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A Single Man

Fiction: GLBT
Unabridged   4.75 hour(s)
Publication date: 12/22/2009

A Single Man

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781615730582
Digital Download ISBN:9781615730599
2 Review(s)

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  1. Isherwood the master prose stylist tells a day in the life of George. Review by Jim

    A Single Man
    by Christopher Isherwood

    Reviewed by Jim McGuire
    for Librarything.Com and HighBridge Audio

    Christopher Isherwood’s novel A Single Man first published in 1964 is simply, for many, a nostalgic look back and the manners and mores of that time period. It is simply the story of one day in the life of aged homosexual academic, George, who having lost his life mate, Jim, copes with it by a separation from self and by degrees from society.
    It is the language and from the language that Isherwood provides for the reader a sense of the unique. In the opening of the book George is presented in terms of I and then it. “It knows its name. It is called George.” The it that is known by George proceeds to inform the reader of his present life but always qualifies it in terms of Jim. George’s life is limited by a loss that allows no completeness in what relations are left. His classes, his drunkenness with Charlotte, his meeting with Kenny are all tempered by the resurging idea of Jim. In the novel we are also constantly reminded of George’s sexuality and how he perceives his contemporaries view his homosexuality.
    At the end of the novel we find George where he was in the beginning; in bed. We are presented with in Isherwood’s masterful prose, the supposition of dying (even here the memory of Jim will not let George alone) and the end we are presented with George and the garbage waiting to be carried out.
    (Posted on 2/18/10)


    If you have not read Christopher Isherwood you have missed the work of a brilliant author. This particular book was praised by the NY Times as "...a sad, sly report on the predicament of the human animal." Isherwood's prose is spare, mesmerizing; his words well chosen, succinct, meaningful. Most importantly, his writings are true.

    When first published about a half century ago A SINGLE MAN was considered shocking as it portrayed for the first time the life of a gay man, George, who was recently bereaved and trying to adjust to life without his partner. George is a college professor, careful, thoughtful. The all too brief story covers just 24 hours from the moment he awakens in the morning and remembers that he has lost his partner to his studied, sometimes painful navigation of the day.

    We are privy not only to his actions but to his thoughts, thus we share his predicament, a very human one. George is an Englishman living in southern California, a place a bit inhospitable to a middle-aged scholar yet he perseveres by observing routine. Haven't many of us found ourselves left with that as our one means of coping? For this reader/listener that is the beauty of Isherwood as A SINGLE MAN is not solely a drama of gay life but of all humanity.

    Reader Simon Prebble gives voice to George with understanding, and skillful narration. British born his voice is perfectly suited for this role.

    I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the hugely successful movie version of A SINGLE MAN by Tom Ford - don't miss this. And hearty recommendations also for Isherwood's Christopher and His Kind and Prater Violet also found on audio from HighBridge.

    - Gail Cooke (Posted on 1/6/10)

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