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George Orwell Omnibus: The Complete Novels: Animal Farm, Burmese Days, A Clergyman's Daughter, Coming up for Air, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, and Nineteen Eighty-Four

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The complete novels of George Orwell in a single tome - a can't miss for fans and those new to Orwell alike!


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The complete novels of George Orwell in a single tome - a can't miss for fans and those new to Orwell alike!

30 review for George Orwell Omnibus: The Complete Novels: Animal Farm, Burmese Days, A Clergyman's Daughter, Coming up for Air, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, and Nineteen Eighty-Four

  1. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    I studied Animal Farm for my Eng.Lit. GCSE exams, along with MacBeth; my idea of revision was to read both of them five times. This worked reasonably well as I got a B grade. There was an unfortunate side-effect, however; despite liking both I was, after the exams, unable to touch a copy of either without getting the shakes. Fast forward more than 20 years and a discussion here at Goodreads regarding whether Squealer was a "subtle" (ab)user of language prompts me to finally pick up Animal Farm o I studied Animal Farm for my Eng.Lit. GCSE exams, along with MacBeth; my idea of revision was to read both of them five times. This worked reasonably well as I got a B grade. There was an unfortunate side-effect, however; despite liking both I was, after the exams, unable to touch a copy of either without getting the shakes. Fast forward more than 20 years and a discussion here at Goodreads regarding whether Squealer was a "subtle" (ab)user of language prompts me to finally pick up Animal Farm once more. THIS REVIEW HAS BEEN CURTAILED IN PROTEST AT GOODREADS' CENSORSHIP POLICY See the complete review here: http://arbieroo.booklikes.com/post/33... GR Bonus: Have the GR management read this? Do they realise it's satire not an instruction manual?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Phillip Kay

