am 30. April 1999
Together with Evelyn Waugh, Christopher Isherwood has to be regarded as one of the most proficient writers of english this century. His ability to capture a mood, a time and a place is remarkable, his efficiency in doing so is breath-taking.
The Berlin Stories stand as a record of the seediness and more fundamental corruption of a city, a state and a people in the late 30s. Isherwood represents the impending shadow of nazism through the abdication of responsibility and self-protection of individual characters. Mr Norris, a Falstaff for the 20th Century, is half cartoon conman and half based on an actual person. His depravity and crookedness is admirable, he is technicolour amid the grey shabbiness of Isherwood's Berlin. We must also remember that this is Isherwood's Berlin and he has shaped and invented experiences to achieve an effect, the camera records, but it always lies. It is the technical brilliance of those lies that sets the Berlin Stories apart from any historical or social record that you'd care to mention.
am 29. Februar 2004
This book has what the description on the back promises. "Goodbye to Berlin" is a very interesting and well-written piece of prose about Berlin's society of the early 1930's. The narrator and main character, a British English teacher, gets to know every part of the society through his job. He portraits life in Berlin from a very interesting point of view.
The unfortunately missing tension is substituted by the interesting stories told throughout the novel, which kept my attention. The whole book is somewhat written like a diary, which makes it a little bit boring to read. Nevertheless the extraodinary point of view the narrator has and the interesting details make up for the missing tension. While most books about Berlin of 1930-1933 focus on the political events, this book barely mentions politics and focusses on the population itself looking from an inside perspective.
I also recommend this novel because Christopher Isherwood has a unique writting style, with interesting language of mixing a great British with the speech of his Berlin acquaintances. For these reasons this is an interesting book to read for anyone interested.
am 21. Juni 2005
After a couple of false starts, I was able to finally finish this book. I read it because I had seen “Cabaret” the movie and the play. I have not seen the play "I am a Camera" by Erik Von Deutten. However, I expected a faster moving story and really had to drudge through this. There are moments that you can identify with. However for the most part you feel like a third party. You may not want to identify with some of the characters.
Whatever is supposed to make this book good is lost in the details.
Well I read it but I am not sure I want to read anymore of his book. I feel a little cheated when one describes his use of English and the book is over before you find this. I feel a little embarrassed at not liking it with the praise it receives, but I guess you cannot like them all.
am 25. März 1999
Based on Isherwood's real experiences in Berlin, the two novels in Berlin stories both follow the same pattern: they get you interested, and draw you into a fun world, and then they turn tragic . . . and the power of the last twenty pages is surprising.