"Mr Norris Changes Trains": The first of Christopher Isherwood's classic 'Berlin' novels, this portrays the encounter and growing friendship between young William Bradshaw and the urbane and mildly sinister Mr Norris. Piquant, witty and oblique, it vividly evokes the atmosphere of pre-war Berlin, and forcefully conveys an ironic political parable. "Goodbye to Berlin": The inspiration for the stage and screen musical Cabaret and for the play "I Am a Camera", this novel remains one of the most powerful of the century, a haunting evocation of the gathering storm of the Nazi terror. Told in a series of wry, detached and impressionistic vignettes, it is an unforgettable portrait of bohemian Berlin - a city and a world on the very brink of ruin.
About the Author
Christopher Isherwood (1904–1986) was one of the most celebrated writers of his generation. He left Cambridge without graduating, briefly studied medicine and then turned to writing his first novels, All the Conspirators and The Memorial. He spent four years in Berlin writing Mr Norris Changes Trains and Goodbye to Berlin on which the musical Cabaret was based, and then in 1939 moved to America. He became a US citizen in 1946, where he wrote another five novels including A Single Man, a travel book and a biography of the Indian mystic Ramakrishna. In the 1960s and ‘70s he turned to autobiographical works: Kathleen and Frank, Christopher and His Kind and October, one month of his diary with drawings by Don Bachardy.
I bought my copy of these in Berlin in 1977. The stories have been a play and a film, or at least Goodbye to Berlin has, but a reading of the true works brings an even greater joy. They are quite amazingly immediate, even though Mr Norris Changes Trains was written first, in 1934, and Sally Bowles, as it was originally called before it was filmed as Cabaret, was written later, in 1937. Finally the complete Goodbye to Berlin was published in 1939. They are still perfect, marvellously told, as glittering and startling as the people who inhabit them as the people who inhabit them. Review by the late Dirk Bogarde, actor and writer (Kirkus UK)
Number Of Pages: 512
Published: 1st March 1993
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9 x 3.2
Weight (kg): 0.36