Christopher Isherwood's style is unassuming but flows very well and is always evocative without over-reaching itself. It makes this book a particularly enthralling read if you have read the fictions based on it, that he actually wrote first, namely Goodbye To Berlin, Down There On A Visit, and Prater Violet, and possibly others I don't know. If you have read them it is like a palimpsest of those experiences, drawing you back into memories of those novels which you thought you had lost sight of. It's a bit like watching a film several years later and remembering things only as they occur, but unable to recall what will happen next. You get a very good sense of Auden and Stephen Spender, both of whom he knew very well, and other figures like E. M. Forster and Virginia Woolf are given in deft portraits; equally it gets the feeling of being in Germany, England, Portugal, Denmark, and other countries in the 1930s - China too - and the feeling of dread at the approach of war. How this was felt in everyday life comes across better in this book than almost any other I have read, yet it has the casual tone of a diary we are privy to. There is a thoroughly engrossing section about his German friend Heinz and how they went around Europe trying to get a residence permit for him abroad. Everything he tells about remains totally vivid and compelling.