Goodbye to Berlin

Goodbye to Berlin

Summary

As Cabaret returns to the West End, revisit the KitKat Club in the book that introduced Sally Bowles to the world.

Set in the 1930s, Goodbye to Berlin is the novella that inspired Cabaret, evoking the glamour and sleaze, excess and repression of Berlin society. Isherwood shows the lives of people under threat from the rise of the Nazis: a wealthy Jewish heiress, Natalia Landauer, a gay couple, Peter and Otto, and an English upper-class waif, the divinely decadent Sally Bowles.

'Brilliant sketches of a society in decay' George Orwell

'Isherwood is a master of the emotionally cathartic moment, funny and perspicacious' Evening Standard

Reviews

  • A great talent
    Guardian

About the author

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.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more