- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (29 Jun. 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141183063
- ISBN-13: 978-0141183060
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Essays (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 29 Jun 2000
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Anyone who wants to understand the twentieth century will still have to read Orwell (Timothy Garton Ash, New York Review of Books) --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
A volume, comprising around 250 pieces: the deifinitive collection of Orwell's essays. In a beautifully bound, hardback edition. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Orwell was one who had greatness thrust upon him. His great works and essays are stimulated by the convulsions of the rise of fascism and World War II - obviously "Animal Farm" and "1984" but also some magnificent essays. These include "The Lion And The Unicorn", his glorious, stirring analysis of the national character and the prospects of socialism after the war; his analysis of party-line thinking, in which he works out the metaphysics of "double-think"; his dissection of James Burnham's book on the "managerial revolution" with interesting comments on the world splitting into three power blocs; and "Reflections On The Spanish Civil War".
Other essays are more personal - his scathing memoir of his school days, "Such Were The Joys"; the delightful "Some Thoughts On The Common Toad"; "Hop Picking", one of his earliest attempts to document working-class customs; and "Shooting An Elephant", a wry look at imperialism. He also looks at literary matters (he was the literary editor of "Tribune" for some years) with equal clarity and lack of verbosity, unusual in literary analysis, with "Politics and the English Laguage" and "Why I Write". ("Sheer egotism" as he frankly admits!).
This is an exceptional book, to be read and savoured by all. A real delight.
When people think of Orwell, they remember him as an anti-Communist and a defender of liberal democracy.Read more ›
Be amazed, as Orwell opens your jaded eyes to the bizarre writing foibles of Charles Dickens - things about the esteemed author you thought you knew so well. Be stunned by Orwell's deeply moving personal experiences, in 'Shooting an Elephant' and 'A Hanging', accounts of human frailty that made me shudder with a deep sense of recognition. Have the myths of Public School life exploded for you in 'such, such were the joys' as Orwell escorts you through the darkly repressed world of his boyhood education.
There are so many treats and revelations in this book, that you are able to dive in at random and be suddenly immersed in that lost world of the pre and post war years. The politics may have changed, the fashions, the doctrines, may have all faded or become obselete, but what Orwell does - in breathtakingly frank and beautifully simple language - is to reveal to us how little humanity itself has altered. The vanity and hypocracy we find within, still have an all too fresh ring to them. But Orwell refuses to give up our species' and its eternal drive for understanding and self-improvement; positive attributes that Orwell instills into so much of his scathing honesty and subtle attack.
'Essays' can be enjoyed on so many levels: from a one-man history lesson, to a vivid collection of snapshot opinions that you can delight in, debate or decry. Or perhaps, like me, you will eventually give up on the socio-political analysis and the search for cryptic symbolism, and simply end up enjoying a quite wonderful book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
These essays are simply amazing. Whether he's writing about the British Empire's struggle against Nazi Germany or the relative costs of reading vs. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dominic Bara
I trust the Penguin for its authority, however, the papers of this book are very old, dark colored and flimsy. Read morePublished 6 months ago by sophie
Bought this for my daughter - it was recommended at University to help her improve the structure of her essays.Published 9 months ago by karen paget