Burmese Days, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Based on his experiences as a policeman in Burma, George Orwell's first novel presents a devastating picture of British colonial rule.

It describes corruption and imperial bigotry in a society where, 'after all, natives were natives - interesting, no doubt, but finally ... an inferior people'. When Flory, a white timber merchant, befriends Indian Dr Veraswami, he defies this orthodoxy.

The doctor is in danger: U Po Kyin, a corrupt magistrate, is plotting his downfall.

The only thing that can save him is membership of the all-white Club, and Flory can help.

Flory's life is changed further by the arrival of beautiful Elizabeth Lackersteen from Paris, who offers an escape from loneliness and the 'lie' of colonial life.George Orwell's first novel, inspired by his experiences in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, Burmese Days includes a new introduction by Emma Larkin in Penguin Modern Classics.


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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

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This has to be the most scathing commentary on British colonial life where everone is abusive and prejudiced as hell. My hats to Orwell who saw the harsh realities of colonial life without pandering to the British authorities during that time.

Review by

Well this was a thoroughly depressing read. Regardless, Orwell's first novel is a decent offering that takes a while to get going, even if the book is not excessively overwritten. The pacing of the novel is merely uneven. Events unfold very slowly during the first third and gradually come faster until the almost sudden conclusion.Everything is quite standard here. A plot and cast that are interesting enough to keep you reading but neither of which forcefully grips. Perhaps if both hadn't been quite so nasty this wouldn't have been a problem. It goes without saying that Orwell's social and imperial criticism is particularly admirable, although that isn't enough to make this novel as good as the likes of <i>Nineteen Eighty-Four</i>.

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