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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So many wonderful books to discover, all vying for our time and attention – if only we had enough time in which to read them. Norris, it later transpires, has predilections for a kind of wholesome sexual deviancy – he is open about his relations with a dominatrix and her ‘minder’ a young man who is a member of the Communist Party.

One of the things I like best about his novels is that a vast majority of them are so strongly influenced from the actual events and people. This is partially because there are those worse than him (the Nazis and Schmidt) and partially because we see him through Bradshaw’s eyes who, despite Norris’ behaviour, clearly also has a soft spot for him. 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.In some ways though it seemed almost a little too elegant - there are times when it felt like there should be a greater sense of jeopardy, what with all those Nazis around. However, the ending is questionable as to whether Norris ever really pays for the consequences of his actions. The downside to all these classics being read is that it reminds you of those you haven’t yet got round to!

A supreme example of a radiant prose rhythm married to the most delicious dialogue – a portrait of the subtly ruinous Mr Norris. The story is narrated by William Bradshaw, a young Englishman who is going to Berlin to teach English and get to know the city, at the beginning of the 1930s.

With the Nazis on the rise, Norris plans one last coup, with the help of Bradshaw, to put his finances on sound footing.

Even though it’s abundantly clear that Mr Norris is something of a swindler, he is hugely likeable with it.I started reading Mr Norris Changes Trains as part of the summer book challenge on The Reader’s Room, but I haven’t felt as compelled to chain read like I usually do this summer, so I didn’t finish the challenge.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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