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Un uomo solo

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  15,211 Ratings  ·  1,094 Reviews
Già negli anni Trenta, quando scrisse Addio a Berlino, Isherwood sosteneva di voler trasformare il proprio occhio di romanziere nell’obiettivo di una macchina fotografica. Ma per lungo tempo – attraverso libri molto diversi fra loro, e spesso segnati dai personaggi fittizi o reali che raccontavano – l’intenzione rimase una di quelle fantasticherie stilistiche che spesso gl ...more
Paperback, Fabula, 148 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Adelphi (first published 1964)
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Diverso, non sbagliato
43rd out of 67 books — 28 voters
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Lgbt books
4th out of 101 books — 3 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Nov 09, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“A few times in my life I’ve had moments of absolute clarity. When for a few brief seconds the silence drowns out the noise and I can feel rather than think, and things seem so sharp and the world seems so fresh. It’s as though it had all just come into existence.
I can never make these moments last. I cling to them, but like everything, they fade. I have lived my life on these moments. They pull me back to the present, and I realize that everything is exactly the way it was meant to be.”


We all
...more
Tfitoby
Mar 31, 2014 Tfitoby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit, favourites
Christopher Isherwood has written a book that makes me hate him. Or maybe I hate myself? The main theme of this book is loss; loss of a lover, loss of youth, loss of identity, loss of direction, it's all there in beautifully phrased observations and it tickled that spot in my mind, the spot where I hide all of my fears, until I could no longer ignore the fact that I am and I continue to lose these things myself until one day the devastating and unthinkable will happen and I will lose that which ...more
julio
Aug 24, 2015 julio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Students of skribblecraft
Shelves: loved
I aspire.

It's listed as being 192 pages long, but I swear it's because the edition I read had fifty words a page with three inch margins an every side.

It's so economical it is more or less mind-blowing.

If my desire to express whimsy came from Terry Pratchett and P.G. Wodehouse, and my inclination to be daring and irreverent came from David Foster Wallace and Stephen King

If my unruly imagination came from Bill Watterson, and my eye for alienation from Susan Cooper

If my lust for scale came from
...more
Evan
May 21, 2016 Evan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone in the universe
This book is a truly beautiful thing; a completely exquisite experience. Page after page it spoke to me, as eloquently and profoundly as any book I've ever read. It was sad and funny and wise and observant without ever becoming sentimental or maudlin.

In 186 pages of concentrated, yet langorous, stream-of-consciousness prose Isherwood gets to the heart of what it means to be a middle-aged man, a loner, a fish out of water, an expatriate on several levels -- as a Britisher in a new land, a gay man
...more
Brian
Oct 01, 2013 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For astronauts that had returned from walking on the moon, I imagine that the worst part of their experience was having to live out the rest of their lives. Every other event would be "after the moon"; all experiences would be measured by that yardstick; old and new relationships would orbit around that event.

This then makes me think about retired professional athletes, former world-stage politicians, etc. - do they also live out the remainder of their lives reflecting on the halcyon days of yes
...more
Bill  Kerwin
Mar 26, 2016 Bill Kerwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This witty, acerbic, elegant little novel should not be confused with the soggy, self-pitying movie of the same name.
K.D. Absolutely
Christopher Isherwood (1904-1986) was an English novelist who pioneered the writing of novels with gay themes in English literature. He was openly gay, lived with and befriended fellow gay men some of them were famous also like W. H. Auden and Truman Capote. At some points in his life, he also became friends and was mentored by E. M. Forster. In turn, when he met Ray Bradbury in a chance encounter in a bookstore, he wrote a glowing review for his The Martian Chronicles that helped launch the lat ...more
Paul
Mar 07, 2016 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, isherwood
An astounding piece of work; a day in the life of novel. The day belongs to George Falconer; an English professor in his 50s (English by nationality as well) teaching in southern California. It is set in the early 1960s. George’s lover Jim has recently died suddenly and he is alone again. The novel takes us from waking to breakfast, to travelling to work and so on. This doesn’t have the grandiosity of Joyce; it is much more straightforward and focuses living each day because of life’s brevity.
T
...more
Eric
Jan 06, 2010 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ficciones
A Single Man is a day in the life (quaint naturalist device, that) of a middle-aged Englishman and English professor grieving in a numbed, autopilot kinda way after the recent death of his partner. I remember Don Bachardy saying in the film Chris and Don: A Love Story that Isherwood wrote this novel during one of their trial separations; the intensity of George’s sense of loss was therefore underwritten by Isherwood’s own dreadful imagination of life without Don.

