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The Orwell Reader: Fiction, Essays, and Reportage Paperback – March 8, 1961
"Salt to the Sea" by Ruta Sepetys
Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival. See more
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He sees "the dirty work of Empire at close quarters" and knows that " imperialism is an evil thing" but continues to do his duty as both imperialist and colonist would see it. The amazing thing is that he is not alone in this. In "A Hanging" the hangman is a convict and after the deed is done we see both Europeans and natives laughing and drinking together. In "Shooting an Elephant" he is stuck between "hatred of the empire" and "rage against the evil-spirited little beasts" that made his job impossible. But again, we witness crowds of natives expecting him to be a Sahib.
Orwell's stories show us the demoralizing duties, the pompous gravitas of Imperialism. It dehumanizes both rulers and ruled, turning them into the role they play rather than allowing them to become who they might have been. Both fortunately and unfortunately, he also knows that, "the British Empire is dying [...] it is a great deal better than the younger Empires that are going to supplant it."
This collection is pure Orwell. His unsentimental love of ordinary people, coupled with the easy, natural, sympathetic description of complex characters, relationships and motivations, reveal Orwell as a man who was genuinely at home with ordinary people. Only he could write movingly of how imperialism traps (freezes!Read more ›
Orwell has been called "the conscience of his generation", but more than that, he possessed an intellectual honesty which is utterly extinct among today's political writers - all of them, Left and Right, are either blinkered, ivory-tower idealogues, rabble-rousing demogogues or line-toeing party hacks. Whether you agree with Orwell's own political views (often, I don't) is immaterial; his ability divine and expose hidden motives, to sniff out hypocrisy, and to call a spade a spade and then use it to slice open those who refused to do so, are simply unmatched. Seldom if ever since Johnathan Swift has anyone written with such an utter disregard for tact, diplomacity, or political orthodoxy. A die-hard Socialist who was shot fighting with a quasi-Marxist militia during the Spanish Civil War, Orwell actually spent at least three-quarters of his intellectual life scourging and ridiculing Leftism and Leftists (those who "got their crockery from Paris and their political opinions from Moscow"), not out of self-sabotage, but because he hated cant, lying and cruelty and found a surplus of these traits on his own side of the isle.
The READER combines all three types of Orwell's work, including a sampling of some of his best essays and reportage ("Shooting An Elephant", "Second Thoughts on James Burnham", "Politics and the English Language", "Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool", etc.Read more ›
This collection consists of exerpts from Orwell's early novels, essays and and a short selection from 1984. The writings are in chronological order starting from the Burma period to the novel "1984" written in 1948. The book has collections which appear in many other works; I am always worried that I have missed something because of the many overlapping editions of Orwell works spanning decades.
Orwell's novels appear in strange fragmentary chapters in "The Orwell Reader" which hide Orwell's complete writing from us. Orwell's great ability as a descriptive writer is hiden from us in fragments of selections.Orwell's novels tend to be one dimensional. The novels lack introspective dialogue and depth, but have an interesting journalistic quality which we refer to today as "atmosphere."
The selection from "Keep the Aspidistra Flying" describes Gordon Comstock, the protagonist, researching fetal development after discovering his girlfriend is pregnant. This incident shocks him from his wandering penury to face the responsibilities of life. This novel reflects personal letters in which Orwell mentions the evil of abortion and opines about a future UK devoid of children... facing demographic crisis. Very prophetic. Abortion was a subject in other essays.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Known now for !984 and "Animal Farm". Eric Blaire, pen name George Orwell, was much more than a dystopian prophet. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Richard A. Luc
Contains some of the most important essays ever written in the English language.Published 15 months ago by B. Williams
Read this book initially in college, and while I still have my original copy, I purchase this volume as gifts for friends and students. Read morePublished 22 months ago by J. Mayer
I purchased this book for a class. The latter was brand new, and the shipping time was quite reasonable. No complaints...Published on July 28, 2013 by beasi
A must read. Really. There are a couple of people, from his time, he comments on that don't really have relevancy today, but to know he was as judgmental of others as he was... Read morePublished on September 22, 2012 by K. E. Morrison
This book taught: That 1984 was correct and on time in its predictions, The artist is in a life long struggle against "middle class" values, We are our own governers, and more.Published on September 17, 2012 by Timothy
Product that was delieverd was from an older publication than preceived to be. Book is in good condition, however, and was shipped fast. Read morePublished on August 1, 2011 by BME
This book has been my introduction to Orwell. He is an amazing writer and thinker. Despite the fact that my politics diverge considerably from his (I consider myself an avid... Read morePublished on March 26, 2008 by J. Libson
I was disappointed with this compendium of the grand writer's work. I consider Animal Farm a great treatise on the ills of communism from both a generic and specific point of... Read morePublished on September 9, 2004 by therosen