    Sitting on my shelf for over 10 years was a volume I had never read. Called just George Orwell, it was the Heinemann edition of his collected novels. After reading and being impressed all over again by 1984, I took this volume up to see what Orwell’s other novels were like. I was ready for the autobiographical element, the interruption of narrative for discussion of issues that interested the author, the exact observation each book was based on. What took my breath away was the empathy and power Sitting on my shelf for over 10 years was a volume I had never read. Called just George Orwell, it was the Heinemann edition of his collected novels. After reading and being impressed all over again by 1984, I took this volume up to see what Orwell’s other novels were like. I was ready for the autobiographical element, the interruption of narrative for discussion of issues that interested the author, the exact observation each book was based on. What took my breath away was the empathy and powerful emotion conveyed by the writing. Each of the books, just as in 1984, was deeply disturbing and moving. Orwell’s first published novel was Burmese Days, which came out in 1935, obviously based on his experiences in the Indian Imperial Police. It’s the tragedy of Flory, an administrator in Upper Burma, a man passionately interested in music and literature forced into close and humiliating promiscuity with a group of bored, insensitive middle class officials whose main activity is drinking, and who keep their self respect by demeaning the native people under their care. Flory, an intensely lonely man, falls in love with an unsuitable woman who comes to reject him because he is not like all the others, and destroys himself. The observation of the effect that imperialism had on rulers and ruled is exactly observed. Orwell always wrote from personal observation, and was careful to generalise only from this material, which puts him in a class quite separate from most intellectuals. I found the climax of the tale very disturbing. The evil prosper and the good are punished, as in the Somerset Maugham story and that’s how you know there’s a good bit of fact among the fiction. A Clergyman’s Daughter was published in 1936, an incredibly exact observation of a particular type of the rural clergy which Orwell had obviously studied at first hand. As well as a picture of life in a small rural community, it is also a creditable attempt to understand the frustrations and numbing sense of duty that motivate Dorothy Hare, the rector’s daughter of the title. A sure psychological study, with perhaps a too convenient plot device to throw Dorothy into the society of the destitute of London, A Clergyman’s Daughter has much to say on the role of gossip in small towns, the many faces of selfishness and the fact that so many people deny themselves any chance at all in life. Keep the Aspidistra Flying, published 1937, is yet another slice of Orwell’s life, the story of a would-be writer and could-be Eric Blair called Gordon Comstock who turns his back on the chance of making his way in an advertising agency and embraces poverty in the form of tending a seedy second hand bookshop after bringing out a slender volume of affected poetry which falls dead from the press. Gordon annoys his few remaining friends and his lover, and irritated this reader at least, by adopting a self righteous air of complaint and rancour throughout the length of the book. Work in a bookshop was something that Orwell did but thankfully he was never a sniveller as is Gordon. Coming Up for Air, 1939, is in many ways Orwell’s best novel. It is in three parts, the first a scathing description of suburbia, the second a lyrical evocation of an earlier, more provincial Britain much closer to nature, and the third a comical/tragical story of how the hero fares in trying to recapture this past. One is reminded that Orwell was not just an ernest social critic but a satirist, not just a depicter of ‘ordinary’ life but a poet. As usual all these elements are mixed in together, which is what makes Orwell so distinctive a writer, but also so great a writer. Animal Farm, 1945, is a classic fable which tells the sad story of how every revolution contains the seed of the next one, because a successful revolutionary is also a reactionary. Although based on Stalin’s takeover of the Russian Revolution, every country in the world has a similar story, of idealistic politicians who have to ‘compromise’, of how dreams give way to ‘practicalities’, of how revered figures are really motivated by egotism, of how big a sinner the most admired saint is. The biggest trap is happiness, because the animals are better off under Napoleon – depending on how you define ‘better off’. 1984 (1949) describes a world where people are controlled by a modern version of the Roman Empire’s bread and circuses, and where the controlling members of that society are themselves controlled by someone or something called Big Brother, through television screens in every room which both supervise and condition behaviour. Those who worry about government databases which contain too much information about citizens, or devices which track their activities on the internet, will worry even more after they read it. It is, of course, overstated, a nightmare, but also an exact description of a tendency which is quite prevalent in our own society. It contains the despairing thought that any man can be controlled by any other, simply because he is only an animal with nerve ends and neuroses, and control simply means finding what torture to use, as was the case with the Catholic Church’s Inquisition. It is not about Stalin, nor is it science fiction, but a description of life in every country of the world today, and a warning of how people can become less than human. How surprising that George Orwell, after excelling as a social critic, a reviewer, an essayist and as it turned out as an autobiographer, should also be a major novelist as well, a man who wrote about himself and the world he knew in such a way that the issues he touched on can be seen to be just as important for us as they were for him.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    ANIMAL FARM - 3 Stars "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others" BURMESE DAYS - 3 Stars Seedy, sweaty & acerbic dissection of the contradictions and moral destitution of British colonial India. A CLERGYMAN'S DAUGHTER - 1 Star A Clerics daughter loses her memory and embarks on an adventure of self discovery. Probably Orwell's worst novel. COMING UP FOR AIR - 4 Stars Mid life crises & nostalgia. Very well written. The best of his lesser known novels, akin to H.G.Wells' "The Hist ANIMAL FARM - 3 Stars "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others" BURMESE DAYS - 3 Stars Seedy, sweaty & acerbic dissection of the contradictions and moral destitution of British colonial India. A CLERGYMAN'S DAUGHTER - 1 Star A Clerics daughter loses her memory and embarks on an adventure of self discovery. Probably Orwell's worst novel. COMING UP FOR AIR - 4 Stars Mid life crises & nostalgia. Very well written. The best of his lesser known novels, akin to H.G.Wells' "The History of Mr Polly" KEEP THE ASPIDESTRA FLYING - 3 stars Accurately exposes the achilles heel of Marxism. A well observed and thoroughly unlikeable main character, that every graduate will recognise, at least in part, as a caricature of themselves or someone they once knew and is almost certainly autobiographical. NINETEEN EIGHTY FOUR - 4 Stars Big Brother, Truespeak and Room 101. Prophetic and insightful! Is there anybody who doesn't know what this book is about?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Smiley (aka umberto)

