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A Single Man | [Christopher Isherwood]

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, and determines to persist in the routines of his daily life; the course of A Single Man spans 24 hours in an ordinary day.
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Publisher's Summary

When A Single Man was originally published, it shocked many with 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, and determines to persist in the routines of his daily life. The course of A Single Man spans 24 hours in an ordinary day.

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 texture of life itself.

©1992 Don Bachardy; (P)2009 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"A testimony to Isherwood's undiminished brilliance as a novelist." (Anthony Burgess)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (146 )
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4.0 (81 )
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4.3 (80 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jean Pittsburgh, PA USA 03-20-10
    Jean Pittsburgh, PA USA 03-20-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "loved the writing, loved the narrator"

    This novella is very well written. It takes place in a short time period and the writing is tight. The narrator is so skilled that he almost disappears as you enter the story. The emotions feel real and honest throughout. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm looking forward to it. Can't imagine it being as good as the novella.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pita Miami 08-05-14
    Pita Miami 08-05-14 Member Since 2013

    Life love compulsive reader getting into a lot of listening as well and loving it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Masterfully written"
    Where does A Single Man rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best contemporary novels I have read/listened to. The writer brings you into the main character at a visceral level so that you start seeing the world the way he does and feeling what he feels. Isherwood is an unsung modern master.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Single Man?

    The beginning just grabbed me and I stayed "in" this book until the end. This is a sad novel, make no mistake. It deals with issues such as loneliness, regret, isolation, and the woes of middle age. iIf what you need is to become engrossed in a book that makes you reflect, I recommend it. For light fare, go elsewhere.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Ideally, this book should be listened to in one sitting but life has a way of interfering. The narrator is excellent, by the way.


    Any additional comments?

    I saw the excellent movie based on this book with Colin Firth and Julianne Moore and highly recommend it. It is an excellent adaptation with Oscar worthy performances by both (I am still trying to figure out why the movie came and went so silently). It ranks above the best screen adaptations of a book I have seen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine Mercer Island, WA, United States 01-27-13
    Catherine Mercer Island, WA, United States 01-27-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Gorgeous Writing but Not for Everyone"

    A Contempletive and Poetic novel. The novel is mostly the internal voice of an elderly man whose lover has recently passed away. It is the story of an outsider--a gay British man living in California, teaching college classes. He no longer "fits in" to his neighborhood which has changed around him. He feels alienated where he is, but belongs nowhere else. He is resentful of or disgusted by the heterosexuals breeding all around him and has several erotic fantasies, which might make some readers uncomfortable. This is not an action novel--very little happens, but it has beautiful prose and a distinctive point of view that I hadn't seen before.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy Fort Bragg, CA, United States 02-06-12
    Cathy Fort Bragg, CA, United States 02-06-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "beautifully done"

    I chose this selection after seeing the movie, which I enjoyed very much, and was not disappointed. I enjoyed the audible book as much as I did the movie, and was even moved to get the printed book so I could browse around and re-read parts of it. I will listen to the whole audible book again sometime -- it was such a pleasure. I especially liked the narrator, Simon Prebble -- enough to search for other books narrated by him.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Chicago, IL 08-28-10
    Michael Chicago, IL 08-28-10 Member Since 2010

    A lover of thrillers and enthralling stories told by dramatic and well read narrators.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    "Pain to listen to"

    Maybe I'm a little too into contemporary fiction, but this book seemed to me to have no plot whatsoever. I know that the book is seen as Isherwood's masterpiece, but I didn't get what was going on. He continually alludes to the main character's feelings about his partner being dead (which is mentioned once, I believe) but, it just feels contrived and the ramblings of an old man.

    4 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott A. Dubay 11-08-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "SnoozeFest"

    I have NEVER started a book without finishing it...until this one. I was so bored out of my mind that I just had to move on.

    2 of 13 people found this review helpful
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