|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
|Paperback, 6 Jun 2002||
In a chatty and occasionally tangential account, he recreates the contexts and situations that influenced Orwell's most well-known work: privileged Eton, imperial Burma, the kitchens of Paris and the terraced streets of Lancashire, war-torn Spain, and London in the blitz. Throughout he judges Orwell in the light of the difficult contemporary questions he addressed--what Orwell called the "power of facing" unpleasant facts--rather than the ideological fashions of future generations. Some of Orwell's critics, notably Raymond Williams and Claude Simon, leave this book with the integrity of their own work in tatters. Hitchens is particularly good on Orwell's journalism, and deft at unpicking the deeper meanings of Animal Farm and 1984 . He doesn't really delve into Orwell's personal life, wherein lies the source of some of the posthumous contempt. But overall two reputations emerge intact from this little book: those of Orwell the voice of courageous sanity, and Hitchens, the arch-controversialist. --Miles Taylor
What is it with Christopher Hitchens and the writing of books?
Clearly this guy knows how to write - his journalism for Vanity Fair is amongst the best stuff in print. Read more
Dull book by possibly the most conceited author living, who seems to spend all his time vindicating everything he has ever said or written in his life. Read morePublished on 9 Jun. 2003