HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Prater Violet by Christopher Isherwood
Loading...

Prater Violet (1946)

by Christopher Isherwood

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
323534,306 (3.59)16
  1. 00
    Genius by Patrick Dennis (Anonymous user)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 16 mentions

English (4)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (5)
Showing 4 of 4
A lovely but light fictional recreation of "Christopher Isherwood"'s experiences in the movie business in England before the outbreak of WW2.

Friedrich Bergmann is the real character of the book, the Viennese director of the eponymous film, and though his reactions to the news of the events of 1938 in Austria, we learn of the general indifference of Britain to Nazi-ism immediately before the outbreak of WW2, such as the comment that people were joking about holidays in Europe next summer, if there is a Europe!

Overall this was a light and remarkably quick read. ( )
  CarltonC | Aug 14, 2009 |
This is quite a succinct book, really being a mini Biography of the larger than life, Viennese film director Friedrich Bergmann during the pre-WWII period that Isherwood worked with him on the film Prater Violet. But he is an extremely entertaining, unrelenting and observant writer, who writes with great affection about a man who, for a while, seemed like a father to him.

This was a very amusing read, but the larger, darker background story of the prelude to war and of day to day loneliness isn't lost. He is not afraid to laugh at himself, and the images that he creates are wonderful - here's a bit that had me laughing out loud at the beginning:

"He was off the line. I jiggled the phone for a moment, stupidly, with vague indignation. Then I picked up the directory, found Imperial Bulldog's number, dialled the first letter, stopped. I walked across to the dining-room door. My mother and my younger brother Richard were still sitting at breakfast. I stood just inside the doorway and lit a cigarette, not looking at them, very casual.
'Was that Stephen?' my mother asked. She generally knew when I needed a cue-line.
'No.' I blew out a lot of smoke, frowning at the mantelpiece clock. 'Only some movie-people.'
'Movie-people!' Richard put down his cup with a clatter. 'Oh, Christopher! How exciting!'
This made me frown harder.
After a suitable pause my mother asked with extreme tact: 'Did they want you to write something?'
'Apparently,' I drawled, almost too bored to speak."

...I'm smirking as I read it right now! ( )
1 vote flissp | May 16, 2009 |
It is a marvelous moment when Isherwood, as narrator, casts off his "camera" disguise and lays bare his up-until-then unsuspected personal feelings. The character of the expatriate film director is a comic gem. ( )
  jburlinson | Dec 26, 2008 |
Simply written, and rather easily understood novel that explores Isherwood's thoughts regarding the German refugees he came into contact with while WWII was raging. One of his more successful efforts. ( )
  tsinandali | Oct 29, 2005 |
Showing 4 of 4
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To Rene Blanc-Roos
First words
'Mr. Isherwood ?'
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0816638616, Paperback)

Fiction

The classic novel on the golden era of film, now back in print!

Originally published in 1945, Prater Violet is a stingingly satirical novel about the film industry. It centers around the production of the vacuous fictional melodrama Prater Violet, set in nineteenth-century Vienna, providing ironic counterpoint to tragic events as Hitler annexes the real Vienna of the 1930s. The novel features the vivid portraits of imperious, passionate, and witty Austrian director Friedrich Bergmann and his disciple, a genial young screenwriter-the fictionalized Christopher Isherwood.

"Prater Violet, in my view, is one of the best short novels in English written in this century." Stanley Kauffmann

"Prater Violet is the most charming novel I have read in a long time. . . . a novel about movie writers, which is yet a novel about the life of every serious artist." Diana Trilling

"A deliberate historical parable. Prater Violet resembles the episodes in Goodbye to Berlin and keeps up the same high level of excellence." Edmund Wilson

A major figure in both twentieth-century fiction and the gay rights movement, Christopher Isherwood (1904-1986) is also the author of Down There on a Visit, Lions and Shadows, The Memorial, The World in the Evening, and A Meeting by the River, all available in paperback editions from the University of Minnesota Press.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:18 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

'Prater Violet' is one of the most accomplished short novels of the century. Set against the plight of Austria & the rise of fascism this is at once a comic portrait of the film industry & an analysis of the relationship between art & life. Originally published: London: Methuen, 1946.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
10 wanted
2 pay2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.59)
0.5
1
1.5
2 3
2.5 1
3 17
3.5 4
4 11
4.5 2
5 7

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,669,867 books! | Top bar: Always visible