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For astronauts that had returned from walking on the moon, I imagine that the worst part of their experience was having to live out the rest of their lives Every other event would be after the moon all experiences would be measured by that yardstick old and new relationships would orbit around that event.This then makes me think about retired professional athletes, former world stage politicians, etc do they also live out the remainder of their lives reflecting on the halcyon days of yesteryear Here s the genius of this book Isherwood writes a fantastic story that reminds the reader that if we live long enough, we will all have an after the moon chapter in our life The protagonist George is living through the post trauma haze of life after the sudden death of his partner Jim And though the narrative moves through George s mind and eyes, we recognize that it isn t just George that is having to experience this fog His neighborly female friend Charley is experiencing the same burden of living after her own defining event We read, and if we relate viscerally, we are in that stage of life If not, it hasn t happened to us yet.Isherwood doesn t answer the question of How do we get through this His reflection on this theme on the last page of the novel is one of the best endings I ve read in a long while.Highly recommended. An astounding piece of work a day in the life of novel The day belongs to George Falconer an English professor in his 50s English by nationality as well teaching in southern California It is set in the early 1960s George s lover Jim has recently died suddenly and he is alone again The novel takes us from waking to breakfast, to travelling to work and so on This doesn t have the grandiosity of Joyce it is much straightforward and focuses living each day because of life s brevity The novel is about loss, but it is also about being an outsider in this case gay, a foreigner, middle aged, alone most of all it is about being human and we share George s day, his hopes and fears The interactions with Charlotte and Kenny are wonderfully poignant and very funny The prose is beautiful Some stream of consciousness novels can be hard work, but this one just flows it could so easily have become sentimental because of the focus on loss, but it does not The everyday occurrences are well described dinner with a friend, teaching class George s interior monologue is wonderful , a flirtation, swimming in the sea admittedly only everyday if you live near it and the normal activities of all our lives even driving a car.Isherwood is really asking How do we live How do we get through life There are no answers but the ending is truly great and you will you a long way to find a better one in literature Isherwood not only describes being alone well, he also captures being in a relationship with another The perfect eveninglying down on the couch beside the bookcase and reading himself sleepyJim lying opposite him at the other end of the couch, also reading the two of them absorbed in their books yet so completely aware of each other s presence The descriptions of the physical geography of the house, as it is lived in alone and the contrast with two people living in the same small space is just brilliant This is just a great novel and I would urge everyone to read it There is a certain level of melancholy, but there is warmth, hope and great humanity. [Free Pdf] ♁ A Single Man ♈ When A Single Man Was Originally Published, It Shocked Many By Its Frank, Sympathetic, And Moving Portrayal Of A Gay Man In Midlife George, The Protagonist, Is Adjusting To Life On His Own After The Sudden Death Of His Partner, Determined To Persist In The Routines Of His Daily Life An Englishman And A Professor Living In Suburban Southern California, He Is An Outsider In Every Way, And His Internal Reflections And Interactions With Others Reveal A Man Who Loves Being Alive Despite Everyday Injustices And Loneliness Wry, Suddenly Manic, Constantly Funny, Surprisingly Sad, This Novel Catches The True Textures Of Life Itself BOOK JACKET Even though there are positive reviews aplenty I still had concerns this would turn out to be an overly melodramatic letdown, but needn t have worried as what we have here is a compressed work of utter brilliance from a vastly undervalued writer who does not waste a single word making the reading experience flawless There are two thing in particular to highlight that nailed it for me, firstly I do not believe Isherwood set out with the intention of writing a story wholly about about homosexuality but to create a universal character in George Falconer who comes across just like everybody else meaning he is easy to relate to Secondly although deeply shattering in it s portrayal of a man grieving for his partner there is something almost life affirming in how George s bereavement is told that not only showcases how to do sad without being depressing, but also what love and affection means in it s truest sense regardless of the sex of a partner A phenomenal small novel written with total heart and soul. This witty, acerbic, elegant little novel should not be confused with the soggy, self pitying movie of the same name. I aspire It s listed as being 192 pages long, but I swear it s because the edition I read had fifty words a page with three inch margins an every side.It s so economical it is or less mind blowing.If my desire to express whimsy came from Terry Pratchett and P.G Wodehouse, and my inclination to be daring and irreverent came from David Foster Wallace and Stephen King If my unruly imagination came from Bill Watterson, and my eye for alienation from Susan Cooper If my lust for scale came from J.R.R Tolkien, and James Clavell