Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

George Orwell: A Life [Paperback]

Bernard Crick
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback --  
There is a newer edition of this item:
George Orwell: A Life George Orwell: A Life 5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
Currently unavailable

Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 1st edition (27 May 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140058567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140058567
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 382,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Bernard Crick's biography of George Orwell published in 1980.A scholarly book with numerous photographs,notes and an index.Seventeen chapters 589 pages.

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 17 Nov 2003
By A Customer
Every couple of years "The Economist" (a weekly magazine/newspaper that analyses world events and trends) reviews one or more books related to George Orwell. I have been reading The Economist for over 15 years now and it has consistently come to the conclusion that Crick's biography of Orwell is the best. That's why I read it. I found it excellent and truely difficult to put down when I should have been sleeping. Who can not wonder about what George would think about the how widely read (and variously interpreted) his writing has become.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE biography of Orwell 28 July 2003
The centenary of Orwell's birth has brought a number of books about the author, including two new biographies (by D. J. Taylor and Gordon Bowker). While the other books might have varying value for whatever revelations of the man and his life that they contain, Crick's book remains the best biography of Orwell because of its analysis of his politics -- a key component (if not THE key component) of both his reputation and his legacy. To this analysis Crick adds a probing examination of Orwell's life, accepting none of the man's accounts of it (as presented in his many works) at face value. Throughout the book Crick deflates the many exaggerations and debunks several of the myths that Eric Arthur Blair used when constructing the public image of George Orwell. The combination makes for a first-rate examination of both the man and the legend.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent biography 10 July 2012
An excellent book. Certainly one of the best reads I have had for years and, in my view, the best biography on Orwell. The joy of the book is that it is one of those that you cannot put down. It is informed, well-researched, enjoyable and sympathetic whilst also acknowledging Orwell's flaws. Crick examines Orwell's writings and life within the historical, political and literary context of the inter-war years and the 1940s to great effect. If you have to read just one book about Orwell make it this one - you won't regret it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To make Political Writing into an Art- 4 Nov 2008
By Shalom Freedman - Published on Amazon.com
Bernard Crick opens this work by defining the approach to Biography which he has adopted in it. He says it is closer to the French approach than to the traditional British one. It focuses on the public face of the writer and his path in the world, rather than on the inner element. It makes much use of the documented works. Essentially it gives the sense that the Work of the person is paradoxically somewhat larger than their life.
The essence of Orwell's writing as he himself defined it was in making political writing into an Art. And there is no question that in his best essays, such as 'Such, Such Were the Joys' and ' Shooting an Elephant'he achieves this. He also achieves it in the two great political novels, 'Animal Farm' and '1984' he is most known for.
Crick shows how Orwell very early on chose to be a writer, a famous writer and dedicated himself fully to the task. Orwell 'went native' to experience and know the life of the poor , and this led to his first important work, "Down and Out in Paris and London". Orwell's commitment to social justice not only led him to regret the five years he served in the colonial administration in Burma, it also led him to the Civil War in Spain. Orwell repeatedly tried to enlist in the Second War but had to content himself with being in the Home Guard. Idealist Orwell was able to distinguish between the far from perfect Britain he would defend and the evil totalitarian Nazis. He too was able to be the model person of integrity on the Left who recognized that Stalinist Russia was also a totalitarian society. This work does tell the story of Orwell's personal relations and the somewhat secondary place they had in his life. His first loyalty was to his writing and work. Orwell today is considered one of the master , perhaps the master political writer of the century perhaps first of all because he did not allow Ideology even his own to keep himself from reporting the truth as he saw it.
This first major biography gives a full sense of the shape of Orwell's career and work.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Crick Writes 25 Mar 2003
By Johnty Rhodes - Published on Amazon.com
Having been encouraged from about the age of twelve to read the essays of George Orwell I read Bernard Crick's recent meditation on him with a sense of gratitude. I haven't read any other work on Orwell which so perfectly conveys his inexhaustibility.
Crick's real achievement here is a mastery of Orwell's tone. Orwell's essays keep a reader up until dawn and this book did the same to this reader.
I can't say I agree with everything in the book, and have to say that sometimes I didn't grasp Crick's arguments. The chief pleasure of this book is its style; learned from one of the greatest defenders of expressed thought.
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything You Wanted To Know About Blair/Orwell, But ... 14 Jun 2014
By reading man - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
... Crick declares in his preface that he thinks biography is about facts, not conjectures about the inner man. He's willing, in other words, to record every statement made by Orwell himself about himself and the opinions of his friends and foes, but withholds any personal judgement of what made Orwell tick.

This is not the optimal way to write a biography. In my opinion, you need to analyze the facts and views of others carefully and then come up with some sort of thesis about the subject, not only his view of himself but yours.

Which is likely the reason there have been at least five or six biographies of Orwell since Crick, even though his is the "authorized" version. (Well, not entirely: Sonia Orwell authorized it, then withdrew her approval.) True, three of them turned up in his centenary year, as expected (Bowker, Taylor, Lucas), but all of them have a distinctive point of view.

Lucas is short and mostly negative, Taylor is just but given to flights of fancy, Bowker is the most even-handed.

Jeffrey Meyers is the most tendentious: Orwell is a masochist with a guilt complex: that's the key to his personality.

Shelden claims to be "authorized" but all that means is he wrote after the complete Orwell appeared. His book is the least insightful, in my opinion.

The most important thing to be said about Crick is that he includes all the facts--or, at least, the vast majority of them--and you won't find as much in the other bios. Which probably means that though he wrote the first complete biography, he should be read last, if you want to know Orwell inside out.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 8 Aug 2014
By Joan Kilgore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My grand father was 'Orwell's' boss in Burma. He is seen in the photo.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complete biography 25 Mar 2003
By Michael P. - Published on Amazon.com
The book had every thing i was looking for. It showed his life in different episodes. It was very easy to research in it.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category