A Single Man
Celebrated as a masterpiece from its first publication, A Single Man is the story of George, an English professor in suburban California left heartbroken after the death of his lover, Jim. With devastating clarity and humour, Isherwood shows George's determination to carry on, evoking the unexpected pleas ...more
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
George, a middle-aged professor, has an ordinary life, but now he must relate to loneliness because of the untimely passing of his partner. Glimmers of light thanks to few daily joys can be seen in his gray days: a female friend who invites him to dinner to distract him, but awkwardily ends up kissing him, ignoring his homosexuality and pretending more than what George can offer her. Or a college student who spends the night at George's house, giving him a few hou...more
Is that Don Draper on the phone? Ask to speak to Betty! And Mary's husband, long before Downton Abbey, with Nicholas Hoult and his Justin Bieber hair. (Can we please start calling it Kenny/Nicholas Hoult hair?) And that sweater! Where do I ge ...more
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
Christopher Isherwood captured that painful status in this small, marvellous book. George has lost Jim. And now George is bewilderingly alone - not melodramatically so, but the opposite. Mundanely alone. Sitting-on-the-toilet kind of alone. He ...more
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
He pictures the evening he might have spent, snugly at home, fixing the food he has bought, then lying down on the couch beside the bookcase and reading himself slowly sleepy. At first glance, this is an absolutely convincing and charming scene of domestic contentment. Only after a few instances does George notice the omission which makes it meaningless. What is left out of the picture is Jim, lying opposite him at the other end of the couch, also reading; the two of them absorbed in the...more
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
Personally, I really admired the way White Privilege is portrayed and dissected in this novel. George is an outsider, but not un-White, not un-learned. He fights for his rightful place... as an Outsider! ...more
This is George after Jim. A middle-aged man caught between daydreams and nightmares, adhering to the conformity of life in the daytime, drowning his sorrows - well knowing that the little devils can swim - in alcohol at night.
Taking exercise, working hard, and allowing himself daydreaming a little once again, ´cause there MUST be a life after Jim, except there isn´t.
How do you cope when your lover is gone, killed in a car crash, a lover you even can´t admit the lov ...more
This book is around 152 pages with no chapters. The first half of the book is more focused on narration and the second half there is more dialogue than the first half.
"I'm like a book you have to read. A book can't read itself to you. It doesn't even know what it's about. I don't know what I'm about."
I have watched the movie adaptation when it was released in 2009 and I loved it a lot but never read this book. I wanted to rewatch that movie again but t ...more
“Staring and staring into the mirror, it sees many faces within his face—the face of the child, the boy, the young man, the not-so-young man—all present still, preserved like fossils on super-imposed layers, and, like fossils, dead.”
“What are they afraid of?
They are afraid of what they know is somewhere in the darkness around them, of what may at any moment emerge into the undeniable light of their flash-lamps, nevermore to be ignored, explained away.”
That which has awoken then lies for a while staring up at the ceiling and down into itself until it has recognised I, and therefrom deduced I am, I am now. Here comes next, and is at least negatively reassuring; because here, this morning, is where it had expected to find itself; what’s called at home. 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 labelled with its date ...more
As I make my way through the top 100 list I am looking for the books I call 'masterpieces', which is my favourite word when referring to literature, as it holds so much weight, honour and power. Books are masterpieces for different reasons and this, I would have to say, is a masterpiece. ...more
I loved George’s morning, and hi ...more
I finished it quickly and highly recommend the Audiobook version. Narration is stunning & adds a lot to it in my opinion!
What I did not anticipate, however, was for this to be as timeless and transcendent as it is, traversing the distance of decades to resonate deeply with me as a middle-aged, “out” gay man in the 21st century.
Sure, there are re ...more
These are both good stories. But ...more
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)[...George is on ...more
|Piccole letture t...: Eleonora&Pippi (e chiunque voglia!)||43||14||Nov 08, 2020 12:37PM|
|Challenge Corner: A Single Man, by Christopher Isherwood - Starting August 13th 2019||1||7||Jul 22, 2019 11:53AM|
|Goodreads Librari...: Please combine editions of A single man||3||24||Jul 25, 2016 01:59PM|
|Goodreads Librari...: Popular quote not found in book (Super Librarian needed?)||2||43||Dec 04, 2015 09:08AM|
|All About Books: Week 83- A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood||7||34||Apr 21, 2015 09:07AM|
Isherwood was the grandson and heir of a country squire, and his boyhood was privile ...more