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on 14 October 2017
Essentially his autobiography from 1929-1939 when he largely lived in Germany. I found it difficult to get over the oddness of writing about yourself in the third person. As background to his German books - Mr Norris changes trains' and 'Goodbye to Berlin' - an enjoyable read. As to the character of the author that emerges from this book I found him to be unpleasant and quite cold. Whether this was a reflection of the difficulties of being gay at that time, or, a simple character trait, is hard to decide. But compared, say, to Sally Bowles, he appears fleshless.
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on 16 May 2015
Top tip for this biography: Don't skip the intro, it's written by Gore Vidal. This autobiography is pure Isherwood and pure delight. Written in the third person throughout gives the narrative a charming quality as it observes the author's journey from England to Berlin to various European capitals to England again and finally ending with Ellis Island and his first steps on US soil.
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on 5 September 2015
Well written and very interesting for anyone interested in the history of the 1930s including morality, attitudes and the decadence from an
author with experience.
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on 21 July 2016
Was in great condition, i would definitely use this vendor again as arrived promptly.
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on 14 June 2013
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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on 13 April 2015
10/10
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on 3 February 2015
Buy. It. Now.
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on 6 January 2013
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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on 26 June 2015
I agree with some other reviewers that this book is extremely interesting, especially if read alongside the Berlin stories and other Isherwood fiction. The picture of 1930's Berlin and some of Isherwood's other destinations is fascinating. Some of the great characters of English literature are observantly drawn. Most of all, the comparisons and contrasts between two versions of the same events, one autobiographical and the other fictional, is enthralling for anyone interested in the process of creating fiction and the impact of social and political factors on that process. "I am a camera" the narrator states at the beginning of the Berlin Tales, establishing an objective, non-judgmental approach to what follows. When we read Christopher and his Kind, we finally realize just how often Isherwood the narrator stepped on front of the camera to participate in the events he was describing.

Ultimately, however, I was left feeling quite uneasy. Isherwood may have been almost scientifically objective in his narration. I could not achieve that same detachment in reading Christopher and his Kind. I was disturbed by the unevenness of the power in the relationships formed with the street boys of Berlin. Yes, Isherwood clearly had strong and genuine attachments to some of these boys and some of them teased him cruelly. But ultimately, the distribution of power, wealth, education and social class was all in his favour in these relationships. The boys were invariably penniless, powerless, on the fringes of society and desperate. Of course, unlike the boys, Isherwood also had a British passport and could skip out of Germany at the right time, which he did, moving to America at the start of WW2.

It all seems just a bit exploitative. There are other words I could have used to describe these relationships. But to judge this book totally from the perspective of 2015 is not relevant to them as books about an earlier time. Enjoy them for what they are, a fascinating account of a fascinating time and life.
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on 22 April 2013
I was expecting this to be like the Matt Smith programme about Berlin in the 1930s, but its so much more. this book goes into the story of Christopher Isherwood not just in Berlin,but to many other places he travelled to and his meetings with authors like E.M Forster etc. good bedtime reading.
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