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This book has 3 intertwined themes: it’s part travelogue, describing the sights, sounds and smells of different parts of Burma; it’s part literary criticism, exploring the influence of Orwell’s experiences in Burma on his writing; and its main theme is using Orwell’s writings to illustrate the horrendous conditions in Burma today.
In expounding this main theme, Ms. Larkin draws out the eerie confluence of 3 factors: Orwell’s having worked in, and written about, Burma; his chilling novels about life under authoritarianism; and the realities of such rule in Burma today. Larkin does a good job of using Orwell’s writings to bring descriptions of life under authoritarian rule home on a personal level.
At times, the 3 themes get in the way of each other, but, at others, the contrasts between the natural beauty and current reality highlight Larkin’s descriptions of how bad things are.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
This book was absolutely excellent. It takes the reader on a trip through Burma while giving the information needed to empathize with the oppression that the Burmese face. It follows the path of George Orwell and frequently uses quotes from 1984 and Burmese Days.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful