Such, Such Were the Joys and Other Essays

  • by George Orwell
  • Narrated by Frederick Davidson
  • 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Viewed as too libelous to print in England until 1968, the title essay in this collection reveals the abuse Orwell experienced as a child at an expensive and snobbish boarding school and offers insights into his lifelong concern for the oppressed."Why I Write" describes Orwell's sense of political purpose, and the classic essay "Politics and the English Language" insists on clarity and precision in communication in order to avoid the Newspeak later described in 1984.Other essays focus on Gandhi (he "disinfected the political air"), Dickens ("no novelist has shown the same power of entering into the child's point of view"), Kipling ("a jingo imperialist"), Henry Miller (who told Orwell that involvement in the Spanish war was an act of an idiot), and England "a family with the wrong members in control").


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Superb collection of essays, very well read

This is a first-rate collection of essays by one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. The reader, Frederick Davidson, is excellent (as usual). As other reviewers have pointed out, the recording skips in places; this happens especially often in the latter half of Part 2. In nearly all cases the skips are tiny and it's easy enough to fill in the missing word (and it really does seem to be just one word that's affected), but there are a few more substantial skips. This isn't really acceptable, frankly, but I found it detracted less from my enjoyment of the book than one might think. It's not ideal, but it's hardly a fatal flaw when the content is so very good.

The complete contents are as follows:

- "Such, Such Were the Joys"
- Charles Dickens
- The Art of Donald McGill
- Rudyard Kipling
- Raffles and Miss Blandish
- Shooting an Elephant
- Politics and the English Language
- Reflections on Gandhi
- Marrakech
- Looking Back on the Spanish War
- Inside the Whale
- England Your England
- Boys' Weeklies
- Why I Write
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- Christopher

Four Stars - Maybe Five Without the Skips

I agree almost completely with the earlier review here. The pieces are all interesting, very illuminating, and, of course, exceptionally well written. The skips in the audio are mainly in the second half, and while they are irritating, the book is well worth the trouble.
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Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-25-2009
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.