A MEETING BY THE RIVER by Christopher Isherwood


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Ever since Violet and Goodbye to Berlin. Christopher Isherwood has had more serious critical attention than these later, incidental short novels seem to deserve. This one is tagged as ""serio-comic"" in intent; it is by no means as peckishly unpleasant as A Single Man (1964); it is expectedly well-written and well-informed, and the background--a Hindu monastery near Calcutta--no doubt relates to his own pilgrimage in Ramakrishna and his Disciples (1965). About to take his final vows there is Oliver, always a ""demon disciple"" according to his older, worldlier brother, a rather insufferably pompous sort who comes to visit him during these last days. A sensualist, a bisexual, just emerging from a passionate entanglement with a young man in Hollywood, Patrick is an insidious dissuader, while Oliver, justifiably, is latently hostile and warily evasive. There is a confrontation, a conflict, a consummation of sorts, alternately narrated through Patrick's letters home and Oliver's diary, and it is sufficiently skillful to invite curiosity even though it may not prompt any deeper speculation.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1967
Publisher: Simon & Schuster