Gore Vidal called Christopher Isherwood “the best prose writer in English,” and through Isherwood’s depiction of a day in the life of his single man, George Falconer, it’s easy to see why.
A Single Man is set in 1962 California; George is a university professor whose classroom is his stage. Repressing the rage that has grown in him since the tragic death of his partner, Jim, his smile hides his pain, and his charisma and wit distracts from the melancholy and bitterness brooding within his tired yet determined bones.
An elegant depiction of an aging gay man living in a family-friendly suburban world, George is careful not to expose too much of his truth — not because he’s afraid of it, but because with a subtle, sad superiority, he understands that others are.
Ethereal, grumpy and brilliant, George, a self-professed “dirty old man,” goes through the motions of his life nescient of its beauty — which he could only see while Jim was alive — until a surprise encounter with a young, flirtatious student brings him out of his neurosis and into his now.