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Coming Up for Air

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  8,077 Ratings  ·  489 Reviews
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 beyon ...more
Paperback, 278 pages
Published October 22nd 1969 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 1939)
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Susanj I'm about halfway through, and I agree with you, Peter -- I would not call it comic, or tragi-comic for that matter. Evocative, sad, even depressing…moreI'm about halfway through, and I agree with you, Peter -- I would not call it comic, or tragi-comic for that matter. Evocative, sad, even depressing at times... definitely POWERFUL. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Ruthanne Davis I would say the theme is how our world changes. It's a tragi-comic story of a middle aged man who weathers some of his frustrations thinking about the…moreI would say the theme is how our world changes. It's a tragi-comic story of a middle aged man who weathers some of his frustrations thinking about the past and his growing up in a rather rural area and small town. He returns 30 years later only to find that even this part of the world has changed.
Well-written and such a change from Orwell's usual subjects. I truly enjoyed it.(less)

Community Reviews

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Apr 25, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-novels
One of Orwell’s less well known novels; it is a rather bleak comic novel written and set in 1938/1939. It is a well written novel about nostalgia, the lower middle classes, relationships between men and women and middle age. Orwell is primarily a political writer and as he said himself, “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism.” Given works like 1984 and Animal Farm, it isn’t surprisi ...more
Jul 08, 2012 Darwin8u rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
“That's the way we're going nowadays. Everything slick and streamlined, everything made out of something else.”
― George Orwell, Coming Up for Air


A novel that explores the pastoral life and experiences of youth in Edwardian England before the First World War as a memory of a man who is anxious about his own existence and pessimistic about his nation's inevitable progress towards another world war.

I think John Wain was right when he said, "What makes _Coming Up For Air_ so peculiarly bitter to t
Nov 19, 2013 Edward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Note on the Text

--Coming Up for Air
Sep 28, 2007 Meaghan rated it it was amazing
When I first had a look at this, I wondered if it was really by the same George Orwell. It certainly didn't seem to be anything like 1984 or Animal Farm. But it was indeed he. I spent most of the book wondering if anything was actually going to happen in this story. And nothing really did. I hated it at first, but for some reason I kept coming back to it. It grew on me.

The protagonist, a fat and rather unlikeable father of two named George Bowling, leads a rather boring middle-class existence in
Mar 01, 2016 Sawsan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
نزهة" عنوان لترجمة نُشرت عام 1969 لرواية جورج أورويل
Coming up for air
ولها عنوان عربي آخر وهو"الصعود إلى الهواء.
نظرة الانسان للماضي وقدرته على تذكُر ملامح الأماكن والأشخاص في حياته
رجل في منتصف العمر يحكي ذكرياته في بلدة انجليزية في بداية القرن العشرين
حياته الهادئة ومتعه البسيطة في عالم ما قبل الحرب العالمية الأولى
بعد سنين يأخذه الحنين لزيارة بلدته ليكتشف ان صور الحياة التي يحن إليها أصبح لا وجود لها
سرد جميل وبسيط وفيه خفة ظل وواقعية, ومناهضة واضحة للحروب وآثارها
MJ Nicholls
Released in 1939, Coming Up for Air is perhaps the final kiss-of-death to pre-war life in miserable old England, and the first ready-for-war book to soberly embrace the next six agonising years. The protagonist George is a First World War veteran whose life has settled into the predetermined routine of people of his class and age—a travelling insurance position, a nagging harridan of a missus, and two kids too many. After kvetching about his sorry lot in Part One, he recalls his childhood in Par ...more
Jun 29, 2012 Nigeyb rated it it was amazing
My preoccupation with British literature set in the immediate pre-WW2 era and in, or around, London continues. I recently read Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton and that kickstarted a whole fascination with English literature set in or around London c1939. In addition to Hangover Square, particular recent highlights include...

London Belongs to Me
The Slaves of Solitude
Of Love And Hunger's a rich vein that I continue to mine.

"Coming Up For Air" was my first George Orwell since "Homage to C
Mar 18, 2014 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Coming Up For Air is written in the first person as George Bowling, although George Orwell doesn't take long to break out in the first 30 pages with his own social critique on housing estates 'rackets' & developers etc. It took me a while to warm to George Bowling's 'voice' as the narrator.

