> Skip to content

Four narrators, all known as "Christopher Isherwood", in different locations and periods of time, paint portraits of their own private sexual hells

'Radiant with observation, never wasting a word, funny and sympathetic' Stephen Spender

Berlin, the Greek Islands, London and California. 1928, 1932, 1988 and 1940. Four portraits, four settings, four narrators, all known as "Christopher Isherwood"; all connected through their own experiences of private sexual hell. Often regarded as the best of his novels, Down There on a Visit tells the vivid stories of Isherwood's life that, together with the Berlin Stories, were to have comprised his great unfinished epic novel.

'May be the best Christopher Isherwood has written. A deeply intelligent and quietly compelling story' New York Times


In several respects this is probably Isherwood's best novel. It offers the sheer pleasure of writing completely personal and yet completely controlled, radiant with observation, never wasting a word, funny and sympathetic

Stephen Spender, New Republic

This excellent novel may be the best Christopher Isherwood has written. A deeply intelligent and quietly compelling story

New York Times

Few writers have so unsparingly scrutinized their worlds. Down There on a Visit is outrageous, bitter, bleak, angry, wry, revealing, infuriating, and at times marvellously comic. An offbeat classic

Saturday Review

A bemused, sometimes acid portrait of people caught in private sexual hells of their own making. Its four episodes are connected by four narrators. All are called "Christopher Isherwood, " but each is a different character inhabiting a new setting: Berlin in 1928, the Greek Isles in 1933, London in 1938, and California in 1940. Down There on a Visit is a major work that shows Isherwood at the height of his literary powers.


That young man holds the future of the English novel in his hands

Somerset W. Maugham

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    January 16, 2013

    Vintage Classics

    368 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    November 1, 2012

    Vintage Digital

    368 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Christopher Isherwood

The Animals
My Guru and His Disciple
The Condor and the Cows
Kathleen and Frank
Lions and Shadows
The World in the Evening
A Meeting by the River
Prater Violet
All the Conspirators
The Memorial
Christopher and His Kind
The Sixties
A Single Man
Lost Years
Christopher Isherwood Diaries Volume 1
Goodbye To Berlin
Lions & Shadows
The Berlin Novels
Mr Norris Changes Trains


To Kill A Mockingbird
War and Peace
The Handmaid's Tale
Pride And Prejudice
Brave New World
Crime And Punishment
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Echo Burning
Catch-22: 50th Anniversary Edition
A Gentleman in Moscow
Best Laid Plans
Fool Me Once
The Golden House
The Girl on the Train
The Heart's Invisible Furies
Swing Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Girls