The Memorial
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Memorial

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  112 ratings  ·  14 reviews
With The Memorial, Christopher Isherwood began his lifelong work of rewriting his own experiences into witty yet almost forensic portraits of modern society. Set in the aftermath of World War I, The Memorial portrays the dissolution of a tradition-bound English family. Cambridge student Eric Vernon finds himself torn between his desire to emulate his heroic father, who led...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 31st 2012 by Vintage (first published 1932)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 400)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Isherwood's second novel, touted as the novel in which Isherwood becomes Isherwood, left me a little disappointed. I read A Single Man ages ago, loved it for its prose, but this left little to be liked. It's a character study with little to no real engaging plot. The characterizations are incredibly lifelike. The prose, however, was sparse and lacking in melody. There were bits and pieces in which you can see (and hear) Isherwood for what he is known, but they occur in the first and fourth parts...more
I bought this book along with a few of Isherwood's books, only because I am such a fan of "A Single Man." I feel like the book had a lovely intention from the summery, but once I began to read it, I almost shelved it a few times, not sure if I wanted to continue reading it. The novel seemed very slow but was not really getting to the point. There were moments where I felt lost, and as a lot of people pointed out, the novel didn't really have much of a point. I HATED Eric. He was a very mean char...more
It's so easy to read Isherwood, because his writing is so effortless; so clear; so witty. Having completed this one, I think I can now describe him as one of my favourite authors.

I picked this novel up in Foyles on a staff recommendations display - having loved the Berlin novels and A Single Man, and rather enjoyed Christopher and His Kind too, I figured I couldn't go wrong with this.

Pointless to talk about plot, because that would miss the point somewhat. Even the blurb on the back of the copy...more
The Memorial is Christopher Isherwood's second novel and though it comes highly recommended with wonderful blurbs and recommendations from scholars, it is not one of the author's finest works. I did not like it. One problem for me is that the book really does not have a plot, for which it is recognized and for which it is acclaimed as a series of highly developed character studies. Unfortunately, I could not develop much connection with any of the characters. The biggest disappointment is that t...more
I knew when I began this book that it was primarily a character study and the plot was almost secondary. I found the plot to be minimal, and while the chartcters were well written I couldn't always tell who was who. The last few pages might have been the best in the book, but even then there was little if any resolution. I'm glad I didn't buy this book.
Lord Beardsley
It took me until pretty much the last page in order to get all the interchangeable characters straight in my head as well as to understand what the hell was supposed to be going on. This was obviously written before Isherwood was a.) fully open to himself as a homosexual and b.) before he ruled. If you're just starting with Isherwood, don't start with this one (psst start with Berlin Stories!) and then only read this one if you've read everything else and are as much of an Isherwood geek as I am...more
Pippa D
I thought this book has a really lovely story, however, I would caution any possible readers that at times the book can be very confusing. The book is often confusing because of the many characters and the switching points of view. The real heart of the story is in parts 3 and 4 of The Memorial. I encourage readers to power through the parts of the story that are less interesting to get to the wonderful story.
Darcee Kraus
An old-fashioned German gentleman who speaks, quite eloquently I'd like to add, about literally, the portrait of a family, how that structure is prolonged and idealized by society, and makes several points that created new ways for my own personal thinking.

Darcee Kraus
Mckinleyville, CA
Cesar Alvarez
Isherwood's character portraits in The Memorial were wonderful, as usual, but I thought he took on too many characters, and the narration was a bit hard to follow. The suicide scene early in the novel was intense and memorable. At first I found Eric to be the most interesting character, but by the end it was definitely Edward.
Really enjoyed this one. I'm developing a taste for British fiction set in that period between the wars. Reminded me a bit of Brideshead, but with less humor. This won't appeal to everyone, but I liked it.
Wils Cain
The story of a family after WWI and its impact on each of them. Great attention to each character's perceptions. The story unravels out of chronological order which makes for a much more interesting read.
Linda Mccoy
I won this on Goodreads First Reads giveaway, and really liked it. Not much of a plot, but very much a story about the 20's written in the 30' very authentic. A keeper.
i love you c isherwood, but after 50+ pages this still wasn't drawing me in, so i give up.
I love Isherwood but I found it so hard to get into this book.
Amy marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2014
Anna Hawryluk
Anna Hawryluk marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2014
João Roque
João Roque marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2014
Ricarda marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2014
Alicia marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2014
William marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2014
Ana marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2014
Matthew marked it as to-read
Jun 10, 2014
P. marked it as to-read
Jun 04, 2014
Violet marked it as to-read
May 30, 2014
David Spry
David Spry marked it as to-read
May 25, 2014
Johnny Appleseed
Johnny Appleseed marked it as to-read
May 16, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Trilogy No. 111: Speak Its Name
  • A Sort Of Life
  • The Married Man
  • A Pirate's Primer (Chronicles of the Grey Lady,  #1)
  • Lord of the Two Lands
  • Frost Fair
  • The Summing Up
  • Wicked Game
  • My Father and Myself
  • In Bear Country
  • Stealing West
  • Winds of Change (Royal Navy, #2)
  • Collected Stories
  • Captain's Surrender
  • The Phoenix
  • Seconds (Deceived, #2)
  • The Life to Come and Other Stories
  • Angel's Evolution
Christopher Isherwood was a novelist, playwright, screen-writer, autobiographer, and diarist. He was also homosexual and made this a theme of some of his writing. He was born near Manchester in the north of England in 1904, became a U.S. citizen in 1946, and died at home in Santa Monica, California in January 1986.

Isherwood was the grandson and heir of a country squire, and his boyhood was privile...more
More about Christopher Isherwood...
A Single Man The Berlin Stories: The Last of Mr Norris/Goodbye to Berlin Goodbye to Berlin Christopher and His Kind Mr Norris Changes Trains

Share This Book

“His boredom was like a nostalgia for the whole world. He was homesick for everywhere but here.” 4 likes
More quotes…