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Mr. Norris skifter tog by Christopher…
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Mr. Norris skifter tog (1945)

by Christopher Isherwood, Werner Svendsen (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,375185,556 (3.96)31
Member:2810michael
Title:Mr. Norris skifter tog
Authors:Christopher Isherwood
Other authors:Werner Svendsen (Translator)
Info:[Kbh.] : Signet, 2002.
Collections:Your library, 2012 (inactive)
Rating:****
Tags:Berlin, Tyskland, Nazisme, Mellemkrigstiden, 1930-1939, Britisk litteratur, Skrevet 1930-1939, Roman

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The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood (1945)

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English (17)  Danish (1)  All languages (18)
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http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2299180.html

They are fascinating for a Berlinophile like me; these are familiar streets, distanced from the present by eight decades and the Third Reich. On the one hand, there is the depiction of young and somewhat irresponsible expats spending and shagging their way around an exciting city, a situation which, while not exactly universal, has none the less been replicated in many other places and times (as a glance around Place Luxembourg in Brussels most Thursday evenings will demonstrate); on the other hand, there is the fact that this amazing city was the centre of a society that was turning on itself and about to turn on the rest of Europe. Nobody sees the Nazis coming, and yet everyone does; they are like frogs in a heating saucepan.

The two books are actually very different from each other in structure. Mr Norris Changes Trains is the less polished work, a character study of Mr Norris whose pretensions of respectability are overshadowed by his history of dubious business dealings, his unorthodox sexuality and his activism with (but not quite in) the Communist Party. Goodbye to Berlin is a collection of several shorter stories which were never quite combined into a single novel, so that there are characters in common but less of a coherent thread. Yet Isherwood is more ready to let his sæva indignatio show, and it's a better read if more disjointed.

One last point: Mr Morris Changes Trains is dedicated to W.H. Auden. Goodbye to Berlin is dedicated to John and Beatrix Lehmann - that's the same Beatrix Lehmann who played Professor Amelia Rumford in The Stones of Blood shortly before she died, and her brother. ( )
  nwhyte | Jun 14, 2014 |
Could not engage. So disappointing that instead of wanting Cabaret to be more like the book, I ended up wanting the book (and its bland narrator and uninviting characters) to be more like the movie. For its historical significance alone it gets a satisfactory rating. ( )
  CSRodgers | May 3, 2014 |
Christopher Isherwood found himself in Berlin in the 1930s - a place of (elliptically described in the books) sexual liberation amidst the brief flowering of the Weimar republic and the tense days of the rise of Hitler. Isherwood notably described himself as a camera. THese books present snapshots, or perhaps short films - glimpses into personalities and a world on the brink, but for the present enjoying its pleasures and its political significance. Important reading for any 20th century historians, but also a very pleasurable read for anyone interested in people, oddities and politics
  otterley | Jan 11, 2014 |
As most people know, The Berlin Stories formed the nucleus for John Van Druten's play I Am a Camera and later for the Kander and Ebb musical Cabaret. I had both read the play and seen the movie before I read this book, while I was living in Berlin. As often happens to me in such cases, I enjoyed the books even more than the dramatizations (which nearly always have to leave things out, unless they have to add things for padding, which is usually worse). I would highly recommend these stories for a peep into Berlin in the pre-WWII period. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
Great read. Read this then watch Mack the Knife, listen to Kurt Weil, think about Weimar Germany. ( )
  Tpoi | Aug 10, 2011 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:00 -0400)

A two-in-one volume containing the works The Last of Mr. Norris and Goodbye to Berlin finds the characters of Sally Bowles, Frulein Schroeder, and the doomed Landauers caught up by the nightlife, danger, and mystique of 1931 Berlin.

(summary from another edition)

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