Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mount TBR #28

I read this book for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge hosted over at My Reader’s Block from January 1 – December 31, 2017. The challenge is to read books that you already own

Lions and Shadows: An Education in the Twenties – Christopher Isherwood

In the introduction, Isherwood frankly warns the reader that she had better read this school memoir as a novel. Isherwood, then, writes a non-fiction novel or fictionalized autobiography to describe his checkered career at Cambridge and then his hanging out with other bohemians in London in the early Thirties. He wrote this, in fact, in the late Thirties, only a little more than a decade after the events described. So the memories are fresh and he has the right bittersweet sympathy of a 28-year-old for an 18-year-old. Readers will also be alert for fictionalized portraits of the rebels Auden and Steven Spender. It’s mainly lighthearted, even carefree, considering the time and place. This memoir ends with his decision to go live in Berlin, an experience which produced fine stories like Mr. Norris Changes Trains and the Sally Bowles stories.

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