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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping character studies by a great storyteller
I bought this book to give me a "feel" of Germany, and especially Berlin in the period before the Second World War. The reason - I'm to direct the musical "Cabaret" early in 2001. I found that Isherwood's simple style of storytelling with no pretentious nonsense is truely a pleasure to read. The stories are told from the point of view of an observer -...
Published on 5 Dec 2000

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric read
I wasn't sure what I was going to make of this at first but I have been pleasantly surprised. It is a fairly easy read and draws you into the time quickly. A good read if you are interested in the politics and oppression that rose up in Germany pre-second world war.
Published 23 months ago by Julia Kinch


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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping character studies by a great storyteller, 5 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Berlin Novels (Paperback)
I bought this book to give me a "feel" of Germany, and especially Berlin in the period before the Second World War. The reason - I'm to direct the musical "Cabaret" early in 2001. I found that Isherwood's simple style of storytelling with no pretentious nonsense is truely a pleasure to read. The stories are told from the point of view of an observer - even though he is involved in them - very dispasionately. The effect is gripping as the characters are so accurately drawn. Berlin before the war is evoked so well, you would think you had been there. Thoroughly recomended for those interested in the time or those who like good stories told well.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello to the real Cabaret, 8 Mar 2010
By 
Jackson (East of Arran) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Berlin Novels (Paperback)
Having been brainwashed by Nazi propaganda films for what seems like forever this book was a totally refreshing look at the real life of everyday Germans prior to the descent into the madness of the Hitler era. Isherwood's writing is precise and never superfluous. It feels as though the characters are as alive today as they were all those years ago. I can never watch 'Cabaret' again without thinking of Isherwood's Sally Bowles. For once Hollywood almost got it right. This is one book I would definitely delve into again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why had I not read this before?, 15 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Berlin Novels (Paperback)
Of course I have seen 'Cabaret' and it is a great movie but what it cannot do is what its inspiration does: create some credible, subtle and memorable characters and evoke an atmosphere of pre-war Berlin which is at once seductive and repellent. Isherwood was witness to the rise of Hitler and this book brings out the poverty and hopelessness (and helplessness) of many Germans, and the sense of gloom and impending chaos, which assisted the ascent of Nazism. I had also not appreciated how early on the systematic murder of Jewish Germans began. The book shows the seductive side of Berlin and its more chilling aspects, among the latter being the sense of security rooted in disbelief among the very people whose lives were soon to be destroyed.
The writing is spare but vivid.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A skilful piece of writing, 24 July 2013
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This review is from: The Berlin Novels (Kindle Edition)
Having recently stayed in (mainly 'East') Berlin I was interested in reading some 'modern' historical fiction. These novels are set during the rise of the Nazis. They don't provide as much detail as, say 'Alone in Berlin', but there are many incidental references that hint at the flavour of the times. There is little description of the environment, beyond the rooms the characters occupy, and no great drama/thriller plots - but the skill of the writing carries you easily through the pages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 8 Dec 2013
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Wonderful book. If you saw Cabaret, read the book,it's superb - even better than the film- and that was good!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful - couldn't put it down., 5 April 2013
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Highly recommended, wonderfully written and a fascinating insight into the Berlin of the times - cosmopolitan, seedy, sad and frightening.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ... Berlin and I found they gave me a really good insight into the period just before the second world ..., 10 July 2014
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I got these books to coincide with a visit to Berlin and I found they gave me a really good insight into the period just before the second world war. I was surprised by how funny they were.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 12 Sep 2013
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Great insight into pre-war Berlin and both novels are very well written. You almost feel as though you are there.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 5 Feb 2011
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Michael Turley (Dublin) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Berlin Novels (Paperback)
Having avoided fiction for some reason I picked this up as it was lying around while I was on holiday. Its a very funny, sad and superbly written fictionalised account of the authors days in the seedier side of pre-war Berlin.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric read, 4 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Berlin Novels (Kindle Edition)
I wasn't sure what I was going to make of this at first but I have been pleasantly surprised. It is a fairly easy read and draws you into the time quickly. A good read if you are interested in the politics and oppression that rose up in Germany pre-second world war.
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The Berlin Novels
The Berlin Novels by Christopher Isherwood (Paperback - 14 Jan 1993)
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