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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, 1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four [Paperback]

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141185155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141185156
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 404,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

George Orwell is one of England's most famous writers and social commentators. Among his works are the classic political satire Animal Farm and the dystopian nightmare vision Nineteen Eighty-Four. Orwell was also a prolific essayist, and it is for these works that he was perhaps best known during his lifetime. They include Why I Write and Politics and the English Language. His writing is at once insightful, poignant and entertaining, and continues to be read widely all over the world.

Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in 1903 in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. The family moved to England in 1907 and in 1917 Orwell entered Eton, where he contributed regularly to the various college magazines. From 1922 to 1927 he served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, an experience that inspired his first novel, Burmese Days (1934). Several years of poverty followed. He lived in Paris for two years before returning to England, where he worked successively as a private tutor, schoolteacher and bookshop assistant, and contributed reviews and articles to a number of periodicals. Down and Out in Paris and London was published in 1933. In 1936 he was commissioned by Victor Gollancz to visit areas of mass unemployment in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) is a powerful description of the poverty he saw there.

At the end of 1936 Orwell went to Spain to fight for the Republicans and was wounded. Homage to Catalonia is his account of the civil war. He was admitted to a sanatorium in 1938 and from then on was never fully fit. He spent six months in Morocco and there wrote Coming Up for Air. During the Second World War he served in the Home Guard and worked for the BBC Eastern Service from 1941 to 1943. As literary editor of the Tribune he contributed a regular page of political and literary commentary, and he also wrote for the Observer and later for the Manchester Evening News. His unique political allegory, Animal Farm was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which brought him world-wide fame.

It was around this time that Orwell's unique political allegory Animal Farm (1945) was published. The novel is recognised as a classic of modern political satire and is simultaneously an engaging story and convincing allegory. It was this novel, together with Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which finally brought him world-wide fame. Nineteen Eighty-Four's ominous depiction of a repressive, totalitarian regime shocked contemporary readers, but ensures that the book remains perhaps the preeminent dystopian novel of modern literature.

Orwell's fiercely moral writing has consistently struck a chord with each passing generation. The intense honesty and insight of his essays and non-fiction made Orwell one of the foremost social commentators of his age. Added to this, his ability to construct elaborately imaginative fictional worlds, which he imbued with this acute sense of morality, has undoubtedly assured his contemporary and future relevance.

George Orwell died in London in January 1950.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Mr Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the pop-holes. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpieces 5 Nov 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Orwell is my favourite author. I read many books, but everytime I come back to Orwell it's like a breath of fresh air. The clarity with which he writes is his greatest skill and his powers of observation a close second.
As far as this particular book is concerned what you get are his two best known novels 1984 and Animal Farm, and then four other less well known works. All of these works tell tales of society 'going wrong', but from different perspectives of empire, money, individual freedom, totalitarism, and state control. Comming up for Air and Keep the Aspidistra Flying are particuarly good tales of individual rebellion against 'the system'. Most of these were written between the wars, but seem even more relevant today.
Although titled 'The Complete Novels' other works such as Road to Wigan Pier, Down and Out in Paris and London and Homage to Catalonia are absent, probably because they are more social comentaries based on his real life, rather than novels. If you like this book then you'll also like these.
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82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
I have huge admiration for Orwell's work as a writer and I am a strong admirer of his fiction, although apart from his last two novels I don't think it was the field he was best at. I urge any reader interested in his stuff to seek out his novels and read them. However, this is definitely not the best edition to read them in. Orwell's work was only subjected to proper editorial scrutiny in the late 1980s, with the release of Peter Davison's magisterial Complete Works. This book is a modern reprint of much earlier collection of uncorrected texts of his novels. The type is so tiny that the book is hard on the eyes, plus the texts of the novels are in most cases very corrupt.

