The Berlin Stories: The Last of Mr Norris/Goodbye to Berlin
The Last of Mr. Norris and Goodbye to Berlin make up this 1945 reissue of Christopher Isherwood's finest novels. Both are set in 1930s Berlin during the rise of Hitler. Based in part on the author's experience as an English tutor in Germany, each one is a theatric mélange of fact and fiction, a rousing and provocative intersection of history and fantasy. The Last of Mr. No...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
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
The second part of The Berlin Stori...more
Christopher Isherwood turns an unflinching eye on Berlin from 1930-1933. It is a diary of his stay and the cross-section of society he encounters as he roams between his lodgings in a claustrophobic hovel to the hedonist dens around the city. Both the people and the scenery are described with such magnification...more
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
At first I was tempted to say it was the c...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
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
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
Re-reading this again with a queer sub-text as well as a much more informed background knowledge of Is...more
I'm desperate to finish "Time's Top One Hundred Books" This only being only the 23rd I've completed, and unfortunately it is hard to find many of the listed. This one, I had to bargain for. I had to fight my way to get my hands on the ONLY copy in the province thanks to library rules. But I got it, and I'm so happy to say I did.
The Berlin Stories is actually two novels in one : Goodbye to Berlin & Mr Norris Changes Trains.
Both are set in Berlin, du...more
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
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
Isherwood also gives one a sense of what life was like and what people's concerns were during this era. It is a combination o...more
But there is so more than just that in The Berlin Stories. In fact, Sally is only in about 15% of the novel. What we do get amazing character studies like Fräulein Schroeder, who is so well wr...more
Isherwood attended preparatory school St. Edmund's, Surrey, where he first met W. H. Auden. At Repton School he met his lifelong friend Edward Upward, with whom he wrote t...more