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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 16 August 2013
Although you can see many of the characters from Cabaret here, they are far grittier than the ones in the film. Christopher's life in Berlin is in many ways harsh, at one stage lodging with a dysfunctional family at others living virtually from hand to mouth. I bought this because I've seem Cabaret and enjoyed it immensely, don't read it for that reason, read it because it's about an odd man, living in a unique city at a mad time in history.
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on 17 March 2013
I'll make this a short review because I mostly agree with the other 4 & 5 star reviewers.

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.
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on 21 November 2013
well picked this book up not knowing what to expect and could not put it down again until i finished it... great read..
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VINE VOICEon 9 August 2004
After a couple of false starts, I was able to finally finish this book. I read it because I had seen "Cabaret" the movie and the play. I have not seen the play "I am a Camera" by Erik Von Deutten. However, I expected a faster moving story and really had to drudge through this. There are moments that you can identify with. However for the most part you feel like a third party. You may not want to identify with some of the characters.

Whatever is supposed to make this book good is lost in the details.

Well I read it but I am not sure I want to read anymore of his book. I feel a little cheated when one describes his use of English and the book is over before you find this. I feel a little embarrassed at not liking it with the praise it receives, but I guess you cannot like them all.
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An excellent story about life in Berlin in the late 1920s and early 1930s. It is almost biographal story from Isherwood of his life in Berlin at that period.

This is a wonderful book to read as it explores the underbelly of Berlin life, and it is easy to see why the musical Cabaret grew from this short novel. You can feel the anxiety of Berlin with the rise of Hitler and the Nazis who are in the background of this book. The book also shows off some of the hedonistic life that was plentyful in Berlin prior to Hitler becoming Chancellor.

You will be lost with the narrator around Berlin and the life that he lead while he was in Berlin and can feel his loss when he leaves and returns to London.

A wonderful and fun book.
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on 11 June 2010
f F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote super-amazingly about the Jazz Age, Goodbye to Berlin is like the working/middle-class version. This series of stories -- not quite a novel, more connected first-person accounts of various people who lived in Berlin before the Nazis came to power -- was a quiet read. It doesn't have great emotion and heartrending scenes of despair in any way and unlike Fitzgerald (again, I have a real bee in my bonnet about how he's just not that great), Isherwood's chosen subjects are much more relatable than Daisy and Tom or Dick and Nicole.

(A wee tip for the Darcy fans: read this after watching A Single Man and imagine Colin Firth's voice reading it aloud. It's brilliant.)
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on 5 January 2013
We had only really touched upon some works of literature and drama from the Roaring Twenites in school. The usual set tests were the Great Gatsby, and A Streetcar named Desire - but I still wanted to explore more. When I was studying Weimar German culture at University, I came across Isherwood's work and I must say I am in love with this writing style.

This book is not too over bearing, it does jump around a little bit - but, it is nothing too challenging. I would really recommended it to anyone who fancies taking glimpse onto life in a changing Germany.
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on 5 September 2015
"I am a camera". These are Isherwood's own words and very adequately describe the decadence of Berlin in the very early thirties. We
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.
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on 4 May 2013
Christopher Isherwoods writings from Berlin the years between the wars are absolutely lovely - charming, witty and highly readable ever since. Also the story "Sally Bowles" became the almost classical musical "Cabarée" with Liza Minelly as Sally. I read the book many, many years ago - it is still as good!
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on 25 July 2013
The characters are so marvellously drawn. If you are somene who i more interested in characteenrs than plot and, like me, fascinated by this particular moment in history, then you cannot fail to love this book. I have came late to this fascinating writer but I will be reading more of his work for sure.
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