    I bought this Modern Classics paperback yesterday (Sept. 3) since its fonts are larger, easier to read than the one published earlier, that is, in Penguin Classics 2000. I simply couldn't stand reading it so I sold it away to a second-hand bookshop in Bangkok. I would start rereading 'Burmese Days' as soon as I can find time. Today (Nov.17), I finished reading 'Burmese Days'.

  5. 4 out of 5

    TheAuntie

    1984 *****

  6. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    While my average rating for the six novels included in this massive collection is closer to 4 than 5 stars, I feel I must give this particular edition full marks for the following two reasons: (1) it collects all six of Orwell's novels, and (2) because it is ridiculously affordable - especially when purchased online! This is one collection that is not to be missed. Here, then, are my reviews for the individual novels included in this collection: Animal Farm - 5 stars A great little book which shou While my average rating for the six novels included in this massive collection is closer to 4 than 5 stars, I feel I must give this particular edition full marks for the following two reasons: (1) it collects all six of Orwell's novels, and (2) because it is ridiculously affordable - especially when purchased online! This is one collection that is not to be missed. Here, then, are my reviews for the individual novels included in this collection: Animal Farm - 5 stars A great little book which should be mandatory reading for anyone over the age of 12. A perfect example of concision and allegory, and a study in the perversion of ideals & the corrupting effect of power. Plenty of not-so-subtle references to past (& present) dictatorships, but also a frightening reminder that there are still plenty of Animal Farms in today's world. Read this today, if you haven't already! Burmese Days - 4 stars Having first read about Burma in Guy Delisle's Burma Chronicles (which I recommend, by the way), my interest was piqued. Factor in George Orwell writing a book about his own experiences there in the 1920's (with his trademark wit and insights), and what the result was - in my case, anyway - was what the French call un incontournable, that is, literally, something which you cannot go around. Flory really is the center of the story. (view spoiler)[After he commits suicide, the book is wrapped up in a few pages. (hide spoiler)] Through his eyes, we see the dirty side of colonialism, what they don't tell you about in school or in travel brochures. It really is unfortunate that , almost 100 years later, we still have the same problems with racism and the exploitation of third world countries. Empires change, but the practice remains the same... There are some obvious parallels with Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. A Clergyman's Daughter - 2 measly stars! So how, exactly, is A Clergyman's Daughter? Even Orwell, so it's said, didn't like this book - and he wrote it! That's not very encouraging. And apparently the only part of the book he liked was the part I didn't like. (view spoiler)[ I simply could NOT stand Chapter 3, part 1. Maybe it was over my head, I don't know. I usually read a book cover-to-cover, but after a few pages of that, I just couldn't take it any more, so I skipped over to Chapter 3, part 2. (From wikipedia: Dorothy spends the night sleeping rough in Trafalgar Square in a chapter presented entirely as dramatic dialogue. But nothing happens!! It's a bunch of people talking in turn and saying nothing that makes sense! It's like being at the Mad Hatter's tea party in Wonderland! (hide spoiler)] Shows you how much I know! There were some elements that I liked about the story, like Orwell's description of a manual labourer's life, and his commentary on private schools, but the bottom line is that I couldn't continue reading about Dorothy Hare's miserable life much longer. I can't understand how she could just go back to what she was before - essentially a slave of some sort. Maybe it's because it's all she's known for a number of years... In any case, the book ended on a disappointing note, with Dorothy being back exactly where she started. After Animal Farm and Burmese Days, and liking both of them, I was expecting more from this book. Coming Up for Air - 5 stars This is one of those books of which I knew nothing about - I hadn't even looked it up on Goodreads - and it turned out to be one of those pleasant surprises. This is one book I know for a fact I'll be re-reading. Sure, Orwell is mostly known for Animal Farm and 1984, but this book deserves to be better known. Keep the Aspidistra Flying - 4 stars Not the most uplifting book you'll read in your life, but definitely more engaging than A Clergyman's Daughter, which was at times a tedious read. As usual with George Orwell books, you get a lot of food for thought, and that's more than can be said about a lot of other books. 1984 - 5 stars It's really amazing how astute and prescient George Orwell was; the dystopia of 1984 can and does seem very familiar, and that is because - depending on what country we're talking about - some or a lot of Oceania, The Party, and Big Brother, can be seen as actually happening right now! In the case of North Korea, for example, the reality there is so like that of Oceania, that it would come as no surprise to me to learn that Kim Il-sung, that country's "Eternal President of the Republic", had used Orwell's novel as a how-to in establishing his dictatorship on this Asian nation. (North Korea was created in 1948, and 1984 was published in 1949, so the above theory, though admittedly far-fetched and mentioned only at a feeble attempt at humour, could in fact be plausible!) News fabrication, "Us Vs. Them" mentality (and its close cousin: "With Us Or Against Us"), the government's own perceived infallibility, torture, false confessions, revisionist history, censorship, fear mongering, denunciations, governments spying on their own (and other countries') populace... All part of Orwell's 1984 , but also part of today's reality more or less extensively, depending on where you live. Kind of depressing, really. This is one book everyone should read at least once in their lifetime.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pol

