I found this book compelling for a number of reasons. Like at least two reviewers here, as an Isherwood fan, I found his accounts of the early years fascinating. More interesting perhaps, one of the reasons I found them fascinating was because they were often banal, tedious, (but were they ever malicious?) full of frality and the soft vanities of an aging man. Surrounded by vain and often shallow people, his struggle to find spirituality in his work and in his friends was admirable, even if at times it did shock. In the end it is the humility of some of these entries that struck me, the fear that the best was behind, that ahead lay only decline and darkness. Finally, the genre of the diary is a peculiar entity. I am not sure it can be read like a book. It requires to be read in small bits, and always with an eye to the odd disjuncture of privacy and the public domain. Isherwood would not have been ashamed by this work, he might well have seen it as a parody of St Augustine: please make me celebite, but not yet.