and Robert Jordan And if my visions of other worlds came from Isaac Asimov, and Ray Bradbury, and Robert A Heinlein Then my taste for lyrical, emotive, yet still ecumenical prose came from Christopher Isherwood.Every line a honed blade With every word the keen edge, effortlessly slicing, slicing, slicing, until the ribbons of you it leaves behind reveal the images and the feelings and the insight he d woven into his words from the beginning.Oh, how I aspire.How I try so very hard to come close to what he s done in this novel To how he s done it.An entire day in the life of a human man A single man, during which his life and all that it means and all it has come to spreads open for you like a night bloom, a secret between you and the moon, to look upon it and see what s inside.He wrote it in something like two weeks And it s wonderful, and heartbreaking, and now a passenger in my body a lens over my eyes, the better for me to compare my labors against his.For me to remember how he created so much with so little.Probably the greatest influence on my writing, and the bar against which I measure all literature, not just LGBT lit.Flawless view spoiler As is the film by former chief designer of house Gucci, Tom Ford It is transcendent, and its beauty is matched only by its grief hide spoiler This book is a truly beautiful thing a completely exquisite experience Page after page it spoke to me, as eloquently and profoundly as any book I ve ever read It was sad and funny and wise and observant without ever becoming sentimental or maudlin.In 186 pages of concentrated, yet langorous, stream of consciousness prose Isherwood gets to the heart of what it means to be a middle aged man, a loner, a fish out of water, an expatriate on several levels as a Britisher in a new land, a gay man in mid century America, a man who thinks of himself as an outsider and a social animal at the same time as a human, temporarily privileged to be in the land of the living Death is always on his mind, which makes his yearning to live all the powerful and poignant.The book has no plot, per se It is one day in the life of George, a British professor of English lit teaching at a small college near LA It begins with him waking up in bed and his realization of the process of becoming conscious, of being alive, of being here and now It proceeds through memories of his life, and the recent death of his partner, Jim It takes us through his day, teaching his seemingly oblivious young charges and privileges us with his sly, wry and oddly generous observations on American social s, customs and materialism of the 1950s early 1960s It shows us his distanced relations with his neighbors, his platonic and touching relationship with fellow expat, Charlotte, his journeys to the grocery and to a bar, and his fledgling potential love relationship with a young student The book is clearly meant to be read as a first person POV narrative, yet is told from the omniscient standpoint, referring to George as he It s in keeping with George s own tendency to step back and look at himself within the big picture.Despite the tinge of sadness throughout, the book is often wickedly funny, and always full of magnificent insight.Finding a Holy Grail book like this is what readers live for I m quite floored by it, and very grateful to have found it A new favorite KevinR Ky 2016 very slightly amended 2016 As of this date I still have not seen the film version, which I possess in my film collection I m actually not eager to see it because the book was so fulfilling. He pictures the evening he might have spent, snugly at home, fixing the food he has bought, then lying down on the couch beside the bookcase and reading himself slowly sleepy At first glance, this is an absolutely convincing and charming scene of domestic contentment Only after a few instances does George notice the omission which makes it meaningless What is left out of the picture is Jim, lying opposite him at the other end of the couch, also reading the two of them absorbed in their books yet so completely aware of each other s presence. Christopher Isherwood s A Single Man is a relatable and convincing study of the loss of a beloved person in your life and the aftereffects of dealing with the empty void left behind We are introduced to our protagonist George, a middle aged man who has been attached to a man, Jim, who has recently died in an accident The status of his relationship with Jim is never clearly stated, though it is heavily implied they shared a sexual relationship and were a couple until Jim s untimely death Exploring the theme of homosexuality, Isherwood never ponders about the usual subjects authors can write about when developing gay or lesbian characters George s relationship with Jim and the other men in his life is depicted as something entirely normal, which is exactly the way it should be done.George is a college lecturer who tells his students things like a minority is only thought of as a minority when it constitutes some kind of threat to the majority, real or imaginary And no threat is ever quite imaginary minorities are people people, not angels His homosexuality is never clearly defined Isherwood refuses to even once use terms such as gay or homosexual, though the overall subject of the novel is clearly implied in the context and the underlying tone of the narrative I m like a book you have to read A book can t read itself to you It doesn t even know what it s about I don t know what I m about. This is a book about clinging to the past, about the importance of forgetting in order to start living again, about how to be truly happy Philosophical in his novel s depth, yet never exaggeratedly philosophical in his style, Isherwood confronts his readers