    Animal Farm (13 Jan 2017) Short, simple, gets the message across well. 1984 (29 - 30 Jul 2018) Provisional thoughts A tad less philosophical than Huxley, a lot more bleak and forlorn. Actually, perhaps it wouldn't be right to compare them in a slap-dash fashion as everyone is bound to do. Different times, different pressures, different minds, &c. Keep the Aspidistra Flying (30 Jul - 4 Aug 2018) Reads like a rewriting of Gissing's New Grub Street with Reardon morphing into a hopelessly blinkered pr Animal Farm (13 Jan 2017) Short, simple, gets the message across well. 1984 (29 - 30 Jul 2018) Provisional thoughts A tad less philosophical than Huxley, a lot more bleak and forlorn. Actually, perhaps it wouldn't be right to compare them in a slap-dash fashion as everyone is bound to do. Different times, different pressures, different minds, &c. Keep the Aspidistra Flying (30 Jul - 4 Aug 2018) Reads like a rewriting of Gissing's New Grub Street with Reardon morphing into a hopelessly blinkered protagonist, waging war for the sake of what Lawrence might refer to as 'the mental life'. The edition Convenient stuff, this -- but the font size can be so damned small that it becomes impossible to read. I nearly resorted to using a magnifying glass for the Goldstein passages in 1984. It's that bad.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Doreen

    Animal Farm -- It's weird to think that I've lived this long, as voracious a reader as I am, and still have never read this slender classic in its entirety. Of course I know what happens as the book is a cultural touchstone, but this omnibus was missing the first five chapters, so I am still ignorant of its entirety. What I did read was thoroughly worthy of its status, tho! Oddly enough, the bff has never read Animal Farm end to end either: yet another thing we have in common. Burmese Days -- A s Animal Farm -- It's weird to think that I've lived this long, as voracious a reader as I am, and still have never read this slender classic in its entirety. Of course I know what happens as the book is a cultural touchstone, but this omnibus was missing the first five chapters, so I am still ignorant of its entirety. What I did read was thoroughly worthy of its status, tho! Oddly enough, the bff has never read Animal Farm end to end either: yet another thing we have in common. Burmese Days -- A stunning indictment of colonialism that is at once sympathetic to all the parties involved. Better than most Maugham, IMO. A Clergyman's Daughter -- I mostly enjoyed this, and was quite impressed with his rendering of her. Another great examination of morality and choices, as well as the social circumstances of the times. Hard to read this without coming out of it with greater sympathy for the homeless. Coming Up For Air -- Hard to believe this was fiction, given how inhabited it felt. Wasn't sure I'd like it, tbh, from the blurb, so was pleasantly surprised. Thought it ended rather abruptly, but was otherwise happy to just spend time in the narrator's self-examined life. Keep The Aspidistra Flying -- What the hell was this garbage? Comstock is the fucking worst: a whiner surrounded by good people whose affection and devotion he returns with sheer awfulness. I can see why Orwell wanted this manuscript burned before publication. 1984 -- Did not read this this go-round, but enjoyed it when I read it on its own ages ago.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Hayes

