Skip to content

Goodbye to Berlin

by Christopher Isherwood

cover image for

Sally Bowles took center stage in the book's musical adaptation, Cabaret, but the theatrical version can't match the power and richness of the original.

Time (100 Best English-Language Novels of the 20th-Century)

A classic of 20th-century fiction, "Goodbye to Berlin" inspired the Oscar-winning film "Cabaret"

Goodbye to Berlin

Fiction by Christopher Isherwood

First published in 1934, Goodbye to Berlin has been popularized on stage and screen by Julie Harris in I Am a Camera and Liza Minelli in Cabaret. Isherwood magnificently captures 1931 Berlin: charming with its avenues and cafés; marvelously grotesque with its nightlife and dreamers; dangerous with its vice and intrigue; powerful and seedy with its mobs and millionaires. The shadow of Hitler looms menacingly, towering higher and higher. Goodbye to Berlin is inhabited by a wealth of characters: the unforgettable and "divinely decadent" Sally Bowles; plump Fraülein Schroeder, who considers reducing her Büste to relieve heart palpitations; Peter and Otto, a gay couple struggling with their relationship; and the distinguished and doomed Jewish family the Landauers.

published September 27th, 2012
related articles