Thursday, January 6, 2011

And mark how well the sequel hangs together:

I've been reading The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood for the past week and a half; since Christmas I guess.  It's bit of a different book from any on the list so far, as it is really two books in one.  Isherwood first published two books called The Last of Mr. Norris and Goodbye Berlin in 1935 and 1936 respectively.  Then, in 1946, they were combined into one novel, The Berlin Stories and have appeared as such ever since.

I'm about half way through the second 'book' right now.  I'm not sure if this will change, but so far, they have little of anything to do with each other.  The main character is the same (who happens to be named Chris Isherwood) and his landlady is the same, so I'll assume the setting is basically the same as well.  However, he interacts with completely different people in each.  I guess it almost makes it seem like a sequel in a way, but the story from the first book did reach a conclusion.  It wasn't like in "Back to the Future," when the DeLorean disappeared, destined for the future, leaving the audience hanging.  This is more like Toy Story 2, where it is just another wacky adventure for the main character.

So far, I'm enjoying this book (or these books rather) quite a bit.  I'm liking the writing style, the characters and the inter-war Berlin setting.  I hope to finish it soon, Sunday at the latest.  Then, I'm moving on to Infinite Jest, one of the books I've truly been fearing.  Not because I think I won't like it, or that I'll find it boring, but because the last page has a tiny '1076' in the bottom right-hand corner.  It is truly gigantic.

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