Isherwood's first book since Goodbye to Berlin (1939) -- again an item for collectors of moderns, but not a book for a wide public. There is more general appeal in a more coherent story, its application of contrasting focus, the use of the moving picture world background. Here -- in satire, parable, are the forces at work in the early '30's, the foreshadowing of the terrors to come, as in miniscule the pattern of European conflict is reflected in a moving picture studio where Friedrich Bergmann has been imported from Vienna to direct the production of Prtor Violet. Isherwood -- in person -- enters the story to work on the script. He and Bergmann discover their close affinity, and through their growing intimace Isherwood is treated to Bergmann's versatility, vitality and deep emotional content of things as they are. The unimportance of the film, the puny mentalities of the studio world, the pointless feuding, accent Bergmann's mounting fear as the political scene in Vienna brings threat to his family. His despair almost ruins the picture and his career, but he crowds the schedule and brings Prater Violet to not only conclusion but success, and a Hollywood contract offers security for his family.