terça-feira, fevereiro 06, 2018

The Berlin Stories, by Christopher Isherwood

Like many people since the 70s, I first heard of Christopher Isherwood as the author of the story that inspired the movie Cabaret; unlike most of the people that then read him, the movie didn't make me read him, quite the opposite, it actually pulled me away from it for many years - until now. I enjoyed the movie, it has very good musical acts, but I found the story feeble and far from appealing (guess it would have been different if it had been A Single Man, a movie I watched many years later).

Anyway, I kept stumbling across Christopher Isherwood's name along the years: he was published by the Hogarth Press, he was admired by Gore Vidal, his portrait (with his partner Dan Bachardy) had been painted by David Hockney... So I kept him in my to-read list.

And now I finally read him, and understood what all the hype was about. I was overwhelmed, it is really first class writing, I hadn't enjoyed a book so much in a long time. Not only the writing is beautiful and the stories engaging, but the characters are unforgettably created - even more than the famous Sally Bowles, there is Arthur Norris, Otto Nowak, Natalia Landauer, Bernhard Landauer, even fraulein Schroeder, all incredibly believable and endearing each in its own way.

It is so good to find great fiction, to feel there are still so many books to read and enjoy. Isherwood absolutely deserves his fame, it's a wonderful author.

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