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Down There on a Visit (Vintage Classics) by [Isherwood, Christopher]
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Down There on a Visit (Vintage Classics) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 370 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"In several respects this is probably Isherwood's best novel. It offers the sheer pleasure of writing completely personal and yet completely controlled, radiant with observation, never wasting a word, funny and sympathetic" (Stephen Spender New Republic)

"This excellent novel may be the best Christopher Isherwood has written. A deeply intelligent and quietly compelling story" (New York Times)

"Few writers have so unsparingly scrutinized their worlds. Down There on a Visit is outrageous, bitter, bleak, angry, wry, revealing, infuriating, and at times marvellously comic. An offbeat classic" (Saturday Review)

"A bemused, sometimes acid portrait of people caught in private sexual hells of their own making. Its four episodes are connected by four narrators. All are called "Christopher Isherwood, " but each is a different character inhabiting a new setting: Berlin in 1928, the Greek Isles in 1933, London in 1938, and California in 1940. Down There on a Visit is a major work that shows Isherwood at the height of his literary powers." (Powells.com)

"That young man holds the future of the English novel in his hands" (Somerset W. Maugham)

Book Description

Four narrators, all known as 'Christopher Isherwood', in different locations and periods of time, paint portraits of their own private sexual hells

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1516 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (1 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009M63VKO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #294,923 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER on 31 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
Down There On A Visit is a rare book in that it conveys a great deal while remaining unassuming on the surface. Isherwood's observations are always telling and there is something that stands out in every paragraph, yet it never interrupts the flow. The four stories this volume contains are linked by a narrator called Christopher Isherwood yet are fictionalised - to find out what really happened you have to read Christopher And His Kind. In fact I decided to reread this book, as I remembered it giving such pleasure a number of years ago, And my feeling now is the same. The narrative persona changes somewhat over the twenty years it covers, but in a subtle way, reflecting how one's attitudes to people and situations evolve over time. It also moves across different continents (from Berlin to Greece to London to California), yet seems admirably unified, even with the relative lack of plot. Each section carries the name of a character as a heading, with some recurrence, but in a very freewheeling, natural way. There's no scheme to the book, really, beyond a kind of homage to the people he knew at that time and an uncanny ability to get right to the heart of human character without any of the forensic approach of many modern novelists. His generosity comes across in an ever-flowing stream of words, always considered, never stinting in his empathy. In fact I was often made to feel how I might have been less patient than he was, particularly with Paul, and even Waldemar, who could appear simply out to exploit, but somehow emerge as much more worthwhile than that, even if there is an element of that too. It's a book to make you value human uniqueness more and strive for more benign detachment in your own life, which makes it a pretty moral book, without setting out to be one at all.
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Format: Paperback
This is classic Isherwood semi-autobiographical fiction, set in a pre, and just-post, World War II world in Greece, England Germany and the United States. The narrator is Isherwood and the loosely interlinked stories clearly draw heavily on his contemporary diaries although, unlike the Berlin novels, this work was written many years later. As with Isherwood's other work, there is no plot as such but rather a totally original cast of characters and situations, portrayed with a vivid and unique pen which makes the book spellbinding. Paul, the subject of the longest of the stories in the book is a brilliant enigma, both seductive and repellent. The book is an uncomfortable read, but a totally compelling one.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
good read
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