A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
Published by: Simon & Schuster in 1964 (original publication)
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)
George is a British college professor struggling to cope with the death of his partner, Jim. Times being as they are, most people see Jim as George’s friend and roommate. And he’s not sure he can share the truth with everyone.
As we follow George through a day in his life, we see that he’s not the only one with questions about how he’ll get through. His friends and even his students are searching for answers they’re not sure they will ever find. And even if George might be tempted to help them with their burden, he knows that at the end of the day he needs to focus on himself.
I’d seen the movie before reading the book, which can sometimes be a challenging position for me. What I really enjoyed, though, is that it seems to tell a bit of a different story. In the book, we spend all of our time in George’s head. We get a much deeper understanding of his motivations and fears than I think comes across in the film. And it gives it all a different sort of meaning to a reader.
I’d recommend this for fans of introspective literature, character studies, and books that provide a glimpse of what it was like to be gay just a few short decades ago…