Down There on a Visit
This title deals with a new introduction by Philip Hensher. "Radiant with observation, never wasting a word, funny and sympathetic". (Stephen Spender). Berlin, the Greek Islands, London and California. 1928, 1932, 1988 and 1940. Four portraits, four settings, four narrators, all known as "Christopher Isherwood"; all connected through their own experiences of private sexual hell. Often regarded as the best of his novels, "Down There on a Visit" tells the vivid stories of Isherwood's life that, together with the "Berlin Stories", were to have comprised his great unfinished epic novel. "May be the best Christopher Isherwood has written. A deeply intelligent and quietly compelling story". ("New York Times").
Four narrators, all known as "Christopher Isherwood", in different locations and periods of time, paint portraits of their own private sexual hells
In several respects this is probably Isherwood's best novel. It offers the sheer pleasure of writing completely personal and yet completely controlled, radiant with observation, never wasting a word, funny and sympathetic -- Stephen Spender New Republic This excellent novel may be the best Christopher Isherwood has written. A deeply intelligent and quietly compelling story New York Times Few writers have so unsparingly scrutinized their worlds. Down There on a Visit is outrageous, bitter, bleak, angry, wry, revealing, infuriating, and at times marvellously comic. An offbeat classic Saturday Review A bemused, sometimes acid portrait of people caught in private sexual hells of their own making. Its four episodes are connected by four narrators. All are called "Christopher Isherwood, " but each is a different character inhabiting a new setting: Berlin in 1928, the Greek Isles in 1933, London in 1938, and California in 1940. Down There on a Visit is a major work that shows Isherwood at the height of his literary powers. Powells.com That young man holds the future of the English novel in his hands -- Somerset W. Maugham
Christopher Isherwood was born in 1904. He began to write at university and later moved to Berlin, where he gave English lessons to support himself. He witnessed first hand the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany and some of his best works, such as Mr. Norris Changes Trains and Goodbye to Berlin, draw on these experiences. He created the character of Sally Bowles, later made famous as the heroine of the musical Cabaret. Isherwood travelled with W.H Auden to China in the late 1930s before going with him to America in 1939. He died on 4 January 1986. His novel A Single Man was recently made into an award-winning film by Tom Ford, starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.