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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: 12.9 x 4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 534,609 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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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful By J. Clinch VINE VOICE on 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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84 of 88 people found the following review helpful By lexo1941 on 20 Aug 2008
Format: Paperback
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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63 of 67 people found the following review helpful By anyonymous on 13 Feb 2004
Format: Paperback
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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Sep 2002
Format: Paperback
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 Alaran on 18 May 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a basic but very economic collection of the novels of Orwell. It includes all six of his fictional works and would be ideal for a newcomer to Orwell or a reader who wants these novels in an easy, organised compendium.

Obviously Orwell's two classics, `Animal farm' and `1984', are present and they are every bit as fantastically written, engrossing and thought provoking as you might expect. Whether by good planning or by mere chance, they are the first and last novel in the order presented. This means that they virtually frame the less well known works. These include `Burmese Days', `The Clergyman's Daughter', Coming Up for Air' and `Keep the Aspidistra Flying'. Even though they cover quite different settings and environments there are common themes running throughout that make this feel more of a coherent collection where the novels compliment each other, rather than a vague group of books by the same author. Obviously the political satire and critique, the ever advancing tide of industrialism and capitalism, the exploration of class systems, and the corruption of power and imperialism are ever present. More importantly though these novels concentrate on the effect that these things have on the individual, the everyday person, and how they struggle to find their place in societies where they are pressured to become little more than cogs in a colossal machine. They are poignant studies in human psychology as every bit relevant today as when they were written. The inevitability that these that these diverse and fabulously created characters are eventually broken down and forced to accept all they rebel against is a depressing exploration of the helplessness of the individual within civilisation.
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