8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating insight to inter-war period society and decline,
By A Customer
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This review is from: The Memorial (Paperback)
I'd never heard of Christopher Isherwood, this book was recommended to me..It's a story about a group of people and their lives in the aftermath of World War one. There really is no central character. The story is a bit confusing in that the author gives us various scenes with the characters in part one, before introducing them in part two, which is set eight years previously. And throughout the book, we are given fleeting glimpses of these people, and various flashbacks to even earlier periods before the war.
Ultimately, this book is about the landed gentry and their decline during the inter-war period, their fears and resentment of the working class and the rise of socialism and as such, it is a brilliant book. Because it doesn't beat the message in: it skims over it. It is like a film that only gives fleeting glimpses, and lets you draw your own conclusions. It is only towards the end that the homosexuality of it's main character (if it has a main character) become apparent, and this is handled in the narrative in an excellent way: glossed over, worked around, barely alluded to, never directly acknowledged; just as in reality.
And most importantly, there is no obvious conclusion to this book. It's a series of incidents with various people of the same class, but of different 'schools' and generations. We see them in situations several years apart, and then it's just left at that, there's no obvious ending, except what we make for ourselves.
Overall, this book is a terrific insight to a particular generation and time in history, which can only be told by someone who lived through it and saw it.