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Coming Up for Air - George Orwell

Coming Up for Air

By: George Orwell, Peter Davison (Introduction by)

Paperback

Published: February 2001
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George Bowling, the hero of this comic novel, is a middle-aged insurance salesman who lives in an average English suburban row house with a wife and two children. One day, after winning some money from a bet, he goes back to the village where he grew up, to fish for carp in a pool he remembers from thirty years before. The pool, alas, is gone, the village has changed beyond recognition, and the principal event of his holiday is an accidental bombing by the RAF.

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Coming Up for Air
 
4.0

(based on 1 review)

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4.0

A Classic Orwell!

By The Dodger

from Macedon Ranges, Victoria

About Me Everyday Reader

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Engaging Characters
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers

    Comments about Coming Up for Air:

    One of Orwell's lesser known works, however is a classic Orwell gem.

    Written in the style familiar to Orwell readers, the book is an insightfull revelation of Englnad in the first half of the 20th century. seen through the eyes of a boy growing into a man, trapped in his surrounding and status in life.

    A great read and a must for those already fans of Orwell's writing.

    Comment on this review

    A very different dish of tea from his earlier Animal Farm and recent Nineteen Kighty Four both of which instigated aroused controversy, is this book which was published in England before the war. Prophetic in its atmosphere, it is the total recall of George Bowling, 45, which is started by his set of new false teeth and some money he has won on the horses. The morning's events help him envision what will come with Hitler's threats growing stronger, lead him to think of his youth with special intensity and review the sort of secure, continuous life that went with World War I which took him out of the grocery business, turned him loose among books, inspired his thinking. The mental squalor of his life thereafter with Hilda and their two children and his present doubts as to what is coming - and the 17 quid - send him on a secret visit to his old home. It in turn offers only failure as an antidote for the country has turned into town, no one knows or remembers him or his family - everything is disillusion. In London again with the knowledge earned that there is no going back, that what is to come - horrible as it must be - cannot be stopped. Honesty in the picture of a man neither highbrow nor a fool of a poky milleu and the mingy situations of living, of the downhill path to a ghastly flux, this in its backward, introspective look offers a nostalgic, sincere appreciation of a way of life that can never be again, and will prove something new for his followers. (Kirkus Reviews)

    ISBN: 9780141185699
    ISBN-10: 0141185694
    Series: Penguin Classics Ser.
    Audience: General
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 256
    Published: February 2001
    Dimensions (cm): 20.2 x 12.9  x 1.9
    Weight (kg): 0.2

    George Orwell

    Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in 1903 in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. The family moved to England in 1907 and in 1917 Orwell entered Eton, where he contributed regularly to the various college magazines. From 1922 to 1927 he served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, an experience that inspired his first novel Burmese Days (1934). Several years of poverty followed. He lived in Paris for two years before returning to England, where he worked successively as a private tutor, schoolteacher and bookshop assistant, and contributed reviews and articles to a number of periodicals. Down and Out in Paris and London was published in 1933. In 1936 he was commissioned by Victor Gollancz to visit areas of mass unemployment in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) is a powerful description of the poverty he saw there. At the end of 1936 Orwell went to Spain to fight for the Republicans and was wounded. Homage to Catalonia is his account of the civil war. He was admitted to a sanatorium in 1938 and from then on was never fully fit. He spent six months in Morocco and there wrote Coming Up for Air. During the Second World War he served in the Home Guard and worked for the BBC Eastern Service from 1941 to 1943. As literary editor of Tribune he contributed a regular page of political and literary commentary, and he also wrote for the Observer and later for the Manchester Evening News. His unique political allegory, Animal Farm, was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which brought him world-wide fame. George Orwell died in London in January 1950. A few days before, Desmond MacCarthy had sent him a message of greeting in which he wrote: 'You have made an indelible mark on English literature . . . you are among the few memorable writers of your generation.'

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