Part II is a change in conversation from Part I. Part II starts off with George Bowling realising how much his life has changed since he was a young lad. Then for the next 93 pages George is reminiscing on
Jun 24, 2017 huzeyfe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Nereden ve nasıl başlasam bilemiyorum. Öncelikle tek sözcükle özetleyeyim de. Mükemmel! Gerçekten mükemmel bir kitaptı. Hayvan Çiftliği ve 1984 ile tanınan George Orwell'in bence ilk okunması gereken eseri. Çünkü zekasını, sözcüklerle oynama becerisini ve muhteşem bir yazarın sinyalini veren çok güzel bir eser bu.

Açıkçası bu kitap kütüphanemde aylardır bekliyordu. Bir iki defa elimde gezdirdim ama tam anlamıyla canım istemediği için bıraktım. Neden sonra bir iştahla bu kitabı aradım rafların ara
Jun 12, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle

George Orwell had a way of grabbing the reader’s attention with opening sentences. The first sentence of 1984, for example, has stuck in my mind since I first read the novel over forty years ago: “It was a bright day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” The first sentence of this novel is just as memorable: “The idea really came to me the day I got my new false teeth”. If the opening of 1984 foreshadows the dystopia in which that novel is set, the opening of this one suggests the wo
Sara Zovko
Nešto drugačiji Orwell, ali jednako pronicljiv i britak.
Ovo je sentimentalna knjiga o odrastanju, puna slika iz djetinjstva koje je odavno prošlo i više se neće i ne može vratiti. Glavni je lik prosječan muškarac, sa svojih 45 godina ima prosječan posao, višak kilograma, ženu koju samo trpi, a ne voli previše, dvoje djece koju smatra davežima i brige svakodnevnog života i po ničemu se ne ističe. Dok razmišlja o svemu što je prošlo, ali o o ratu koji će doći, Hitleru i opasnosti koja je pred vra
Mahdi Lotfi
جورج اورول در این کتاب در نهایت سادگی، ظریفترین ویژگیهای جامعه و انسانهای عصر ما را بیان میکند. او هرگز در صدد خلق شخصیتهای قهرمان و خدشه ناپذیر نیست. او جامعه و انسانها را آنگونه که میبیند بیان میکند نه آنگونه که به مذاق فلسفهبافان عصر حاضر سازگار است. در عین بیان حالات و روحیات آدمی و تمامی گرایشهای فطری و طبیعی انسان، اگر خوب دقیق شوید، گستاخانه به کلیسا، سلطنت، مارکسیسم و اگزیستانسیالیسم دهنکجی میکند. انسان آنگونه که هست و نه آنگونه که میگویند!
در این اثر شخصیتی که ظاهرا این ماجرای ساده و در
Oct 12, 2011 Vinny rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. I rarely connect on multiply levels with characters in books, but I have a huge connection with Tubby Bowling. I see myself in him, or I should say I could see my life going down his path, because he is disappointed with his life and where is at. He had a lot of big dreams but they all fell one by one to end as an insurance salesman with a decent house in suburbia and a disliked family. This is one of Orwell's forgotten masterpieces in that few look beyond his 1984 or Anima ...more
Sep 07, 2016 Ebru rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kitaptan notlar :
- Ev işleri için tutulan bir kadın ona göre mutlaka pisliği dolap altına süpürür.
- Her şeye vakit vardır ama yapmaya değer şeyler hariç. Sahiden önemsediğiniz bir şeyi düşünün. Sonra sadece ona harcadığınız zamanı saat saat toplayın ve hayatınızın ne kadarcık bir bölümünü kapsadığını hesaplayın.
- Savaştan önce hep yazdı – daha önce söylediğim gibi, bir yanılsama tabii ama hatırladığım bu.
- Bu günlerde fikir sahibi herkes korkudan kaskatı kesiliyor.
- Yapmak istediğimiz şeylerin h
Lorenzo Berardi
Jul 24, 2011 Lorenzo Berardi rated it it was amazing
This is my fifth Orwell and the one I liked the most, so far.
I reckon how I should reread (and in English at this time) both "1984" and "Animal Farm" before putting "Coming Up for Air" on top, but at the moment it stands there.

So why have I liked this novel so much?
Oh, there are several and kind of personal reasons.

