Goodbye to Berlin was one of those books that I knew would upset me but still couldn’t resist. I’ve never read any of Christopher Isherwood’s books before. But I loved the film based on A Single Man. I wanted to read this book because it is on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die and I was curious about the author. I am glad I read it; Isherwood is a good author.
Goodbye to Berlin is about the period in Berlin before Hitler came to power. Hitler’s rise over time is slily and so exquisitely described in the book. And it is full of colourful and wildly entertaining characters. The “changing situation”, which was barely mentioned earlier in the book, intensifies as the book progresses. The author describes society’s gradual change by talking more about the change and showing the violence of fascism growing. It is impossible not to admire his genius. I’ll be reading more of his books in the future. And I recommend this to everyone. Enjoy!
Goodbye to Berlin
First published in 1934, Goodbye to Berlin has been popularized on stage and screen by Julie Harris in I Am a Camera and Liza Minelli in Cabaret. Isherwood magnificently captures 1931 Berlin: charming, with its avenues and cafés; marvelously grotesque, with its nightlife and dreamers; dangerous, with its vice and intrigue; powerful and seedy, with its mobs and millionaires—this was the period when Hitler was beginning his move to power.
Goodbye to Berlin is inhabited by a wealth of characters: the unforgettable and so “divinely decadent” Sally Bowles; plump Fraülein Schroeder, who considers reducing her Büsteto relieve her heart palpitations; Peter and Otto, a gay couple struggling to come to terms with their relationship; and so the distinguished and doomed Jewish family the Landauers.
Christopher Isherwood was an Anglo-American novelist, playwright, screenwriter, autobiographer, and so diarist.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: