Modern Classics Complete Novels Of George Orwell Paperback – Feb 6 2001
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'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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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.
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Volume 1: Down and Out in Paris and London
Volume 2: Burmese Days
Volume 3: A Clergyman's Daughter
Volume 4: Keep the Aspidistra Flying
Volume 5: The Road to Wigan Pier
Volume 6: Homage to Catalonia
Volume 7: Coming Up for Air
Volume 8: Animal Farm
Volume 9: Nineteen Eighty-Four
Volume 10: A Kind of Compulsion (1903-36)
Volume 11: Facing Unpleasant Facts (1937-39)
Volume 12: A Patriot After All (1940-41)
Volume 13: All Propaganda is Lies (1941-42)
Volume 14: Keeping Our Little Corner Clean (1942-43)
Volume 15: Two Wasted Years (1943)
Volume 16: I Have Tried to Tell the Truth (1943-44)
Volume 17: I Belong to the Left (1945)
Volume 18: Smothered Under Journalism (1946)
Volume 19: It is What I Think (1947-48)
Volume 20: Our Job is to Make Life Worth Living (1949-50)
The set at whole is a magnificent achievement. With each of the novels Davison has removed the multitude of changes made by successive editors and restored the text to what Orwell had originally written. His other works allow readers to examine Orwell's life and the evolution of his writing, as well as how he mined his life for the details of some of his most memorable passages. Combined they make this set a literary monument to one of the most influential writers in history and a must-have for any fan of Orwell's work.
I was suprised that this compilation (officially called "The Complete Novels") is not officially available on Amazon.com. If you'd like a single book with "all" of Orwell's novels, it is available via the Amazon.co.UK site. Nothing fancy, just the stories. The only drawback is that the print font is smaller than in most books. For most, this will not be a problem, though.
Be careful: although called "The Complete Novels", it doesn't include "Down and Out in Paris and London" or a couple of his other books. Maybe they weren't considered novels.
In this Orwellian nightmare we sojourn, Big Brother is watching us by way of the NSA, Interpol, CIA, Mossad, or whoever, and whatever option from the arsonal of methods at their disposal the intelligence community may choose to employ to make short work of our effete and generally furtive attempts at a semblance of privacy, and the derivative, "doublespeak" (descended or referring to Oceania's "newspeak") is the talk of the town in a day when our public officials do not lie to us but rather "mispeak".
Like Thoreau, whom he much parallels in the heart of that incomparable masterpiece, Homage To Catalonia, he died young (1903-1950) - but packed a staggering measure of life into an ourvre as essential as it is substantial - and real, in the deepest sense of the word.
Another big plus is that these books are solid as and built like Big Ben itself, for many hours of enjoyment and/or insight, hopefully both, by the legendary publishing house, Secker & Warburg, in 1980. By that hour, I would assume, they had come to the realization that Orwell had been their greatest find.
Three novels in particular, "A Clergyman's Daughter", "Coming Up For Air" and "Keep The Aspidistra Flying" show in great detail how much of a struggle life could be in the first half of the twentieth century and how easy we have it now in comparison. They made me think of how desperate it must have been to be poor in those days with no welfare state and only charity to keep one from starvation.
"Burmese Days" gives an insight into one of the colonies of the then British Empire and illustrates how we British exploited our overseas territories and their people.
I knew of the plot of "Animal Farm" but still found it a fascinating insight into the life cycle of communism and why it usually fails due to "some animals being more equal than others".
As with "Animal Farm" I also knew of the plot of "1984", having seen the film many years ago and having heard the Bowie songs "1984" and "Big Brother" many times but I still wanted to read the book. I think life described in the book is how it may have been if WW2 had gone the other way. I may now buy the DVD to see how the film compares to the book.
I am pleased that I bought this compilation as I have now read a further four good novels that I may never have read otherwise.