Mr Norris Changes Trains: Christopher Isherwood (Vintage classics)

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Mr Norris Changes Trains: Christopher Isherwood (Vintage classics)

Mr Norris Changes Trains: Christopher Isherwood (Vintage classics)

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Of course, it wasn’t entirely unexpected that a novel written during and partially about the Nazis’ rise to power should have its share of anti-Semitic sentiment. We would like to send you the latest marketing information about our services and what’s happening at KIMS Hospital.

A supreme example of a radiant prose rhythm married to the most delicious dialogue – a portrait of the subtly ruinous Mr Norris.I couldn’t help but feel somewhat protective towards him, a little like Bradshaw does when he meets him on the train.

In my opinion, Isherwood’s use of deception and uneasiness throughout the novel is symbolic of how the German population felt in pre-war Germany. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from this blog’s author is prohibited. Characters are either not quite what they seem, or are employing a persona to get what they want from others or, like Bradshaw, don’t quite know yet who they are. After his brusque self-introduction, he proved most affable and treated us, without further request, to a discourse on his career, aims, and methods of work.Overall the experience seemed to me like life scene viewed though the eyes of a third person observer, who was there on the spot but detached from it all. Bachelor’s Thick Lincoln Pea Soup out of a packet with a full pack of skinless pork sausages heated up in it (yes, sausages boiled in pea soup, you read that right) was one of the Saturday ‘treats’ my dad used to cook for us. The name of the narrator, William Bradshaw, is drawn from Isherwood's full name, Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood.

Despite the troubled times of its setting, Mr Norris is a warm and engaging story which charts the somewhat peculiar friendship that develops between two men following a chance encounter on a train. He moved to America in 1939, becoming a US citizen in 1946, and wrote another five novels, including Down There on a Visit and A Single Man, a travel book about South America and a biography of the Indian mystic Ramakrishna. Eric Ambler does something a little similar in Topkapi/The Light of Day by creating a petty villain (Arthur Simpson) who elicits the reader’s sympathy…well, this reader’s sympathy at least. Whilst one could argue that this novel is a biased view of attitudes from its communist perspective, it undisputedly gives a clear view of a proportion of the population which some people may not be aware of.Ma guardarla era un po’ come ritornare nelle Storie Berlinesi di Isherwood, il nome collettivo col quale si includono sia questo romanzo che l’altro Addio a Berlino (dal quale è invece liberamente tratto il musical e il film Cabaret). As William confronts him over his sins we are told he ‘…looked…like a spaniel which is going to be whipped’, which also links to my later point on submission, and subsequently leads to William half forgiving him and even helping him! Yet Isherwood had no interest in making Bradshaw heterosexual either, so the Narrator has no scenes of a sexual nature. Another weird thing we ate for Saturday tea was butties made from tinned salmon made to go further with the addition of brown breadcrumbs and made to taste less bready with the addition of vinegar.

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