I read the book and watched the film simultaneously for a film theory class. Every little piece of both media were taken a part and looked at. That’s not just to say I didn’t enjoy either as much as I would have had I read and watched them on my own. It was a lot of work, but well worth it for a great book and beautiful film.
If this is your first Isherwood novel, you might think it’s amazing–amazingly honest, amazingly forward, amazingly foreign. And then you pick up his other works and find similar narration, style, observations, POVs, etc. He does what he does best and that’s bringing this sense of being a stranger or outsider appreciating the foreign-ness of his surrounding that everyone else takes for granted. That’s what I like most in his stories, a sense of not really fitting in but making an effort to do so anyway. That and the fact that you never forget that he’s an Englishman bumbling around in sunny California.