1000 Books In 10 Years; Vol. 94: A Single Man, by Christopher Isherwood

George is the protagonist of Isherwood’s short novel and serves as a man who is in two worlds. He is at once enviable and sympathetic, heroic and tragic, blessed and cursed, and as the reader follows him through a typical day in his life we see that he must deal with equally contrasting emotions, lust and grief, excitement and monotony. He is a loyal friend, a stern professional, who is at times unprofessional, and an empathetic character who thinks to little of himself, even when he is thinking of himself. He is entirely human and identifiable, and at the end of the book, though we may envy him his position in life, we will empathize with him as well and I think the reasonable reader would, rather than turn their nose at him in disgust, want to give him a hug, because he is one thing above all others: human.

 

Words I thought I’d look up:

Pyloric: Opening from stomach to bowel.

Garrotted: A metal band used for strangulation.

Ampoules: Sealed container of medication.

Lines I liked:

Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city. But this city is not great, was never great, and has nearly no distance to fall.

Lost the heart to be hungry.

Nobody would have seen us. We’re invisible-didn’t you know?

Only after a few instants does George notice the omission that makes it meaningless.

Rambler About Rambler

Jason John Horn is a writer and critic who recently completed his Master's in English Literature at the University of Windsor. He has composed a play, a novella and a number of short stories and satirical essays.

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