Thursday Thive: George Orwell Books/Novels

Posted on April 4, 2013

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5: Down and Out in Paris and London (1933)
Orwell’s first full length work was a memoir of sorts, an homage to destitituion and a recounting of time spent living rough in the two cities mentioned in the title. Whether it is a work of fact or fiction is obviously debatable, but it matters little as Orwell lurks from one downtrodden day to another. Certainly not joyful, but when have my literary preferences been so?

4: Burmese Days (1934)
I clearly remember reading Burmese Days for the first time. I was in Tallinn, Estonia, and came across a copy of the complete Orwell novels for a pretty cheap price. Snapped it up I did, and read from the start. I remember sitting in a restaurant in Parnu and being more and more engrossed in the book. I particularly remember the line ‘beauty is meaningless until it is shared’. As a guy traveling alone most of the time, this really hit a nerve. A damn fine book.

3: Animal Farm (1945)
If ever I am suffering a bit with reading, be it stuck at a point in whatever book I am reading or something else, I always revert back to this. It is short, compelling and fast moving from start to finish. I’ve read this book more than any other, because you can do so in a couple of hours easily. It is that good from start to finish. If you haven’t read this book, I’m afraid you don’t really count.

2: Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936)
I had no idea what an aspidistra was before reading this. I read it in Bosnia after giving up on struggling with ‘A Clergymans Daughter’, and immediately loved it. It is all about a mans battle against money, due to his almost obsession with how money changes people. The battle of principles against actual day to day life. It is a great study in the psychological effect of money, and one I can continue to enjoy to this day.

1: Nineteen Eighty Four (1949)
Obviously. I don’t know what other opinions people would put forward, but this is surely Orwells finest work. It must be. It’s one of those books that everyone has read or is told they should read in their lifetime, and for very good reason. It is the book people refer to when using the term ‘Orwellian’. It defined an entire societal lifestyle. It is simply put one of the most important and loved books ever written.

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Posted in: Thursday Thive