Goodbye To Berlin Paperback – 2 Nov 1989
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"A brilliant semi-autobiographical account of early 1930’s Berlin." (Lonely Planet Magazine)
"A great talent" (Guardian)
"Isherwood is a master of the emotionally cathartic moment, funny and perspicacious" (Evening Standard)
"A masterpiece" (The Economist)
"[A] reminder of a bygone era, powerfully capturing the energy and sleaze of Weimar-era Berlin" (Independent)
'The best prose writer in English' Gore VidalSee all Product description
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I really enjoyed this book, I haven't seen Caberet so I had no expectations while reading it. what I was looking for was a first hand account of Berlin in the 30s. Weimar Berlin is very interesting and I have a particular fascination with the modern incarnation of the city, but in order to know a place well one needs to get a feel for the history of that place. Isherwood was actually in Berlin in 1929 and spent a lot of time there, and although this book is fictional, I suspect that it is very largely based on real experiences. I read on wikipedia that "In 1931 he met Jean Ross the inspiration for his fictional character, Sally Bowles." I LOVE Sally Bowles, I can relate to this section of the book well, because I know someone very like her. I was grinning inanely through most of that chapter.
I got EXACTLY what I was looking for with this book. He created a very vivid picture of 30's Berlin and I found it very easy to read. He is not overly descriptive with little details about how the city looks etc but he conveys the tone of the city through it's people, who were very vivid in my mind.
However, it is charming and well written and good enough to make me want to read more by Herr Issyvoo (the name his landlady called Isherwood). To sum up, the autobiography of a young man, slightly dreamy, living the life of an impoverished student in Berlin to learn German and surviving by teaching English he describes his encounters with the demi-monde and the rich alike, all sorts of strange characters, with a rare perception.
feel also the very real threat of the Nazis, now on the threshold of full political power, so well observed by the author, that e feel we can
see the events with him.
In fact we can see them in the film ,or dvd of "Cabaret" which is a stage show of Goodbye Berlln.