Welcome to sunny suburban 1960s Southern California. George is a gay middle-aged English professor, adjusting to solitude after the tragic death of his young partner. He is determined to persist in the routines of his former life. A Single Man follows him over the course of an ordinary twenty-four hours. Behind his British reserve, tides of grief, rage, and loneliness surge—but what is revealed is a man who loves being alive despite all the everyday injustices.
When Christopher Isherwood's A Single Man first appeared, it shocked many with its frank, sympathetic, and moving portrayal of a gay man in maturity. Isherwood's favorite of his own novels, it now stands as a classic lyric meditation on life as an outsider.
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Isherwood on man
Isherwood's A Single Man displays a fine English stylist and a man with profound insight into our human condition. Although the book may be read as a gay love novel, it is that, but far more. What Isherwood depicts and explores is every human being's essential loneliness, a necessary fruit of our individuality. The character George is Everyman, and particularly every one who has lost his or her beloved to death. It is a spiritual book in a non-religious sense. To read Isherwood's classic closely is to face oneself before the abyss of nothingness or death, and to choose to live, or to shrink back. George chooses to live, and then dies in peace with himself and the world.
I have watched the movie version of this book several times and really think it is special. So, I finally decided to read the book. Glad I did. The book gives you full insight into what is going on inside George's head.
And after reading the book, I have even more appreciation for the masterful job Tom Ford did with the movie. This is one time when I'm glad I saw the movie first. But both the movie and the book are excellent.