    Since this is a collection of novels, I'll comment on each one separately as I read it, on my Khanya blog, and when I've done with all of them may add some comments on the collected works here. I begin with Burmese Days, because that was the first one in the collection that I hadn't read. The next one in the series is A clergyman's daughter, to which I give only three stars. Not that it's a bad book, but it has some faults that I didn't see in Burmese Days. Coming up for Air is a strange book. I w Since this is a collection of novels, I'll comment on each one separately as I read it, on my Khanya blog, and when I've done with all of them may add some comments on the collected works here. I begin with Burmese Days, because that was the first one in the collection that I hadn't read. The next one in the series is A clergyman's daughter, to which I give only three stars. Not that it's a bad book, but it has some faults that I didn't see in Burmese Days. Coming up for Air is a strange book. I was determined not to like it, and yet I felt compelled to finish it, though couldn't stand to read much more than a chapter a day; a page-turner it wasn't. It's about a fat middle-aged salesman living a dull middle-class life in a dull London suburb, who goes out to get his new set of false teeth. On thje way he sees a poster about King Zog's wedding, and that sets him off reminscing about his childhood in a small town in Oxfordshire. One expects the memories to last for a chapter or two, but they go on and on and on.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chris Chinchilla

    Contains the complete novels of George Orwell: Animal Farm, Burmese Days, A Clergyman's Daughter, Coming up for Air, Keep the Aspidistra Flying and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Includes explanatory notes on the etymology of the language 'Newspeak'. Review 'Orwell described the compromised lives we recognize as our own' - Andrew Motion, Observer 'A writer who can -- and must -- be rediscovered with every age' Irish Times About the Author Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in India in 1903. He Contains the complete novels of George Orwell: Animal Farm, Burmese Days, A Clergyman's Daughter, Coming up for Air, Keep the Aspidistra Flying and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Includes explanatory notes on the etymology of the language 'Newspeak'. Review 'Orwell described the compromised lives we recognize as our own' - Andrew Motion, Observer 'A writer who can -- and must -- be rediscovered with every age' Irish Times About the Author Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in India in 1903. He was educated at Eton, served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, and worked in Britain as a private tutor, schoolteacher, bookshop assistant and journalist. In 1936, Orwell went to fight for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War and was wounded. In 1938 he was admitted into a sanatorium and from then on was never fully fit. George Orwell died in London in 1950.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jack Strange

    There's no denying Orwell's ability to tell a good story and these are all classic novels but they all suffer from having a fairly grim subtext about human nature and foibles. Orwell went to Eton, spent some time in the Burmese police force when it was part of the British Empire and wrote about down and outs in the depression by living among them. You have to admire his commitment and there was some truth in his message but he was certainly always politically motivated (George Orwell aka Eric Ar There's no denying Orwell's ability to tell a good story and these are all classic novels but they all suffer from having a fairly grim subtext about human nature and foibles. Orwell went to Eton, spent some time in the Burmese police force when it was part of the British Empire and wrote about down and outs in the depression by living among them. You have to admire his commitment and there was some truth in his message but he was certainly always politically motivated (George Orwell aka Eric Arthur Blair was an old school Socialist) - but as to whether you'll enjoy these novels is a matter of taste - one for the socio-political realists among you. Not big on laughs!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Peg

