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Summary

Christopher Isherwood's dramatized memoirs are prophetic images of a country preparing itself to embrace Hitler and the Third Reich. The Berlin Stories includes 2 works published together - The Last of Mr. Norris and Goodbye to Berlin. These modern classics reveal in poignant detail the tragedy of mid-20th-century Germany.
©1990 Christopher Isherwood (P)2005 Phoenix Audio

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goodbye to berlin

Any additional comments?

well read audiobook- incase anyone else wants to know 'Goodbye to Berlin' starts around 1hr 24minutes

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Weimar Berlin in real time

These stories are a fascinating insight into a time and culture which was to define the 20th century. To listen with hindsight is to feel the dreadful creep of the menace of fascism and be reminded of the speed and ease with which this horror could engulf us again. Wonderful characters and exceptional writing make these biographical writings a most painful pleasure.

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leaves you wanting more

Where does The Berlin Stories rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Michael York is such a pleasure to listen to and the story's construction leaves you wanting more from Isherwood.

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    5 out of 5 stars

A disturbing snapshot

Excellent value for money. A disturbing snapshot of Berlin on the cusp of Nazism. Things could have been so different had the forces of civilisation been channelled against the Nazis instead of pontificating. On a more trivial level, delightfully decadenf.

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  • Kathryn Drinkard
  • 05-03-12

Marvelous performance of Isherwood's stories

Would you consider the audio edition of The Berlin Stories to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version. I can say that it was wonderful to hear the German words and placenames pronounced by Mr. York. He clearly has experience with the language and that lends a great deal to the immediacy of the stories.

What other book might you compare The Berlin Stories to and why?

The Audible version of Defying Hitler by Sebastian Hafner. Both authors were writing their personal experiences living in 1930s pre-war Berlin. Comparing the lightness of Isherwood's stories to the intensity and passion of Hafner's memoir shows how much difference it makes when you are just visiting a country instead of a citizen watching your homeland be comsumed by insanity.

Any additional comments?

I've been a fan of the musical Cabaret for decades--it's wonderful to hear the stories that show was based on.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 20-05-17

Berlin just before the Nazi's move in

The Swastika is a little lie as these four or is it five stories are set about 1930s just before or as the Nazi's come to power. The undercurrent is there as is homosexuality and anti-semetic. The Weimar Republic is coming to an end and the Nazi's are still a joke but things are a changing. Well written and Michael York has such a beautiful speaking voice he is a pleasure to listen to, however as I think all these stories are different and are not connected the main characters sound like one and their personalities are almost equal. Still a nice listen to whilst driving the back lanes of Sydney.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Julia
  • 11-06-18

Haunting

I could never have finished this book by reading it. It is thanks to Michael York's brilliant mastery of accents and voices that you understand what is going on. This book is subtle, I mean, gay culture in the 30s, it has to be. With York's voices, someone as oblivious as me can understand what is going on. What makes this book so special is the subtlety in which he describes the rise of Nazism and the level of complacency that exists when it's in your every day world.
A must listen, if only for York's performance.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-04-18

Of Minimal Interest

It’s two (true) ‘stories’ set against the Weimar years, but the only truly engaging part of each is at their very end, and even those are so brief as hardly to rank a mention. The author can’t capitalise on the most investing parts of his life in Germany. Not worth your time, compared to other WW2 memoirs.

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  • Tim Byers
  • 01-02-07

Nothing happens...

The appeal of reading a diary is discovering something juicy or interesting. This diary has neither, because everything interesting seems to happen in the background. The Nazi's take over, but it hardly affects the narrator. He forges relationships that seem to go nowhere. I kept waiting for something significant to happen (you would think with a title like Berlin Diaries something would), but alas, nothing much did. Michael York does a superb job but ultimately this was disappointing.

6 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • joe payton
  • 03-05-17

Propaganda

Reads like sjw propaganda. Characters are transparent and one dimensional. After school special plot lines. Probably required reading now. One well written memorable line: "Berlin in winter is a frozen skeleton. My bones ache in it's streets." That was good. Read The Razors Edge and On the Road and The Electric Koolaid Acid Test. And get the vice of anti-establishment-ism.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful