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Orwell: The "Observer" Years [Paperback]

George Orwell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

6 Nov 2003 1843542609 978-1843542605 New edition
George Orwell wrote regularly for the Observer between 1942 and 1948. During the Second World War he filed superbly incisive stories from the Home Front and vivid reportage from north Africa. In its aftermath, he wrote brilliantly on the problems facing newly liberated France and devastated, occupied Germany, as well as the challenges facing the Labour government elected by landslide in 1945. He also casts a clear eye over unravelling French and British empires and the state of the Soviet Union. Combining reporting of the very highest order with profiles, analysis and book reviews, this complete collection is an important addition to the library of any admirer of Orwell.

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books; New edition edition (6 Nov 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843542609
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843542605
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 341,533 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.

Product Description


"'Fifty years on, these ephemeral pieces still display a marvellous acuity and freshness and go some way to explaining why Orwell is such an influential English writer for the generations that followed.' Observer" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

George Orwell was the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair. He was born in Motihari, India on 25 June 1903 and died in London on 21 January, 1950 and achieved international prominence in the late 1940s as the author of two brilliant satires attacking totalitarianism 1984 and Animal Farm. The novels, essays, reportage and criticism he wrote during the 1930s and later established him as one of the most important and influential voices of the twentieth century. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and Concise 11 Jan 2010
He writes in an economical way. He is charitable towards authors whom he obviously doesn't rate. I think he respects anyone who can manage to write a book and get it published! He isn't weighed down with preconceived notions.

Not frightened to have a go at Dickens and Wells - and Dostoevsky for that matter, although mostly complimentary to them. They were literary "superstars" but they get the critical treatment from Orwell all right and that brings them down to earth which is refreshing.

It's sometimes hard to remember that he is writing during the 40s as his style is very 2010 in my opinion. There's nothing stilted about it. It's free and easy and very personal - not super intellectual.

It would be fascinating to hear what he had to say about say modern day TV/media.
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