I loved George’s morning, and hi
...more
Catie
I am not sure if I am just ignorant of what the humor was like in the 60’s, or if Christopher Isherwood was way ahead of his time, but this book definitely has what I would call a modern sense of humor. It’s that special blend of bittersweet heartbreak, self-deprecation, and sardonic wit. I am very familiar with this type of humor from my favorite movies and television shows, but I am pleasantly surprised to find it here, in this brilliant little book that, on the surface, appears to be about de ...more
Kimley
May 24, 2014 Kimley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Masks - we all wear them. We've got our work masks and our family masks and our friend masks. Then, try adding to that being a gay man living in the netherworld of not pretending to be straight but also not able to be fully out (the early 1960s). That's a lot of freakin' masks! And it's exhausting. And our hero, George, is tired, tired of the bullshit and hypocrisy. Thankfully, he still has a biting sense of humor and beware if you're on the receiving end of his satirical skewer. But George is a ...more
Steven
Jun 07, 2016 Steven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, british
Even though there are positive reviews aplenty I still had concerns this would turn out to be an overly melodramatic letdown, but needn't have worried as what we have here is a compressed work of utter brilliance from a vastly undervalued writer who does not waste a single word making the reading experience flawless. There are two thing in particular to highlight that nailed it for me, firstly I do not believe Isherwood set out with the purpose to write a novel about homosexuality but to create ...more
Ilenia Zodiaco
Nov 17, 2015 Ilenia Zodiaco rated it really liked it
"Che tipo di esperienza?".
"Be', posti in cui si è stati, gente che si è incontrata. Situazioni che si sono già vissute, di modo che quando si ripresentano riusciamo a fronteggiarle. Tutte quelle scemenze che, con gli anni, dovrebbero renderti saggio".
"Lascia che ti dica una cosa, Kenny. Degli altri, non posso dire niente - ma, per ciò che mi riguarda, non c'è niente che mi abbia reso saggio. Certo, mi è capitato questo e quello; e quando mi ricapita, mi dico ci risiamo. Ma non mi pare di ness
...more
El
If you watched the 2009 movie version of this story starring Colin Firth before reading this book, be aware that the movie takes the story in... a different direction. Kinda sorta? It's different. For all of its similarities, it's different. I saw the movie first because I requested both from the library and the movie came in before the book, and the movies are only borrowable for a week, and who knew when the book was coming in, so I just sucked it up and did it.

These are both good stories. But
...more
Sofia
May 21, 2015 Sofia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Masterly writing, capable of taking me in the first pages to the 'place' where George lives. Isherwood's writing is full of the little truths of our everyday lives and his wit and social commentary channelled through George rings true not only for when the time this was written but for now also, after all circumstances change but human interaction remains the same. I ended up highlighting most of the book, so I will not quote. If you want quotes, just read the book.

(view spoiler)
...more
KatieMc
Oct 04, 2013 KatieMc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librarybook
Good things come in small well written packages. Christopher Isherwood has puts you the reader inside the skin of the protagonist, George, experiencing a day that is both mundane and extraordinary. The loneliness and isolation of a grieving (for all intents and purposes) widower is certainly a central theme. Because George is a gay man in the 1960s, his grief must be private. Even so, I did not read A Single Man as a gay rights protest piece; it was much more than that. Maybe it is just me, but ...more
Melanie
Apr 21, 2014 Melanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
21/4/14. I gave this 4 stars? Let me remedy that now, this is a 5 star read all the way, essential reading.

2012 review
How do you review a novel that literally terrifies you? I'm not sure I can do it justice but I'll give it a whirl.

For the several hours it took to read this short novel I went through a gamut of emotions. The novel is a day-in-the-life account of George Falconer, an English Professor in 1960's suburban California.

George is grieving the loss of his long term partner and it seems
...more
Chiara Pagliochini
Nov 17, 2015 Chiara Pagliochini rated it really liked it
“Lo specchio, più che un volto, riflette l’espressione di una difficoltà. […] Lo sguardo provato è quello di un nuotatore o di un podista stremati; eppure, di fermarsi non se ne parla. L’individuo che stiamo osservando lotterà senza tregua fino al crollo. E non per eroismo. Perché non sa immaginarsi un’alternativa.”

Quand’ero verso la metà di questo libro, ho pensato che ad essere onesti lo si poteva riassumere con una frase sola, e non delle più complesse. Una frase minimale, quasi un inciso, to
...more
Jan Rice

Did someone on Goodreads mention Isherwood? I think so. Coincidentally, Audible put A Single Man on sale. I hadn't heard of Christopher Isherwood, but that's how I came to read his book.

It's stream of consciousness and all takes place in a single day but a lot easier to follow than Ulysses. (Although that's not fair. Maybe today I'd relate differently to Ulysses than when I was in my 20s.) Blessedly, it's also shorter.

