October by Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy - review by Christopher Hawtree

Christopher Hawtree

Short Measure

October

By

Methuen 85pp £12.50 order from our bookshop
 

Twenty years ago, in A Single Man, Christopher Isherwood gave an account of a teacher's day which, although marred by its mawkish memories of the hero's dead lover, remains both extremely funny as social comedy and able to say something universal without becoming pretentious. October, a diary that he kept for a month four years ago, is written in the lucid prose that has characterised all his work, but is ostentatious in a way that his earlier first-person narratives and use of a 'Christopher Isherwood' character were not. Had sections been printed in a magazine they might have made a temporarily diverting series; in this large-format paperback, well printed in an edition of 1000 copies, it appears an indulgence only to be tolerated by the various friends pictured within.

Almost half is filled with pictures by Don Bachardy, both of such people as Gore Vidal, Simon Raven and David Hackney, and of the various waifs milling around California – one of these appears to be able to lead a life that, in the intervals of going to the cinema,

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