Two Englishmen meeting on a train to Berlin in 1930 kick off one of Isherwood’s most enduring novels
On a train to Berlin in late 1930, William Bradshaw locks eyes with Arthur Norris, an irresistibly comical fellow Englishman wearing a rather obvious wig and nervous about producing his passport at the frontier. So begins a friendship conducted in the seedier quarters of the city, where Norris runs a dubious import-export business and lives in excited fear of his bullying secretary,his creditors, and his dominatrix girlfriend, Anni. As the worldwide economic Depression strangles the masses and the Communists make a desperate stand against Fascism and war, Norris sells himself as political orator, spy, and double agent. He also sells his friends. Like its companion novel, Goodbye to Berlin, Mr Norris Changes Trains offers unforgettable characters struggling in the vortex as the Nazis rise to power.