Down There on a Visit

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Four narrators, all known as 'Christopher Isherwood', in different locations and periods of time, paint portraits of their own private sexual hells

Subject: Classics
Down There on a Visit, Christopher Isherwood


Berlin, the Greek Islands, London and California. 1928, 1932, 1938 and 1940. Four portraits, four settings, four narrators, all known as 'Christopher Isherwood'. Often regarded as the best of his novels, Down There on a Visit tells the vivid stories of Isherwood's life that, together with The Berlin Novels, were to have comprised his great unfinished epic novel.

Available Formats

  • Paperback
    $14.99 RRP
    ISBN: 9780099561088
    Published: 16/01/2013
    Imprint: Vintage Classics
    Extent: 368 pages
  • eBook
    ISBN: 9781446468906
    Published: 01/11/2012
    Imprint: Vintage Digital
    Extent: 368 pages
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"In several respects this is probably Isherwood's best novel. It offers the sheer pleasure of writing completely personal and yet completely controlled, radiant with observation, never wasting a word, funny and sympathetic" - Stephen Spender, New Republic

"This excellent novel may be the best Christopher Isherwood has written. A deeply intelligent and quietly compelling story" - New York Times

"Few writers have so unsparingly scrutinized their worlds. Down There on a Visit is outrageous, bitter, bleak, angry, wry, revealing, infuriating, and at times marvellously comic. An offbeat classic" - Saturday Review

"A bemused, sometimes acid portrait of people caught in private sexual hells of their own making. Its four episodes are connected by four narrators. All are called 'Christopher Isherwood, ' but each is a different character inhabiting a new setting: Berlin in 1928, the Greek Isles in 1933, London in 1938, and California in 1940. Down There on a Visit is a major work that shows Isherwood at the height of his literary powers." -

"That young man holds the future of the English novel in his hands" - Somerset W. Maugham

Christopher Isherwood

Christopher Isherwood

Christopher Isherwood (1904-1986) was one of the most celebrated writers of his generation. He left Cambridge without graduating, briefly studied medicine and then turned to writing his first novels, All the Conspirators and The Memorial. Between 1929 and 1939 he lived mainly abroad, spending four years in Berlin and writing the novels Mr Norris Changes Trains and Goodbye To Berlin on which the musical Cabaret was based. He moved to America in 1939, becoming a US citizen in 1946, and wrote another five novels, including Down There on a Visit and A Single Man, a travel book about South America and a biography of the Indian mystic Ramakrishna. In the late 1960s and '70s he turned to autobiographical works: Kathleen and Frank, Christopher and His Kind, My Guru and His Disciple and October, one month of his diary with drawings by Don Bachardy.