The World In The Evening
... I woke up next morning in the police station without a centime. I had a splitting headache and I must have been dumped in some gutter, for my clothes were filthy. This adventure made me unreasonably indignant. Paris had betrayed me, I felt. It had treated me like a common tourist. The city wasn't friendly, as I'd imagined. It was a nest of cheap, cold-blooded crooks. I suddenly hated it. Two days later, I'd left for Germany. Berlin was a complete contrast. Outwardly, it was graver, stiffer a ...more
This story here, like all Isherwood stories, is much more than the sum of its parts, and is particularly difficult to describe without going off on all sorts of tangents. Mostly because it's one of those great-impact novels that touch on so man ...more
Full review (and other recommendations!) at Another look book
I received my copy via Goodreads' First Reads program, which is awesome, because this is the first book I've won! The World in the Evening isn't the kind of book I'm usually draw to. It's navel-gazely--fine by me--but it's a man's navel, and I tend to sympathize bette ...more
I can’t say I enjoyed this. I wanted to. I expected to. My first Isherwood and perhaps I should’ve started with The Berlin Stories. I’m trying to forgive myself, from the bottom of my heart.
As I hydroplaned over the surface I kept thinking, the next page I’ll start to dive and submerge, stop thinking about why I’m not enjoying it. But after the halfway point I decided, it’s not me, it’s you book. I don’t...more
The blurb for this book should be sufficient starting ground ...more
I was reminded in many ways of two related novels of Edith Wharton ('The Gods Arrive' and 'Hudson Ri ...more
In this passage, one of the characters, a ...more
Immediately before reading The World in the Evening, I read Goodbye To Berlin and Mr. Norris Changes Trains, Isherwood's famous early novels about his time in Berlin. Juxtaposed to these early novels, The World in the Evening has a maturity, a subtlety, and an emotionality that are not present in Isherwood's earlier novels.
The novel really ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this relatively short novel, which gives the sense of a long span of time in the developing maturity of the main character, Stephen Monk. I was contentedly carried along by the gentle pace of the narration that unfolds in surprising ways. It begins quickly with a climactic episode, then most of the book reflects backward to recount the experiences that brought him to that episode. Much of the reflection is supported by Monk's savored reading of letters written by his decease ...more
Then Elizabeth, who had been standing in the wings, finally stepped out on stage and everything changed. I loved her. I loved her letters. I think this book is one of the best I've read about the writing process. It wasn't heavy-handed or ham-handed (or is that ham-fisted?) or self-conscious. It felt natural and honest and true and I believed every word of it--and not just because I have felt personally t ...more
To be honest, this book starts out fairly slow, but after I got past those first fifty pages I was pleasantly surprised. The dialogue and descriptions are very witty and amusing, while the story flows quite beautifully. It was easy to adore the main character, Stephen Monk, and I quite enjoyed the way the author told his tale.
If you're patient enough to get into this story, I ...more
Gerda and Sarah are the only two really likeable characters, but all of them are believable. It was a good book, and though les ...more
Full review at Another Look Book
Reminded me of:
- Hollywood movies from the ’30s and ’40s
- Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
- Francoise Sagan (Bonjour Tristesse)
This was my first Isherwood novel. I'm a little torn about it. I really enjoyed reading it, but didn't miss it terribly when I wasn't reading it which is my benchmark find a 4/5-star book. I hated Michael with a passion. What a nut job. I half expected the novel to take a bizarre murderous twist whenever he was around because he seemed that unstable. Pics loved the ending not because everything was tidied up, but I felt I really understood Steven, Jane, ...more
My only criticism is how the sexuality of Stephen is portrayed - specifically, his affair with Michael Drummond. They seemed to genuinely love each other, at least for a time. It's almost as if Isherwood has trou ...more
Beautifully written prose right up to the last page. Isherwood's talent remains his ability to plunge us into the depth of human emotion and struggle. A portrait of the past which regrettably no writer today could possibly come close to portaying.
Isherwood was the grandson and heir of a country squire, and his boyhood was privile ...more