Berlin Stories

  • Type: Books
  • By: Christopher Isherwood
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: General Fiction
  • Recommended by: Morgan D.
  • ISBN/UPC: 0811200701
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Take a grand tour, slumming in dive bars and cabarets in Weimar Berlin.

The Berlin Stories isn't really a novel: it's a collection of one novel (the sly, funny Mr. Norris Changes Trains) and several short stories, previously collected in Goodbye to Berlin. It's all semi-autobiographical, about Isherwood's time slumming in dive bars and cabarets in Weimar Berlin, befriending expatriates (like Sally Bowles, further immortalized in Cabaret) and writers and denizens of the underworld whose way of life was destroyed under the Third Reich. Isherwood, both the writer and the narrator, is aware of politics but holds himself largely apart from them: he's more interested in the extravagant lives of individuals. Don't buy his "I am a camera" line: Isherwood is fully present in these stories, and his witty, knowing voice makes them sing.
 
Just as good (and even better, if you ask me) is Isherwood's memoir about his Berlin years, Christopher and His Kind, written decades later with the additional wit and wisdom of age.