13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
fascinating historical insight and a captivating story,
This review is from: Burmese Days (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Like most of Orwell's novels, 'Burmese Days' is principally about social alienation, here against the backdrop of a remote jungle outpost of the British empire in the 1920s. The book is steeped in the atmosphere of the country in which it is set, the oppressive climate, the colour of the jungle and the native population, the repulsively racist and materialistic circle of English businessmen and colonial administrators among whom Flory, the main character, socializes at the 'European Club'.
You get the impression that Flory is actually the same misanthropic ineffectual character that appears in all Orwell's novels (a portrait of Orwell himself presumably), although in 'Burmese Days' he is in his formative stage, reluctant to take a confrontational stand against the colonialist attitudes which surround him.
The novel is half satire, half tragedy, and catches the contrast between the beauty of the tropical backdrop and the moral ugliness which pervades the existence of most of the characters, Burmese and Europeans alike. Totally captivating, this book left me unable to shake off the stifling atmosphere it evoked for days. Always the sign of good writing...