with a number of important questions about life itself, the importance of past, present and future and how to deal with what lies behind and what lies ahead of you.The writing style requires some time to get used to When I first started reading the book a short time after watching the movie starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, I was thrown back by the writing Between the most notable parts of the text, Isherwood likes to ramble on and on about the daily life of our protagonist, and as important as it may be for setting the mood, I personally found it difficult to keep my attention on the prose However, especially in the second half of the novel, the dominance of those parts is and reduced, until we come to the ending, an ending which I am likely not going to forget because it simply was so surprisingly well written A Single Man is clearly not a novel for everyone, considering that hardly anything is ever happening in this novel and we mostly only get insight on the characters thoughts and the process of his character development the latter, by the way, being an aspect which Isherwood understood to embody very believably It took some time for me to get accustomed to the novel s style and to get the images from the movie out of my head in order to appreciate the book for what it is and to judge it separately from the on screen adaptation It s a great book which touches many interesting and important subjects without referring to stereotypical methods to convey them, though in my opinion it s also a book which is hard to recommend to anybody In 99 Novels The Best in English Since 1939 , Anthony Burgess calls this novel a fine piece of plain writing which haunts the memory , and I couldn t agree. English A Single Man ItalianoGeorge, a middle aged professor, has an ordinary life, but now he must relate to loneliness because of the untimely passing of his partner Glimmers of light thanks to few daily joys can be seen in his gray days a female friend who invites him to dinner to distract him, but awkwardily ends up kissing him, ignoring his homosexuality and pretending than what George can offer her Or a college student who spends the night at George s house, giving him a few hours of company and a renewed desire, which maybe it is too late to pander to However, they are only momentary flashes light and dark.I admit that I did not know Christopher Isherwood First class language, essential and sharp prose.Vote 7,5Una vita ordinaria quella di George, un professore di mezza et che deve relazionarsi con la solitudine a causa della scomparsa prematura del compagno Spiragli di luce dati da piccole gioie quotidiane si intravedono nelle sue giornate grigie un amica che lo invita a cena e lo distrae, ma goffamente finisce per baciarlo ignorando la sua omosessualit e pretendendo pi di quello che George pu offrirle Oppure uno studente universitario che passa la notte a casa sua, donandogli qualche ora di compagnia e un desiderio riacceso ma che forse troppo tardi per assecondare Sono per solo intermittenze, luce e buio.Ammetto che non conoscevo Christopher Isherwood Linguaggio sopraffino, prosa essenziale e tagliente.Voto 7,5 Christopher Isherwood has written a book that makes me hate him Or maybe I hate myself The main theme of this book is loss loss of a lover, loss of youth, loss of identity, loss of direction, it s all there in beautifully phrased observations and it tickled that spot in my mind, the spot where I hide all of my fears, until I could no longer ignore the fact that I am and I continue to lose these things myself until one day the devastating and unthinkable will happen and I will lose that which I hold most important It s not my hair, for onceThe perfect eveninglying down on the couch beside the bookcase and reading himself sleepyJim lying opposite him at the other end of the couch, also reading the two of them absorbed in their books yet so completely aware of each other s presence Isherwood s novel demonstrates how repressed my fears are, and so does my natural reaction of making a silly joke about my hair This book does this to me and whilst I love that I am seen reading such wonderful literature on a train when either side of me are people with the latest mega bestsellers with no words bigger than two syllables and all the feeling of my hand after I ve slept on it all night, I m not sure I am mature enough or willing to deal with the consequencesThink of two people, living together day after day, year after year, in this small space, standing elbow to elbow cooking at the same small stove, squeezing past each other on the narrow stairs, shaving in front of the same small bathroom mirror, constantly jogging, jostling, bumping against each other s bodies by mistake or on purpose, sensually, aggressively, awkwardly, impatiently, in rage or in love think what deep though invisible tracks they must leave, everywhere, behind themI didn t really want to discuss the fact that Christopher Isherwood was a gay man and that his protagonist is a gay man but it seems that a lot of people can t get past that fact Top shelves GLBT etc and perhaps when this was written it really was unique to write about a gay man AS IF HE WAS A NORMAL HUMAN BEING but to me George is not defined by his sexuality, he is defined by his humanity and as such that should really be the end of it This is not a great piece of gay literature, this is a great piece of literature full stop If that offends you I shall not apologiseNo one ever hates without a cause I feel that to discuss this book any further would be to ruin it for you, it is 152 pages of quite large font, all you need to know beyond this is that it s also an incredibly uplifting and life affirming day in the life narrative.