    Animal Farm - had never read it before. An interesting book considering the definition of allegorical. I loved re-reading Nineteen Eighty Four. It has been decades, but it never lost value. written in 1949, it's amazing in its vision. When I first read the book it was in the 70's. Now in 2013 it is amazing to look back on what the vision for the world was in 1949 and how much has actually come to fruition. The other books - not as outstanding as I had hoped for. Though some have given them rave re Animal Farm - had never read it before. An interesting book considering the definition of allegorical. I loved re-reading Nineteen Eighty Four. It has been decades, but it never lost value. written in 1949, it's amazing in its vision. When I first read the book it was in the 70's. Now in 2013 it is amazing to look back on what the vision for the world was in 1949 and how much has actually come to fruition. The other books - not as outstanding as I had hoped for. Though some have given them rave reviews - I thought the reading was a bit tedious.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lynell

    Really enjoyed all these stories. They were filled with nostalgic references. He managed to remind me that our world has been deteriorating for a very long time. The human condition has always been suffering but we can rise above this. I wish he had written more because Igot the strongest sense that he had so much more to say.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    Although I don't share Orwell's political orientation, this book is a very interesting look into many of his experiences and reasons for having the views that he does and is useful in understanding his point of view. His experiences are lucidly described and he has very understandable justification for the ideas he holds. I highly enjoyed reading this.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Read Animal farm and 1984 from this book, a lot of it was hard going. I think you have to be a genuine Orwell fan to appreciate his work otherwise it feels like a hard slog to read. Didn't finish the other books in this collection unfortunately.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Chiknas

    Why limit yourself to only one book at a time? I read 1984 every ten years or so, just to remind myself of how precious freedom is.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bre Teschendorf

    ... sad ending! But I like the over-all feeling//philosophy! I live in East Berlin. I *still* deal with the effects of 2+2 equaling 5 every day. Not good.

  18. 5 out of 5

    George Clarke

    Excellent collection. Gives a clear insight into Orwell's hardscrabble life and helps explain why he was a champion of the downtrodden.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Velvetink

    bought for L. Started Burmese Days last night.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Overall: 2.5/5 As I’ve already previously read Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four back in highschool, I didn’t bother to re-read them this time around and only read the four other books. Reviews below: Animal Farm 5/5 My favourite George Orwell book. It also happens to be the easiest book to read from his collection... Burmese Days 2/5 Kind of an interesting depiction of the British expatriate life in Burma. The Clergyman’s Daughter 3/5 I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Poor Dorothy had q Overall: 2.5/5 As I’ve already previously read Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four back in highschool, I didn’t bother to re-read them this time around and only read the four other books. Reviews below: Animal Farm 5/5 My favourite George Orwell book. It also happens to be the easiest book to read from his collection... Burmese Days 2/5 Kind of an interesting depiction of the British expatriate life in Burma. The Clergyman’s Daughter 3/5 I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Poor Dorothy had quite an adventure! There’s a bit of commentary on how private schools “teach” and I think teachers would enjoy reading that bit (it’s all about making money, which means making the parents happy. Who cares about the kids as long as the parents are happy?). Coming Up for Air 1/5 SO BORING. I originally marked this as DNF but I did skim through the whole thing so I guess I technically did finish it... This was an insanely boring fictional autobiography of an average, middle-aged, middle-income insurance salesman. He leads an incredibly boring life and reminisces on his extremely boring past. I suppose his views on how times have changed (politically, socially, technologically, etc.) from WWI to WII can be of interest to some but I just couldn't get into it. Keep the Aspidistra Flying 1/5 ALSO SUPER BORING. [email protected]%. This was about a starving artist/poet and his depressing life. He’s not a very likable fellow and his lack of money makes him miserable and ashamed but as an old-fashioned man, he hates to rely on his girlfriend to pay for meals and dates. Everything that happens in this story seems to circle back to his money problems. Nineteen-Eighty Four 3/5 This was one of my favourite books to study back in school. BUT it was still boring at times and I have to confess that I’m not the biggest fan of Orwell’s writing style.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Adrian Peters

