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Christopher and His Kind (2001)

by Christopher Isherwood

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7221025,546 (3.81)16
Christopher and His Kind covers the most memorable ten years in the writer's life from 1929, when Isherwood left England to spend a week in Berlin and decided to stay there indefinitely, to 1939, when he arrived in America. When the book was published in 1976, readers were deeply impressed by the courageous candor with which he describes his life in gay Berlin of the 1930s and his struggles to save his companion, Heinz, from the Nazis. An engrossing and dramatic story and a fascinating glimpse into a little-known world, Christopher and His Kind remains a classic in gay liberation literature and one of Isherwood's greatest achievements.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Ceaselessly meandering, the narrative becomes all-consumingly wayward and aimless after Isherwood leaves Berlin to spread his gay debauchery across the European continent. Stylistically quite bare, apart from the interesting decision to refer to his past self in the omniscient, this book mires itself in the details of the passing month rather than in the vivaciousness of an experienced life, the little details that can evoke emotions. Isherwood finds himself seeded into the literary cream of society, as Auden's BFF and Forster's protege; his love life is a dazzling success. Yet the most intriguing parts of the memoir travelogue proved to be the political ones, the embroilment in the conflicts, as well as those moments where love flings itself wildly into his life. Those occurrences bring into being the more thoughtful passages Isherwood masters.

( )
  Gadi_Cohen | Sep 22, 2021 |
Makes me want to reread the Berlin Stories now with this added context. I found his insertion of his previous semi-autobiographical writing in this memoir (often with names and pronouns altered for clarity) to be fascinating.

Interesting that while this is the book that sets the record straight, he still refers to himself as "Christopher", not as "I". Really gives you the sense of the old Isherwood peeking back at his younger self, fondly, but as a bit of a mysterious other. ( )
  misslevel | Sep 22, 2021 |
An excellent memoir of a single decade decade in a very talented writers life 1929 thru 1939. The truth behind the people of "The Berlin Stories" ( )
1 vote ebeach | May 11, 2017 |
4.5. My favourite Isherwood so far ( )
1 vote Rogue-Phoenix | Feb 12, 2016 |
The 70s book that allowed Isherwood to be completely open about his homosexuality. He is candid, but never graphic in this his recounting of his travels in England and Germany in the 30s. We are granted a rare glimpse into his very literary world where we meet some of his famous and infamous (Sally Bowles' character ala Cabaret). ( )
1 vote dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
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There is a book called 'Lions and Shadows', published in 1938, which describes Christopher Isherwood's life between the ages of seventeen and twenty-four.
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Christopher and His Kind covers the most memorable ten years in the writer's life from 1929, when Isherwood left England to spend a week in Berlin and decided to stay there indefinitely, to 1939, when he arrived in America. When the book was published in 1976, readers were deeply impressed by the courageous candor with which he describes his life in gay Berlin of the 1930s and his struggles to save his companion, Heinz, from the Nazis. An engrossing and dramatic story and a fascinating glimpse into a little-known world, Christopher and His Kind remains a classic in gay liberation literature and one of Isherwood's greatest achievements.

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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page

 

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