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The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood

The Berlin Stories (original 1945; edition 2008)

by Christopher Isherwood (Author)

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1,715295,992 (3.96)54
Title:The Berlin Stories
Authors:Christopher Isherwood (Author)
Info:New Directions (2008), Edition: Reissue, 256 pages
Collections:Your library, Currently reading

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The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood (1945)


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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
The book's beginning was very promising but the rest of the book didn't hold up to its promise. I can't figure out why the first book is titled "Mr. Norris changes trains". It is a reference to something, which to me wasn't clear what it is. Nevertheless, the book does give you some idea what pre-war Berlin was like. ( )
  siok | Sep 8, 2018 |
I re-read this in preparation for reading Daryl Pinkney's new novel Black Deutschland . Funny to come back to it after 30 years, it was both the same and so different. so many things Isherwood must have felt like he couldn't write about honestly - parts of it seem like its a coded language. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
Two shorter works by Christopher Isherwood, He puts himself into the story as the narrator and observer of Germany between the wars. The Last of Mr. Norris and Goodbye to Berlin.

"I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking".

And that is how I experienced the books. I bit dull. You can see the poverty (this is the depression years). The struggle to find relief through partying, drinking and sex. The tensions growing between Nazi and Jew. The Communist on the threshold. It was the dispassionate prose that made it hard to engage. I enjoyed the musical Cabaret so much more.

The first book, The Last of Mr. Norris portrays encounters between Mr Norris and a William Brandshaw. I liked this a bit better. It is less dark, a bit more comical but still has that tone found in Goodbye to Berlin of being on the brink of something. The Nazi's presence is increasing. Communists are underground. Again there is detachment in Bradshaw who acts as the observer of all that is happening. ( )
  Kristelh | Oct 23, 2016 |
Gay City Staff Pick: Heard of the musical "cabaret?" Well, this is the collection of semi-true stories it's based on. Check. It. Out! ( )
  GayCityLGBTLibrary | Jul 16, 2016 |
My brother loaned me this book in response to my loaning him "Monuments Men". Being it takes place in the European Theatre of WWII he thought I might enjoy another perspective of that time and place.

Christopher Isherwood lived in Berlin from 1929 to 1933, the time when Hitler was working his way into power. A charming city of café life and a nighttime dark side of wild life and fantasts. Intrigue, vice, millionaires and poor people all to be found around Berlin.

Isherwood travelled in both worlds, teaching English to those who wanted to learn to appear better in status. This book is fiction, but it is based on real people in a real world. It is more of a memoir of his time in Berlin. He introduces you to a variety of people. Frl. Schroeder, whom he rents a room from. Once she was well off but now she has to rent rooms in her flat to meet the rent. Mysterious Mr. Norris, a debauchee who loves luxury but has no obvious source on income. Sally Bowles, who travels in the demimonde of Berlin on the kindness of men. She was a character model for the stage play "I Am a Camera" and "Cabaret".

Isherwood takes you into his world with his discriptives of the people and places. You are there during the conversations and happenings. You can feel the tension that is slowly building from the changing of the political scene. There is also the humour of many of the situations that Isherwood finds himself in.

This book is really two books under one cover. They are related by time and place.

I definitely enjoyed this goodread. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Jun 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christopher Isherwoodprimary authorall editionscalculated
Maupin, ArmisteadIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My first impression was that the stranger's eyes were of an unusually light blue.
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Both the UK and US versions of the title (Mr Norris Changes Trains & The Last of Mr Norris) are combined in this work when coupled with Goodbye to Berlin.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0811200701, Paperback)

Christopher Isherwood was a diverse writer whose accomplishments included The Mortmere Stories (Edward Upward Series), A Single Man and a translation of The Song of God (Bhagavad Gita). But many critics hailed The Berlin Stories, the reissue of two of his best novels, as his finest. In the book, a man named Christopher Isherwood, who is and is not the author, writes a story of exile, combining the best of Isherwood's real life with the best of the life he imagined.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:14 -0400)

Tomorrow's promise (Wheeler Large Print Book Series)

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