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George Orwell: A Life

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  262 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Bernard Crick's biography of George Orwell published in 1980.A scholarly book with numerous photographs,notes and an index.Seventeen chapters 589 pages.
Paperback, 474 pages
Published August 26th 1982 by Penguin Books (first published 1982)
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really liked it 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  262 ratings  ·  17 reviews


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Terry Clague
Mar 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Re-reading this, it strikes me that I probably need to re-read most things which probably rules me out of new books for the next thirty years. A brilliant biography, complete with an introduction that should be (it probably already is) required reading for anyone contemplating writing this kind of book. Orwell requested in his Will that no biography be written, and thought that a truthful biography was impossible because "every life viewed from the inside would be a series of disappointments too ...more
Fredrikke Wongraven
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
finally finished with this very heavy book. it was an intersting read, probably one of the best biographies on george orwell out there, but also a strange way of writing. the author writes in an old fashioned way which just makes me unsure on what the main focus in a lot of the sentences are.

i am glad i read this, as i learned a lot about orwell. but at the same time i think this book needs a revamp and some modernisation. however, i bought it for 2 quid from cambridgeshire county library's with
...more
Matt
May 03, 2008 rated it really liked it


Fine, approving review by the Hitch himself: http://www.newstatesman.com/cultural-...
Craig Hart
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bernard Crick’s biography of George Orwell, titled George Orwell: A Life, was originally published in 1982 and was the first biography to be written with the cooperation of Orwell’s widow.

This new edition, scheduled to be released on May 30, 2019, continues to show the increase of interest in Orwell and his writings, no doubt due, at least in part, to the current political climate around the world. A lot of people are feeling as if we are seeing Orwellian politics at work in our systems of gove
...more
Brigi
I feel like I deserve a little 'hallelujah' for finishing this book. It's not the first biography on Orwell I've read, so I have a bit of experience. I must say the first half (sadly, not the one I needed) was more interesting.

I had the impression that Crick inserted many unimportant details, events from Orwell's life. I mean, yes, they might have been interesting for someone living in that period who knew the other journalists/writers, but I think for today's man they don't seem essential.

Howev
...more
Vasil Kolev
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
He clearly was able to do a lot with the information he found, but I still found the book somewhat lacking and overdone at some parts. Still, it's very helpful to put Orwell's writings into some context (that you can't find in the Complete Works).
Mark
Dec 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a good biography of Orwell, one that provides what is still the best analysis of his politics.
Francesca
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
It takes a brave author to directly contradict Orwell's last request that no biography be written about him, but we should all be very thankful Crick took up the gauntlet!

His biography of Orwell's life is one of the most insightful and thoroughly researched I've read ; bringing highlights of his letters and essays together with personal recollections from friends and Crick's own analysis of some of the more troubling aspects of an extraordinary life.

It's balance of describing the political and p
...more
Patrick
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
A definitive biography.
Duncan M Simpson
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
As the author admits, a biography that concentrates on the facts (as the writer sees them) with little insight into Orwell's personality. That said, it was a full life of the man and a great read.
Derek Baldwin
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Engrossing and ultimately very moving account of the life of George Orwell. Much of the "story" can be found in Orwell's own writings but this brings it together very neatly, albeit sometimes a little over-respectful. Orwell wasn't a saint after all. (But still a very great man.)
Ryan Williams
Sep 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Still by far the best Orwell biography. DJ Taylor's is too slight. Jeffrey Meyers - an American - has more facts, but can't get over his urge to piss over everything like a poorly-trained puppy.
Fishsanwitt
Jan 10, 2009 marked it as to-read
Shelves: catalogued
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Pippa
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography
I have huge admiration for Orwell and he must have been an incredible man, but unfortunately this biography is rather dull.
Mark McKenna
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful biography of Orwell, considered the finest, I believe. I just didn't have time to finish it, and wanted to get it off this list. (So I don't look illiterate).
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Sir Bernard Rowland Crick was a British political theorist and democratic socialist whose views were often summarised as "politics is ethics done in public". He sought to arrive at a "politics of action", as opposed to a "politics of thought" or of ideology.