To begin with, I had the chance to spend some time in the tiny village of Sutton Courtenay where Eric Arthur Blair better known as George Orwell rests. Sutton Courtenay is just a
Metin Yılmaz
Nov 15, 2015 Metin Yılmaz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: necessarily, novels
Çocukluk, aile, savaş, kasaba, yaşlılık, hayat ve ölüm. Dümdüz blokları olan bir kitap. Konuşma belki yok denecek kadar az. Ama buna rağmen bu kadar sürükleyici olması ve elden bırakamadan okunması yazarın ve çevirmenin yeteneği elbette. Çok beğendim üzerine yazacağım çok şey var ama bence siz hiç burada vakit kaybetmeyin ve Orwell'in tüm kitaplarını okumayı hedef edinin.
Dec 23, 2011 Rowena rated it it was amazing
Loved it, just loved it. Orwell is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. Love his humour, wit and sarcasm. Lovely story about nostalgia which I would definitely read again.
Lina AL Ojaili
الأفكار السياسية كانت ضعيفة جدا ورواية عبارة عن سرد مطول عن طفولته و حبه لصيد السمك بطريقة مملة جدا
Apr 28, 2017 Lily rated it liked it
Well now, this is what I call an interesting book. Orwell is one of my favorite authors. I think pretty much everything he wrote is worth reading but there is so much complexity to this novel. The first thing I thought was the fact that you could see 1984 & Animal Farm coming reading that book. The brilliant thing about his writing is that Orwell has such a sharp wit, he is an intellectual and his satire makes everything better. What I didn’t like about Coming Up for Air was the ryhtm. Even ...more
Aslı M.
Dec 07, 2016 Aslı M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Çocukluktan gençliğe adım atarken hayatları değiştiren o savaşı görmüş olan bir adam. Tabi onun içinde her şey değişiyor. Savaş bitiyor fiilen. Ama insanların içindeki savaş bitmiyor. George'un içindeki savaş bitmiyor. Hatta içini bitiriyor üstüne. Hayatta bir amacı kalmıyor. Öylesine herkese uyarak yaşayan birine dönüşüyor. Günlük rutinleri görev şeklinde yerine getiren biri oluyor. Hayatın ilerisi diye bir garanti yok onun için. Bu yüzden de savaştan önceki günlerine dönmek istiyor.Öyle mükemm ...more
Shaimaa Ali
محاولة يائسة للتنفس .. لاستنشاق بعض من الهواء بعيداً عن طابع الحياة الروتينية الكئيب لرجل أربعينى

يأخذنا أورويل هنا إلى ذكرياته عن الحرب ..عن جنون هتلر .. وعن شكل إنجلترا بعد الحرب والتغيرات الإجتماعية والإقتصادية التى لحقت بها

رواية ممتعة ..ذات شجون إنسانية .. ونهاية مبتورة
هى فقط ليست 1984 أو مزرعة الحيوانات!!

الترجمة إلى العربية سيئة - للمترجم عبد الله فاضل!

- عندما تقتل إمرأة فإن زوجها هو دائماً أول المشكوك بهم وهذا ما يعطيك لمحة صغيرة غير مباشرة عن حقي
Fraser Kinnear
I didn't expect this to be such a funny book. It was funny to the degree that you can expect any old writer to be funny - the writing was sharp, and the narrator was oafish with some funny lines.

The protagonist, a fat, bumbling, middle class Englishman came across as a dark version of Oliver Hardy. Full disclosure, I've never seen Laurel and Hardy, and they may be just as dark for all I know.

The story also put into words my distaste for the empty, "middling" class, powerless but informed rut so
Sep 10, 2015 Beatlezu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Subir a por aire, es el libro de Orwell que mas eh rayado, subrayado, puesto caritas o etc. Si están esperando algo mas de 1984 o Rebelión en la granja, no cojan este libro todavía, es mas descriptivo, tiene pocos diálogos y aveces eso lo hace algo aburrido (lo de los peces, por Dios :/ ) . Pero a la ves no, por que el protagonista/narrador es una persona con un sentido del humor y conciencia muy peculiar, que parece basado en alguien real. Aveces me preguntaba si realmente este libro lo escribi ...more
Zeynab Babaxani
نمیتونم به این کتاب نمره ی پنج بدم. من جورج اورول رو دوست دارم. حرف هاش رو دوست دارم. سبک نوشته اش رو دوست دارم اما اگر این کتاب رو کسی به جز اون نوشته بود کتاب رو نمیپسندنم
کتاب ترکیبی بود از سبک هانریش بل که دوست داشتم
و موضوعش در بخش هایی از داستان نزدیک به کتاب ناطور دشت میشد
در کل نمیتونم بگم خوب بود. بهتر میدونم بگم سرگرم کننده بود.
Dec 29, 2013 Helen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I think I need to start this review with an apology to George Orwell because like many people, I read Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four as a teenager and assumed I'd read everything by Orwell that was worth reading. I was obviously wrong because Coming Up for Air is a great book, though very different from his two most famous novels. In a way, though, I'm glad I've waited until now to read it because I'm not sure I would have appreciated it as much when I was younger.