If you want to read these books, the only reason you should get this edition is that you are very young, new to Orwell, have really good eyesight, and are too broke to afford buying each novel in the current individual Penguin editions, which are corrected texts. Otherwise, get them all individually; this book is both unreliable and almost unreadable.
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PLEASE READ 13 Feb 2004
Hi there, I'm principally writing concerning the review below, stating that this book does not contain the complete novels. Actually, it DOES contain the complete novels. George Orwell wrote 5 Novels: _Burmese Days_, _Keep the Aspidistra Flying_, _A Clergyman's Daughter_, _Animal Farm_, and _Nineteen Eighty-four_. These are all present in this collection, the three titles mentioned below which are not included (_Homage to Catalonia_, _The Road to Wigan Pier_, and _Down & Out in Paris & London_) are not included because they are NOT novels. The five novels included, however, are quite possibly Orwell's most enchanting work -- I first read _Keep the Aspidistra Flying_ over 10 years ago, and Orwell hasn't left my side since. I've read nearly all of the published works, and am slowly but surely making my way through the variety of newspaper columns, etc. But if you are unsure as to where to begin your Orwell education, for it is that, START HERE.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Six of the best 17 Sep 2002
By A Customer
Obviously 1984 and Animal Farm are so well known as to not need any further comments about their quality. If you haven't read them, then now is the time.
However the less well known novels are just as interesting, especially as many aspects of Orwell's own life show through. From the despairing colonial offical in "Burmese Days" to the homeless hop-pickers in "A clergyman's daughter" via a down and out writer in "Keep the Apidistra flying" he writes well because he essentially writing from his own experiences.
These are novels of the highest quality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
To read this collection from cover to cover, takes you on a journey of which I can only describe as emotionally intense. The ideas, opinions, characters, visions and aspirations come alive through the stories vivid descriptions. This vividness of description has, perhaps only been achieved by Dicken's and will rival any novel or set of novels.
This is a collection is a simple must, for anybody who wishes to have a novel to give him or her so much to think about, that you'll proberbly need not buy another novel again!
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Collection of the 20th Century Greats 9 April 2001
George Orwell wrote some of the greatest novels of the 20th Century. Some of his ideas and expressions have become part of everyday language. "Big Brother" and "Room 101" are both based on people and places in his masterpiece '1984'. But all his novels are quite rightly regarded as classics. 'Animal Farm' is a wonderful satire on Communism and the way that absolute power corrupts - absolutely. 'Keep The Aspidistra Flying' is a grainy, desolate portrait of a man who tries unsuccessfully to live outside of the rat-race. This collection is a must for any lover of great literature, a fabulous collection.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. Ross Maynard VINE VOICE
George Orwell and Graham Greene are, for me, the two finest British writers of the twentieth century. Here Orwell's five novels are collected, and are well worth reading (get his non-fiction too). 1984 and Animal Farm are possibly the two finest pieces of fiction of the last century. The other novels are a mixed bag but still worth a look. BURMESE DAYS is a superb exposition of the reality of colonial rule in the early 1930s. A small group of English ex-pats forced together in a remote station in Burma. Gin soaked and bitter they lead miserable lonely lives. Local political machinations and the arrival of a young woman from England combine to shatter the fragile framework that holds them together. THE CLERGYMAN'S DAUGHTER is altogether a different piece and not quite sure what it is. It starts in the style of a D H Lawrence novel - the spinsterish daughter of the vicar; then it takes a comic turn as she loses her memory and ends up picking hops; then we have a Dickensian description of a grim private girls school; finally we return where we started. The tone is downbeat and the fact that nothing really happens is disappointing, though it is fun and interesting in parts. COMING UP FOR AIR is a nostalgic piece - an enjoyable description of life at the turn of the twentieth century, and the pointlessness of living in the past. KEEP THE ASPIDISTRA FLYING I find tedious. It is a long rant against the "money god" featuring a dull and self-obsessed young man. I am not sure what the purpose of it is, except to warn us against becoming too self-absorbed that we ignore reality.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Im-perfect binding...
The early novels are very poor as novels- clumsy, over-written. But they are fascinating as documents in his development as a very serious and major political writer. Read more
Published 22 days ago by MartinB
5.0 out of 5 stars he was very happy with the book
Bought this for my boyfriend, who's frequently reader, he was very happy with the book!
Published 1 month ago by diana
1.0 out of 5 stars Damaged book
The condition of the book was unsatisfactory, was purchased as new - 2 pages badly torn unreadable - the packaging was intact-disappointing !
Published 3 months ago by mr alan phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I first read '1984', 'Animal Farm', etc some 50 years ago, so decided to buy the Complete Novels out of curiosity, I was not disappointed - if anything, I think it was better the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Noel Duffy
5.0 out of 5 stars The all work in one book
It is very practical to have all of George Orwell'd work in one book.
For student studying GCSE it can be helpful to know more of his bibliography to help to have a better... Read more
Published 5 months ago by I Monton
5.0 out of 5 stars The Complete Novels of George Orwell
I had never read Orwell's works before but had always intended to. I was looking for "Animal Farm" on Kindle and found this edition of the complete works at a price I found... Read more
Published 6 months ago by gibraltar-british-zone
5.0 out of 5 stars arrived on time
I haven't read them yet but I was curious before buying if this would be a collection of separate books or one large book containing them all, it's one book not separate books, in... Read more
Published 6 months ago by oscar
5.0 out of 5 stars The Complete Novels of George Orwell
Just perfect! I haven't read Orwell's novels since schooldays, so am looking forward to re-acquainting myself with this genius. And this compendium will let me do just that. Read more
Published 6 months ago by rocket291054
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick and lovely
This item reached me in very good condition - I knew it was used, so was not expecting it to be in perfect condiion - and it came well within the time I was given to expect it... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Miriam Gould
5.0 out of 5 stars Books
Excellent product. Replaces all the paper books that I have had for years. Slowly reading them all again and enjoying them.
Published 12 months ago by C LAWRENCE
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