Nothing like a long road trip to give me the time I need to finish this long overdue book. Highly recommended, so naturally I approached this with trepidation. Nothing like heightened expectations to completely screw up a perfectly good book.
I admit I was a little tentative with this book because I didn’t know what to expect. I did know what I didn’t want though, and that’s having the book preach at me, clumsily painting the injustices of being in a minority, and thinly veiled attempts to persuade me to one side or another.
But no, thankfully. Nothing preachy about the book at all, just the day in the life of an ordinary middle aged man who just happens to be gay. George is still grieving over the loss of his partner, and grapples with thoughts of life, death, and the general challenge to continue living as he approaches the latter part of life. It’s not a book about a gay man, but a book about a lonely man. It’s heart-wrenching, hopeful and depending on how you feel towards the end, a little tragic.
I loved how Isherwood explored George’s feelings, and absolutely adored the dialogue. Wonderful wordcraft here on full display.
The overwhelming feeling I had upon finishing this work was *this* is how a day in a life novel is supposed to be written: succinct yet full of meaning. It’s almost everything Ulysses isn’t. A Single Man is wise, even-tempered, humane, touching, and something you’d finish reading feeling completely satisfied knowing you’ve been changed that little bit as a result. Importantly, it felt like it was written just so, to finish at the perfect length.