was really not a great book. It didn't move me at all.
A wasted life - but not because of being a servant, but a deeply annoying and unlikeable person.