"Mr Norris Changes Trains is a masterpiece in comic portraiture" (Guardian)
"In Mr Norris Changes Trains, Isherwood sketches with the lightest of touches the last gasp of the decaying demi-monde and the vigorous world of Communists and Nazis, grappling with each other on the edge of the abyss" (Sunday Telegraph)
"Reading Goodbye to Berlin is much like overhearing anecdotes in a crowded bar while history knocks impatiently at the windows." (Guardian)
From the Back Cover
'The Berlin Novels are masterpieces, funny, darkly innocent explorations of the world of Berlin in the Thirties that is now as firmly in the past as Pompeii'
Mr Norris Changes Trains is the first of Christopher Isherwood's classic 'Berlin' novels. The book charts the encounter and growing friendship between the young William Bradshaw and the urbane and mildly sinister Mr Norris. Piquant, witty and oblique, it vividly evokes the atmosphere of pre-war Berlin.
Goodbye to Berlin was the inspiration for Cabaret and is an unforgettable portrait of bohemian Berlin. Isherwood shows the lives of people at threat from the rise of the Nazis and creates a haunting evocation of a city, and a world, on the very brink of ruin.
See also: A Single Man
About the Author
Christopher Isherwood was born at High lane, Cheshire, in 1904. He left Cambridge without graduationg, tried briefly to study medicine and in 1928 published All the Conspirators, followed by a second novel, The Memorial in 1932. From 1928 onwards he lived mostly out of England: four years in Berlin, five in various European countries including Portugal, Holland, Belgium and Denmark. In 1939 he went to California, which became his home for the rest of his life. His Berlin experiences produced two novels, Mr Norris Changes Trains (1935) and Goodbye to Berlin (1939).
Isherwood worked with the American Friends Service Committee during part of the war. In 1946 he became a US citizen. Following his move to America he wrote five novels - Prater Violet, The World in the Evening, Down There on a Visit, A Single Man and A Meeting by the River; a travel book about South America, The Condor and the Cows; and Ramakrishna and his Disciples, a biography of the great Indian mystic.
In 1971 he published Kathleen and Frank, a book based on the correspondence of his parents and his mother's diary, in 1977 Christopher and his Kind, an autobiographical account of the years 1929 to 1939, and in 1980 My Guru and His Disciple, the story of his friendship with the Swami Prabhavananda. He died in 1986.