At first I didn't want to feel what the protagonist is going through: survivin
...more
tim
Jan 02, 2012 tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here is a rather lengthy, yet succinct standalone quote from this book's penultimate chapter that absolutely floored me. It gives away nothing, plot-wise, to those who have not yet read it:

Up the coast a few miles north, in a lava reef under the cliffs, there are a lot of rock pools. You can visit them when the tide is out. Each pool is separate and different, and you can, if you are fanciful, give them names, such as George, Charlotte, Kenny, Mrs. Strunk. Just as George and the others are thou

...more
Eleni Ouzouni
Jul 01, 2015 Eleni Ouzouni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Only 152 pages. So many emotions. I don't have words to describe.... This book Worth!
Emanuele
Sep 14, 2015 Emanuele rated it really liked it
Mi andrebbe di consigliarvi questo libro, anche se di speciale non ha nulla.
È che, spesso, a voler trovare sempre quella pietruzza d'oro, quel lampo di luce che nobilita un romanzo - e lo innalza ad un livello superiore -, fa stancare, e secondo me è frustrante.
Non ci sono finali da godersi.
Nei dialoghi la vostra reazione sarà sempre un po' freddina.
Per non parlare dei personaggi - a volte insopportabili e con opinioni non sempre condivisibili.
Eppure, eppure... se ci si lascia andare, se si sco
...more
Alex
Oct 31, 2015 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking… Some day all this will have to be developed, carefully printed, fixed.”

That's the famous mission statement from Christopher Isherwood, who steadfastly refuses to fix it - to tell you what it's all about. It's intriguing. One finds oneself naked with a younger person. Why has the person become naked? What is the person's goal? This seems unusual. It's all a little bit oblique. It's intriguing but frustrating. Does anyon
...more
Barry Pierce
Probably the greatest and saddest ending to a book I have ever read.
Giedre
So right after finishing Isherwood's "A Single Man" last night I did this terrible (or wonderful?) thing of whatching the movie based on the book. I was moved after the book, and it only got intensified after I finished the movie at 2:30 am last night. And I could not sleep until the morning. The terrible part is that I can't tell which of the two was responsible for my insomnia in the end. The wonderful part that I had not been moved in such way in a very long time.

"A Single Man" follows George
...more
Melanie
Dec 26, 2012 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How do you review a novel that literally terrifies you? I'm not sure I can do it justice but I'll give it a whirl.

For the several hours it took to read this short novel I went through a gamut of emotions. The novel is a day-in-the-life account of George Falconer, an English Professor in 1960's suburban California.

George is grieving the loss of his long term partner and it seems that his vehicle for coping is the disassembling & examination of Self. The novel reads at times like an autopsy.
...more
Vitor Martins
"...there are some things you don't even know you know, until you're asked."

Eu já conhecia essa história por causa do filme de 2009 com o (amor da minha vida) Colin Firth, e só fui descobrir recentemente que o filme foi baseado em um livro. Comecei a ler e terminei no mesmo dia.

O filme e o livro seguem caminhos de narrativas bem diferentes e os dois tem sua beleza individual.

Essa história é extremamente bem escrita, trabalha a simplicidade das coisas de um jeito muito bonito e apresenta um prota
...more
Rikke Simonsen
Vi følger George over en dag, og denne form minder mig utroligt meget om "Mrs Dalloway" af Virginia Wolf, som jeg virkelig nød at læse. Det er altid spændende at se, hvor meget man kan lære om én person, og vedkommendes liv og omgivelser, bare ved at følge dem et helt døgn. George er en meget humørsvingende karakterer, men han er virkelig interessant, og gør sig nogle relevante tanker om sit liv og samfundet generelt.

Der var få passager, som virkede en anelse overflødige, men samtidig var der og
...more
Iris
Jun 03, 2009 Iris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teachers, loners, orators, gym members
Shelves: novels
An intense, subtle page-turner that will so absorb you that you'll wonder if you've briefly become another person. Specifically, the keen main character, George, who we follow through a day in which he thinks about Jim, his recently deceased partner, while he walks through life: driving to Laurel Canyon, teaching an Aldous Huxley novel in a lecture hall, going to the gym, passionately opining, and observing others' awkwardness or obliviousness around his gayness. Isherwood's focus on careful obs ...more
Nikhilesh
The book has left me reeling even though I had seen the movie. Its a powerful novel. Its impact strikes one on every page in its exacting and elegant style. As sentences get funny the story seems to get sadder. The ending left me grasping at straws as the life of going through motions weighs me down ever more.
Specifics of characters are so beautifully drawn out that the story seems almost autobiographical. Isherwood is ruthless and relentless. The reader becomes acutely aware of the human condit
...more
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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
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“Think of two people, living together day after day, year after year, in this small space, standing elbow to elbow cooking at the same small stove, squeezing past each other on the narrow stairs, shaving in front of the same small bathroom mirror, constantly jogging, jostling, bumping against each other’s bodies by mistake or on purpose, sensually, aggressively, awkwardly, impatiently, in rage or in love – think what deep though invisible tracks they must leave, everywhere, behind them!” 184 likes
“But now isn’t simply now. Now is also a cold reminder: one whole day later than yesterday, one year later than last year. Every now is labeled with its date, rendering all past nows obsolete, until — later of sooner — perhaps — no, not perhaps — quite certainly: it will come.” 121 likes
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