The Berlin Stories

The Berlin Stories

Paperback(Reissue)

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Overview

A classic of 20th-century fiction, The Berlin Stories inspired the Broadway musical and Oscar-winning film Cabaret.


First published in the 1930s, The Berlin Stories contains two astonishing related novels, The Last of Mr. Norris and Goodbye to Berlin, which are recognized today as classics of modern fiction. 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 is the period when Hitler was beginning his move to power. The Berlin Stories is inhabited by a wealth of characters: the unforgettable Sally Bowles, whose misadventures in the demimonde were popularized on the American stage and screen by Julie Harris in I Am A Camera and Liza Minnelli in Cabaret; Mr. Norris, the improbable old debauchee mysteriously caught between the Nazis and the Communists; plump Fräulein Schroeder, who thinks an operation to reduce the scale of her Büste might relieve her heart palpitations; and the distinguished and doomed Jewish family, the Landauers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780811218047
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 09/17/2008
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 92,112
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Christopher Isherwood (1904-1986), perhaps the first major openly gay writer to be read extensively by a wider audience, was one of the most distinguished authors of the twentieth century. His literary friendships encompassed such writers as W. H. Auden, E. M.
Forster, Stephen Spender, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and
Somerset Maugham.

Armistead Maupin is the author of nine novels including the six-volume Tales of the City series and Michael Tolliver Lives.

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The Berlin Stories 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is perfectly fascinating! The characters are so real and they hit so close to home. My personal favorite is the collection of sketches and scenes entitled 'Sally Bowles'. Sally is one of the most interesting and extraordinary characters one can find in literature. Her relationship with Christopher is magnificent ... it is so pure. I reccommend seeing the movie version (Cabaret) with Liza Minelli. Ms. Minelli makes an enchanting Sally Bowles, and Michael York is a lovable Brian (Christopher).
Guest More than 1 year ago
i enjoyed this book. the first part, the last of mr. norris, is a short novel. the second part, goodbye to berlin, is sort of a collection of sketches. my favorite of the sketches is 'the landauers.' sorry, sally, but i find natalia landauer more interesting. my favorite sentence in this book comes from chapter 8 of mr. norris, 'like a long train which stops at every dingy little station, the winter dragged slowly past.'
ostrom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Splendid. Wonderful evocation of pre-War Berlin. Norris is a terrific character.
figre on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This collection did not match any of my expectations ¿ that is, it wasn¿t what I expected to read. There really is a difference there ¿ let me explain. First, it is my fault. I was expecting a collection of short stories, and right on the back it says, ¿¿contains two related novels.¿ However, I did read enough of the back to know that some part was the inspiration for Cabaret. But, reading the back more carefully, the only part that is Cabaret (and its predecessor I Am a Camera) are the ¿misadventures of Sally Bowles.¿ She plays but a small part in this entire production. Then, once I came to grips with this being two novels, I started the second ¿ Goodbye to Berlin ¿ and found that this didn¿t match my new conceptions. Rather than a novel, I would better describe it as a connected set of writings ¿ some almost diary entries (upon which much of this is based.) This is where Sally Bowles does indeed make her short appearances ¿ once as the main force of a story, the second as a protagonist.I only go through this background to let you know that the book/novels/stories worked their way past my conceptions, preconceptions, or misconceptions (choose what you would like to call them) to make me understand why people have turned to them for inspiration in their private and creative lives. There is no doubt that you are hearing Isherwood¿s true stories of his life in Berlin during the time of the rise of Hitler. And the intertwining of everyday situations with the important (but underplayed) events of the world makes for entertaining reading. As the blurb promises, the characters are entertaining ¿ but never are they drawn too broadly. They are believable people. And never do world events overshadow the life of getting through life. In fact, events are just a backdrop. Hitler¿s name is dropped. The previous war is mentioned. Events in England are glanced at. But these stories and these people are never about those events. And, although I¿ve said it more than once in different ways, these stories are about people ¿ people who come to life in the telling.
brett_in_nyc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This one I really loved when I was young and had a romantic notion of Berlin before the war as an open and cosmopolitan place, a refuge for literary British and American types (and Russians, Poles, Hungarians, Ottomans, etc etc.) In the end, it was eclipsed by other books.
Tpoi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great read. Read this then watch Mack the Knife, listen to Kurt Weil, think about Weimar Germany.
cestovatela on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Except for a great opening line, nothing about Isherwood's collection of short stories grabbed me. Sally Bowles is a fabulous character but the narrator himself is desperately dull. A pathetic man in love with a vibrant woman does not an interesting story make.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago