Christopher Hawtree

Short Measure

October

By Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy

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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.

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