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Customer Review

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest writers of the Twentieth Century, 5 July 2007
This review is from: 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)
George Orwell and Graham Greene are, for me, the two finest British writers of the twentieth century. Here Orwell's five novels are collected, and are well worth reading (get his non-fiction too). 1984 and Animal Farm are possibly the two finest pieces of fiction of the last century. The other novels are a mixed bag but still worth a look. BURMESE DAYS is a superb exposition of the reality of colonial rule in the early 1930s. A small group of English ex-pats forced together in a remote station in Burma. Gin soaked and bitter they lead miserable lonely lives. Local political machinations and the arrival of a young woman from England combine to shatter the fragile framework that holds them together. THE CLERGYMAN'S DAUGHTER is altogether a different piece and not quite sure what it is. It starts in the style of a D H Lawrence novel - the spinsterish daughter of the vicar; then it takes a comic turn as she loses her memory and ends up picking hops; then we have a Dickensian description of a grim private girls school; finally we return where we started. The tone is downbeat and the fact that nothing really happens is disappointing, though it is fun and interesting in parts. COMING UP FOR AIR is a nostalgic piece - an enjoyable description of life at the turn of the twentieth century, and the pointlessness of living in the past. KEEP THE ASPIDISTRA FLYING I find tedious. It is a long rant against the "money god" featuring a dull and self-obsessed young man. I am not sure what the purpose of it is, except to warn us against becoming too self-absorbed that we ignore reality.
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