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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining intellectual
I think some of these reviewers condemn Hitchens for being what he is not. This is not a scholarly, learned account of George Orwell's life and works, nor is it uninfluenced by today's preoccupations. Hitchens is primarily an essayist and his work reads best when you realise that that is where his real skill lies. Having said this if you read this book as a series of...
Published on 28 Aug 2006 by Henry Ireton

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hitchens and books
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. He just can't write books. I've never read a book by Hitchens I've enjoyed or a press article that I haven't. It's infuriating. I suspect it has something to do with his style: great for 2000...
Published on 6 Aug 2006 by S. V. Pignal


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining intellectual, 28 Aug 2006
By 
Henry Ireton (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Orwell's Victory (Paperback)
I think some of these reviewers condemn Hitchens for being what he is not. This is not a scholarly, learned account of George Orwell's life and works, nor is it uninfluenced by today's preoccupations. Hitchens is primarily an essayist and his work reads best when you realise that that is where his real skill lies. Having said this if you read this book as a series of interesting essays about aspects of Orwell in the light of current events they make more sense. Hitchens doesn't say much that is new, but what he writes is written intelligently, provocatively and engagingly. He has more style than many academics writing about a similar subject. Put simply this book is not to be ennumerated amongst the intellectual herculeian labours like some academic tomes but to be read as an enjoyable intellectual exercise, you won't be stunned but you will enjoy.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting introduction to the work of George Orwell, 18 Jun 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Orwell's Victory (Paperback)
Christopher Hitchen's new book 'Orwell's Victory' offers an interesting introduction to the work, and arguments which surround the work of Eric Blair (better known to the world as George Orwell). He analysis the influence which Orwell has had on politics and literature, and the way in which Orwell has been understood (or in most cases mis-understood) by 50 years of intellectuals both in the UK and accross the Pond.
Hitchens draws his arguments from his own brand of left-wing thought, and uses his arguments to attack both the literati/ intelligensia who have come to dominate British and American fiction, but also those who have tried to appropriate or reject Orwell's arguments for their own ends. This book is very much of a defense of Hitchens view of Orwell and his work, and is a very personal view of where he sees Orwell coming from. This of course makes the book fairly ideosyncratic (something which Hitchens writing often is).
This is probably not the best book to have been written on Orwell, and some of its arguments relate very much to the political and social situation we find ourselves in, in 2002, though this is not necessarily a bad thing. This book can perhaps be best read as an introduction or alongside Bernard Crick's seminal biography of George Orwell/ Eric Blair, which is also published by Penguin books (for just 2 more). Indeed both Crick and Hitchens share some material and arguments, though this perhaps again is the recognition of a good argument than as a problem per se. And whereas Crick sets out to chart Orwell's/ Blair's life, Hitchens is reviewing and defending the work of Orwell the writer and social commentator.
In the end then this a book well worth reading, especially for those, like myself, who enjoy the writing's of both Orwell and Hitchens. It is however a book best read amongst other books by and about Orwell.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book but......., 13 May 2009
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This review is from: Orwell's Victory (Paperback)
Great book, but be warned; it is the same publication as 'Why Orwell Matters" Pub Basic Books. Without checking, I bought both. Never mind...maybe it I was a victim of "double-speak".....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and relevant to today's intellectual world, 23 Oct 2007
By 
John Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Orwell's Victory (Paperback)
An interesting exploration of Orwell's literary and political persona and how he has been both claimed and vilified by both the political left and political right. His staunch opposition to both Stalin and Hitler were heroic especially in retrospect and earned him a lot of opprobrium both from those intellectuals who should have known better but made excuses for Stalin, and from British and American officialdom during the wartime alliance with the Soviet Union. Worth reading in light of the modern tendency of some contemporaries to brush over the horrors of certain dictatorships in Africa and Asia and come to support, or at least make excuses for them, simply because they are anti-Western, on the "principle" that "they're against America/the capitalist West, so they must be alright".
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hitchens and books, 6 Aug 2006
By 
S. V. Pignal "S Pignal" (London UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Orwell's Victory (Paperback)
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. He just can't write books. I've never read a book by Hitchens I've enjoyed or a press article that I haven't. It's infuriating. I suspect it has something to do with his style: great for 2000 words, but anything over and above that the reader is Hitchened-out.

Orwell's Victory is not uninteresting, but the tome lacks an overall rationale. Think of it as a compilation of a dozen-or-so erudite essays, many of which would serve nicely as an introduction to an anniversary re-edition of 1984 or Burmese Days.

Still, it does what it says on the tin, so gets 3 stars.
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8 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the effort, 9 Jun 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Orwell's Victory (Paperback)
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.
It is a tragedy to see someone like Hitchens think that he is the inheritor of Orwell.
If you ever wanted to see how pedantic and irrelevant Hitchens is, all you have to do is remember that he would start a fight over whether he used to be a trotskyist or a trotskite (before he fell in love with Paul WWolfowwitz).
Save your money.
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3 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars gossip with nothing to add, 2 Aug 2002
By 
S J. West (Gerrards Cross, Bucks United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Orwell's Victory (Paperback)
This is just gossip and discussion on what other famous people have said about Mr Blair since his death from there perspective party lines. I've read all of the Davidson books on Orwell (letters from prep school to the hospital where he died - published by Seek & Warburg) So Ive my own opinion.
He did see both sides of life as colonial policeman, and as a thinker of liberty issues and the honesty required - the Polish/soviet army incident aka 'war crimes' which the soviets and Britain did not officially admit until 1988 ? It also seems to forget there was a war on from 1939 as to why he did not go to America, I'm sure he was no saint but this seems not take Orwell any further than what I already know.
I think it will be best if we wait unit the Foreign office of the UK Government finally declassifies all of the records it has on the author, and the Russian archives (Orwell in Spain) have had time to be translated and digested by a few more (give it ten years).
So this reads a bit like a who's who of who used what of him and when. Makes you worry about our glorous leaders and civil servants.
This book makes some observations, but nothing earth shattering.
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Orwell's Victory
Orwell's Victory by Christopher Hitchens (Paperback - 6 Jun 2002)
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