A Single Man

A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
Narrated by Simon Prebble

Setting: Los Angeles in the 1960s

Story: Gay English professor George has just lost his longtime partner. We follow him through the aftermath of the event and his silent, secret grief.

Themes: The feeling of isolation even when surrounded by others. As a gay man, a Brit, a professor, a man of a certain age, George moves through a heavily populated world in which he constantly stands apart.

Writing: Literary. This is a character study of the truest sort, an intimate step-into-my-brain kind of adventure.

Best thing about it: Hollywood has glutted our hearts and minds with jolly, fabulous gay men. It’s refreshing to see an old gay grump.

Worst thing about it: I can’t exactly put my finger on the reason, but this book just never totally seized me as I wished it would.

Audiobook insights: Narrator Simon Prebble captures George’s bitter outlook with the perfect sardonic tone.

Final thoughts: If you like character studies, A Single Man is totally solid. Those looking for a zippier plot should look elsewhere.

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