    This ebook has all of Orwell's works except 'The Road to Wigan Pier' despite it appearing on the cover. Apart from his best known works - 'Animal Farm' and '1984', there are 'Keep the Aspidistra Flying', 'A Clergyman's Daughter', 'Coming up for Air, 'Down and Out in Paris and London', 'Homage to Catalonia' and his essays. In an essay entitled 'Why I Write', he outlines four motives for writing. The fourth is political purpose. Concerning this, he writes that in 'Homage to Catalonia' he tried 'no This ebook has all of Orwell's works except 'The Road to Wigan Pier' despite it appearing on the cover. Apart from his best known works - 'Animal Farm' and '1984', there are 'Keep the Aspidistra Flying', 'A Clergyman's Daughter', 'Coming up for Air, 'Down and Out in Paris and London', 'Homage to Catalonia' and his essays. In an essay entitled 'Why I Write', he outlines four motives for writing. The fourth is political purpose. Concerning this, he writes that in 'Homage to Catalonia' he tried 'not to violate his literary instincts', but inserted a long chapter that was full of newspaper cuttings. A critic whom he admired chastised him for it, saying he turned a good book into journalism. Orwell justifies what he did, but also acknowledges that the criticism has a point. He goes on to say that 'Animal Farm' was the first book in which he tried to fuse political purpose with artistic purpose (another of his four motives for writing). It's generally acknowledged that this novel is a gem. Simple, but so clever. His efforts at fusing those two motives were clearly very successful. When I read '1984', I wondered why in Chapter 9 of Part 2, 'The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism' was so long. It breaks the narrative. Readers want to know what's going to happen to Winston, not to read the creed that underwrite totalitarianism. Having now read that comment re 'Homage to Catalonia', I'm inclined to think that Orwell did the same, albeit to a lesser extent, in '1984'. In short, he compromised artistic purpose for the sake of political purpose.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ken Macfie

    A Classic I am not worthy to detail a review of such a book. However I will say one thing. I have read the book many times but am terrified at the fact that each time I read it , it gets closer to reality. Recent witchhunts such as that levelled against Kevin Spacey shows that we are now being watched not only for what we do or think but what we may have innocently done in the past when rules were different. Spacey has been written out of history , his last film reshot. Our culture is changing. T A Classic I am not worthy to detail a review of such a book. However I will say one thing. I have read the book many times but am terrified at the fact that each time I read it , it gets closer to reality. Recent witchhunts such as that levelled against Kevin Spacey shows that we are now being watched not only for what we do or think but what we may have innocently done in the past when rules were different. Spacey has been written out of history , his last film reshot. Our culture is changing. Technology means all our actions are recorded and scrutinised. The mobile phone is our telescreen and our young are keen to report any perceived bad behaviour. Accusations are now accepted as guilt without trial. 1984 is here!!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mohammed Thabit

    I read two essays today, A hanging and shooting an elephant. I liked the 'A hanging' essay because it tells a story with very detailed descriptions. I liked when George Orwell described when the prisoner tried to avoid stepping in the puddle. That part describes how all people are similar and how we think. He probably mentioned this detail to show that even people who are walking to death are still thinking and conscious to realize the obstacles they face.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Charlie Bishop

