After a chance encounter on a train the English teacher William
Bradshaw starts a close friendship with the mildly sinister Arthur
Norris. Norris is a man of contradictions; lavish but heavily in
debt, excessively polite but sexually deviant. First published in
1933 Mr Norris Changes Trains piquantly evokes the atmosphere of
Berlin during the rise of the Nazis.
Isherwood sketches with the lightest of touches the last gasp of the decaying demi-monde and the vigorous world of Communists and Nazis, grappling with each other on the edge of the abyss Sunday Telegraph What the Berlin stories retain, to a unique degree, is the ability to tell us what it really felt like then - to feel involved with the Germans and still to find that they retained their mystery; to be in the mode, yes, of a camera, and yet to be furiously, hopelessly involved -- James Fenton The first literary novel that really switched me on was Christopher Isherwood's Mr Norris Changes Trains -- Chris Pattern Daily Mail He immortalised Berlin in two short, brilliant novels both published in the Thirties, Mr Norris Changes Trains and Goodbye To Berlin, inventing a new form for future generations - intimate, stylised reportage in loosely connected episodes Daily Express Mr Norris Changes Trains brought him recognition as one of the most promising young writers of his generation The Times