Coming Up for Air was pub
Ayse Bilgen
Nov 29, 2015 Ayse Bilgen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kitabı vasatça özetlersem:
"Kırkbeş yaşında, göbeği giderek büyüyen, evinin taksitlerini ödemekle uğraşan George Bowling, evli ve çocuklu, yeni takma dişlere sahip sigorta pazarlamacısı bir adam. önce birinci dünya savaşını yaşar, sonra da faşizm yıllarını. yemek kuyruklarını, askerleri, gizli polisi ve zorbalığı seyreder. On altı yaşından beri hiç yapmasa da balık tutmayı çok seven George cocukluğunun dünyasına, huzur ve sükun dolu bir yer olarak hatırladığı köyüne sığınmaya karar verir. Ancak..
Mar 26, 2016 Daren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Narrated by George Bowling, a man in his late 40s, living in the suburbs with a wife and two children, with an unexciting but stable white collar job, this is a book of reminiscences and a nostalgic look back over his life. Overweight, and with false teeth,George is a first world war veteran, now working in insurance, travelling regularly in an escape from his wife and children.

Set in the pre WWII early 1940s, this book takes us through the life of George Bowling, as a child and adolescent pre-W
Büşra Göç
Jan 05, 2016 Büşra Göç rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
George Orwell her zamanki gibi kendine has salt bir dil kullanmış. Sizi hiç sıkmadan, delice detaya girmeden, aforizmalar yaratmadan açık bir şekilde yazıyor. Bu budur, şu şudur gibi okuyucuyu sıkacak tespitlerde bulunmuyor. O eserini ortaya koyuyor, sade bir dille öyküsünü anlatıyor, siz anlamanız gerekeni zaten anlamış oluyorsunuz. Kitaplarından alınan tat bu sebeple kat be kat artıyor. Orwell'ı benzer tarzdaki diğer yazarlardan sıyıran da bu.

Gelelim tam tadında Boğulmamak İçin kitabına. Geor
ثاني رواية لي مع جورج أورويل بعد روايته متشرد في باريس ولندن
واعترف إنني استمتعت بروايته الأولي أكثر بكثير من هذه الرواية
ربما يكمن الخطأ في توقعاتنا بشأن الأدباءالذين نقرأ لهم
فنتوقع في كل مرة أن تعجبنا الرواية
وطبعا هذا أمر غير مضمون علي الإطلاق

مشكلة هذه الرواية ليست في الفكرة
بل في السرد الكثير لدرجة الملل

ولكن فكرتها رائعة بالتأكيد

فكرة الرغبة في العودة إلي زمن الماضي
أن تعود لأيامك وشبابك وحماقاتك وضحكاتك الماضية
أن تعود لزمن مر وولي ، ولن يعود أبداً

وكانت هذه مشكلة البطل

فحين رغب في العودة إلي بلدته
داليا شعلان
Dec 28, 2014 داليا شعلان rated it really liked it
لقد كنا نملك في الماضي شيئا لم نعد نملكه الان..شئ لا يمكن امتلاكه في حياتي الحالية..شئ رجعت ابحث عنه و لم اجده و مع ذلك لا ازال اؤمن بوجوده

ان رائحة الأزهار هي نفسها بالنسبة لي..لكن هل رائحته هي نفسها بالنسبة للأزهار

يموت الانسان عندما يتوقف دماغه ..اقصد عندما يتوقف دماغه عن استيعاب أفكار جديدة

تستمر الأشياء بالحدوث و تستمر الحياة كالحرب تماما

ان موته يؤلمني الان اكثر مما آلمني في حينه

يا الله ما اجمل ذلك العام..هدوء و خضرة و هو لن يتكرر ثانيا..لا اقصد ان العام هو الذي لن يتكرر ..إنما الشعور الداخلي
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Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language, and a belief in democratic socialism.

In addition to his literary career Orwell served as a a police officer with the Indian Imperia
More about George Orwell...

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“أليس غريباً أن نمضى حياتنا ونحن نفكر بالأشياء التى نحب
أن نفعلها ولا نستطيع”
“Perhaps a man really dies when his brain stops, when he loses the power to take in a new idea.” 45 likes
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