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Burmese Days (Classics To Go) Kindle Edition
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|Kindle, March 20, 2020||
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Protagonist James Flory is a timber merchant, whose facial birthmark serves as an outward expression of the ironic and left-leaning habits of mind that make him inwardly different from his coevals. Flory appreciates the local culture, has native allegiances, and detests the racist machinations of his fellow Club members. Alas, he doesn't always possess the moral courage, or the energy, to stand against them. His almost embarrassingly Anglophile friend, Dr. Veraswami, the highest-ranking native official, seems a shoo-in for Club membership, until Machiavellian magistrate U Po Kyin launches a campaign to discredit him that results, ultimately, in the loss not just of reputations but of lives. Whether to endorse Veraswami or to betray him becomes a kind of litmus test of Flory's character.
Against this backdrop of politics and ethics, Orwell throws the shadow of romance. The arrival of the bobbed blonde, marriageable, and resolutely anti-intellectual Elizabeth Lackersteen not only casts Flory as hapless suitor but gives Orwell the chance to show that he's as astute a reporter of nuanced social interactions as he is of political intrigues. In fact, his combination of an astringently populist sensibility, dead-on observations of human behavior, formidable conjuring skills, and no-frills prose make for historical fiction that stands triumphantly outside of time. --Joyce Thompson --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
From the Back Cover
- File Size : 1025 KB
- Print Length : 276 pages
- ASIN : B07JJ16RR6
- Publication Date : March 20, 2020
- Publisher : Otbebookpublishing (March 20, 2020)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Language: : English
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #151,880 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Some will take offense at the treatment of the native Burmese in Orwell's novel. But note that the protagonist's very sympathetic attitude toward them and appreciation of their culture is the source of some of his greatest difficulties with his colonial counterparts.
Immerse yourself in this novel to get a sense of what it might be like to make a choice that takes you far far away from everyday routines of the civilized world and, for better and for worse, experience an entirely different way of life.
Burmese Days tells the truth about how in today's world truth doesn't always triumph but on the contrary, the cunning can change the false into truth.
This book will leave the reader with the feeling of loss and melancholy. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Romance, sort of. Perhaps the most telling feature of the book (for me) is the main character, Flory, being infatuated with Elizabeth. Flory is intelligent and thoughtful. He regrets his life serving English interests in Burma. He sees, roughly in the 1920's, the narrow intelligence and prejudices of his fellow Europeans; he finds imperialism elements of shameful exploitation. Flory is unfulfilled, guilt-ridden, and lonely. Elizabeth, the niece of a fellow worker, visits after her parents die, and Flory thinks he is in love with her.
His love would not be remarkable, but for Elizabeth being cut from the same cloth as the fellow workers Flory has no respect for--if she isn't worse. She thinks the Burmese are sub-human; she has no interest in culture or art. Flory would have nothing to do with her (in my opinion) if he weren't lonely and miserable in Burma. The people and concepts Elizabeth recoils from are people and concepts that Flory has a keen interest in; indeed, an affection for.
Burmese was a fast read to the end--not a happy end, although I found the end happier than it would have been had Flory's conscious wishes been gratified--life happily ever after with that miserable excuse for a human, Elizabeth. She wound up better off than she deserved; Flory, far worse off.
Top reviews from other countries
Orwell's own experiences in Burma add authenticity to his description of some pretty vapid lifestyles.
I'm torn between four and five stars, so my rating errs on the generous side.