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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, a real insight into an author's mind.
Having read Christopher Isherwood's 'Berlin Stories'I was intrigued to read more and 'Christopher and his kind' surpassed what I could have hoped for. This honest and open book lets the reader meet the real characters of many of Isherwood's novels, including, I think, the real Christopher Isherwood. A must for anyone who has read any of his books and was left wondering...
Published on 27 Feb 2002 by Rebecca Gordon

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3.0 out of 5 stars Read the Berlin Novels first!
I was drawn in by the BBC's intruiging drama "Christopher and his Kind", so was hoping to be just as entertained. Having struggled through the first quarter of this book, I have realised that this book is largely a commentary on the Berlin Novels, so shall try those first!
Published 13 months ago by DV


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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, a real insight into an author's mind., 27 Feb 2002
By 
Rebecca Gordon (Aberdeen, Grampian United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Christopher and His Kind (Paperback)
Having read Christopher Isherwood's 'Berlin Stories'I was intrigued to read more and 'Christopher and his kind' surpassed what I could have hoped for. This honest and open book lets the reader meet the real characters of many of Isherwood's novels, including, I think, the real Christopher Isherwood. A must for anyone who has read any of his books and was left wondering who are these people? A fantastic book, must be read. (All Auden fans will also find a different Auden than perhaps expecting, worth a read just for that!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Isherwood, 22 April 2011
By 
P. Facer "Allen" (Falmouth, Cornwall) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Christopher and His Kind (Paperback)
Having been interested for many years in the rise of Nazism in Germany, I have always sought out autobiographical writing on the situation. A deceased friend of mine was in Berlin at the same time as Isherwood, and Isherwood's writings confirm his experiences of brutality and anti-Semitism. I'm very pleased to have this book. Somehow I had missed it before.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Read the Berlin Novels first!, 14 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Christopher and His Kind (Paperback)
I was drawn in by the BBC's intruiging drama "Christopher and his Kind", so was hoping to be just as entertained. Having struggled through the first quarter of this book, I have realised that this book is largely a commentary on the Berlin Novels, so shall try those first!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Style problem, 6 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Christopher and His Kind (Paperback)
I found the writing style far too self-obsessed and superior. The BBC production was, however, very engaging. I have to be honest and admit that I only managed to plough through half the book...
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9 of 40 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars There is only one sin: disobedience to the inner law of our own nature, 8 Aug 2010
By 
Luc REYNAERT (Beernem, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Christopher and His Kind (Paperback)
C. Isherwood's autobiography contains comments on his own books (with inside information on the models he used for his protagonists) and on brief encounters with well-known public figures (Magnus Hirschfeld, Conrad Veidt, Erika and Klaus Mann, Therese Giehse, E.M. Forster, the Lehmann family). But, his book turns mostly around his friends, W.H. Auden, S. Spender, `Francis') and the voyages he makes with them, or alone.

General evaluation
All in all, it is not more than a superficial and sometimes boring personal agenda written within the two world wars about the German political situation (`Yesterday, Hitler denounced the Treaty of Locarno and sent troops into the Rhine Zone. We went to the Casino and gambled for a couple of hours.') and about the Berlin gay scene with very rare intimate outbursts.

The gay scene (aggression)
(There was) `aggression against those who had never had syphilis. He appeared to feel that it was their self-righteousness and cowardice which had prevented them from having it, and that they therefore ought to have it, for the good of their soul ... he even imagined himself tricking such people into going to bed with infected partners.'

Berlin, its gay scene
Amid `the brew seethed with unemployment, malnutrition, stock-market panic, hatred of the Versailles Treaty... On September 20, the Nazis won 107 seats.' `To Christopher, Berlin meant Boys... Male prostitutes coming to the bars to get money.'

Personal outbursts
`Why do I prefer boys? Because of their shape and their voices and their smell and the way they move. And boys can be romantic. I can put them into my myth ... My will is to live according to my nature, and to find a place where I can be what I am.'
`Christopher was suffering from an inhibition, then not unusual among upper-class homosexuals; he couldn't relax sexually with a member of his own class or nation. He needed a working-class foreigner.'

Overall mentality (the players)
`You know, it just doesn't mean anything to me any more - the Popular Front, the party line, the anti-Fascist struggle.' `They had been playing parts, repeating slogans created for them by others.'
`1938, Christopher declared that England had helped betray the Czechs. He meant it. Yet his dead-secret, basic reaction was: What do I care for the Czechs? What does it matter if we are traitors? A war has been postponed - and a war postponed is a war which may never happen.'

This book is only for insiders and Christopher Isherwood fans.
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Christopher and His Kind
Christopher and His Kind by Christopher Isherwood (Paperback - 1 Oct 2001)
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