    I was prompted to read "Burmese Days" by Emma Larkin's "Finding George Orwell in Burma," (itself an impressive book by a woman who's an expert on Burma). Orwell's novel is searing in its depiction of the racism and dehumanization implicit in British imperialism, and the awakening and rebellion of James Flory, the novel's protagonist, offers a remarkable foreshadowing of Winston Smith's path in "1984." In many respects, old fashioned imperialism wasn't all that different from modern up-to-date to I was prompted to read "Burmese Days" by Emma Larkin's "Finding George Orwell in Burma," (itself an impressive book by a woman who's an expert on Burma). Orwell's novel is searing in its depiction of the racism and dehumanization implicit in British imperialism, and the awakening and rebellion of James Flory, the novel's protagonist, offers a remarkable foreshadowing of Winston Smith's path in "1984." In many respects, old fashioned imperialism wasn't all that different from modern up-to-date totalitarianism-- as Emma Larkin notes, present day Burmese are fond of the bitter joke that Orwell wrote not one but two novels about Burma, the second being "1894." The characters in "Burmese Days," both European and Burmese, are strongly drawn, though only Flory has much depth; the plot is effective; even the exposition is pleasurable, for it offers hints of Orwell the great essayist.His sense of moral outrage is almost palpable, and if Orwell's not one of the greatest of novelists, he's is certainly good. I was pleasantly surprised to find that "Burmese Days" has held up as well as it has.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kewannah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I haven't read Orwell since 7th grade in Ms. Reid's class when we read "Animal Farm". This book is an undertaking, no doubt. It took over a month for me to finish it. Six of Orwell's works bundled together with "Animal Farm" and "1984" serving as bookends. I should say that either of these are my favorites but they're not. They're fluff compared to the nugget that is the "Clergyman's Daughter". The "Clergyman's Daughter" is a heartrending tale of a woman's abduction at the turn of the century. B I haven't read Orwell since 7th grade in Ms. Reid's class when we read "Animal Farm". This book is an undertaking, no doubt. It took over a month for me to finish it. Six of Orwell's works bundled together with "Animal Farm" and "1984" serving as bookends. I should say that either of these are my favorites but they're not. They're fluff compared to the nugget that is the "Clergyman's Daughter". The "Clergyman's Daughter" is a heartrending tale of a woman's abduction at the turn of the century. By the end of the story, we still don't k now absolute details but her journey is so detailed one might think Orwell was once homeless himself. "Burmese Days" is also good in detailing one man's seemingly innocuous life abroad and the multiple players at war in and around his life who directly and indirectly lead to his death. Orwell is a great writer and uses words so descriptive and colorful, they're obscure and all but invisible from English. He's a great writer and this collection is a must read fro any writer looking to capture the minutiae of life in a gripping way.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Taro

    Though sometimes his writing can be spotty, the worlds that he creates in Animal Farm and Nineteen Eight-four are so well imagined that they make you praise the reality that you are in. Nineteen Eighty-Four in particular, ends with an unpredictable twist on the very last sentence, just when you thought you knew the denouement was resolved, which changes the entire reading of the book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mona

    ene nomiig huuhduuded erh medliin talaar oilguulah, hunii mun chanar ugasaa erh medeld udaan hugatsaagaar orul hussen huseegui iduuleh mun chanartai bolhiig amitnii uil hudlul, yurunhii aranshingaar n hurgej chdsan tun sonirholtoi nom. gantshan huuhduud geltgui bidnii uyeiin zaluus, yur n hen buhen unshihad ih sonirholtoigiin dr ih aguulga saitai

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Well, it's a collection of Orwell's novels. I won't bother with an in-depth review, but it's enough to say that all are very much worth reading. Besides the ones everybody knows, I'm a particular fan of Keep the Aspidistra Flying (perhaps strangely, since I'm told Orwell himself wasn't too keen on it.).

  29. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

    Orwell's non-fiction is preferable to his fictional works with the exception of 1984 and Animal Farm. Burmese Days is not nearly as enjoyable, but does provide insight into Orwell's days spent in India. Homage to Catalonia, Down and out in Paris and London, and The Road to Wigan Pier are far better than the remainder of his fiction.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Charlie Garratt

    I thought the prose was excellent throughout, though the dismal outcomes in many of the stories became a little wearing by the end of the collection. I think my favourite was Burmese Days.

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