The Berlin Stories: The Last of Mr. Norris & Goodbye To Berlin
First published in the 1930s, The Berlin Stories contains two astonishing related novels, The Last of Mr. Norris and Goodbye to Berlin,
which are recognized today as classics of modern fiction. Isherwood magnificently captures 1931 Berlin: charming, with its avenues and cafés; marvelously grotesque, with its nightlife and dreamers;
dangerous, with its vice and intrigue; powe
A series of character portraits, exaggerated personalities, and all the color and clamor of a Weimar cabaret. But all of this is made bittersweet with the knowledge that the Nazis would begin to consume all in their path by 1933.
It's not as dark as so much pre-WWII writing is. That's because most pre-WWII writing was written post-WWII and takes a look at the oncoming darkness head-on. With Isherwood it really seeps in so slowly you don't notice.
It is a very youthful book, full of the kind of blase naivete that is ...more
Isherwood's writing is so delightful, his characters so well-drawn and his portrait of Berlin so fascinating that you almost miss the despair, particularly in "Sally Bowles." It's hard to read that story without seeing Liza Minelli in your mind's eye an ...more
Book one follows the narrator (presumably the author) on a trip from his native England, on the train, to Berlin, where he shares a berth with the odd, yet intriguing Arthur Norris. The story explores ...more
This book gives an overview of Berlin during the early 30's. What's interesting is that it was written during that period (first published in 1935) and not form the eyes of a German, but an Englishman. I think this is quite paramount, as most of the time a outer witness can provide with a more impartial description of events.
In some of the stories Isherwood de ...more
A chronicle of Berlin in 1932- 34 and the precursory atmosphere that would lead into the offical sanctioning of genocide which was the establishment of Nazi Germany.The works are diary excerpts and accounts of interactions with accquaintances published retrosp ...more
I bought this book at Fully Booked Greenhills at its full price (less than US$20) at postponed reading it for sometime. When On ...more
I mean, I'm sure plenty of older books are dry and boring, but this one was scintillating and sultry and compelling and great.
What I have missed, however, have been books that deal with Germany post WWI during the 20's and the early 30's before the Nazi's took hold. The dynamics in Germany during that time are fascinating. They had an explosion ...more
Sally Bowles, who shows up in the second book, is by far the most engaging character in the book and truly a joy to read with an energy and laissez faire attitude seen in few characters. The closest parallel I can think of would be Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Apparently the real life woman Sally Bowles was based upon was not nearly as frivol ...more
Now, 17 years later it was bittersweet to read the thoughts and emotions of the young and impressionable Bradshaw, who we understand to be Isherwood, in “The Las ...more
The first book, Mr. Norris Changes Trains is something of a mystery novel. There is so much about Mr. Norris that is not revealed and Isherwood writes about him in such a way as to keep the reader wondering just who or what Mr. Norris is. This is all set in the backdrop of political turmoil in Germany - the fall of governments, the birth of the Nazis, the ...more
The first person speaking allows the narrator to transport the reader in the midst of these historical events, while keeping an eye on the personal stories of the characters whom he meets along his way.
A remarkable feature of this book, which is ...more
|Bright Young Things: February 2016- The Last of Mr. Norris by Christopher Isherwood||25||11||Feb 10, 2016 03:37PM|
Isherwood was the grandson and heir of a country squire, and his boyhood was privile ...more