Reading Maze For Book Reviews

Reading for the Young & Old

1984 – George Orwell

Read Orwell as a history lesson.

Read Orwell to help you look at the world you’re living in in a different, perhaps more critical way.

Read Orwell as an introduction to humanity at it’s worse, helping you to see what can go wrong, and to identify it in the most straightforward of circumstances.

But also read Orwell for the writing. Pared back, essential, without flowery unnecessities, with great observation, irony.

2013-03-11 11.33.341984 had many children fearing the worse would happen on that year, of course it came, it went, nothing changed, except the ability to watch over everything and everyone that Orwell wrote about so many decades before has come to be fact now, even if it was not really the case back a few decades ago.

For the real grit read Animal Farm, for a picture of the futility of struggle read his memories of fighting in the Spanish civil war, when you were as much at risk of being shot by your own people than you were of ever even encountering the right.

And if these get you hooked then use the BBC iPlayer to listen to some of the recent readings from books like Down and Out in Paris and London, or some of the plays based on Orwell’s life.

The Old Man and The Sea

The Old Man and The Sea.

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This is the classic tale of struggle, and thought of by many as Ernest Hemingway’s finest novel.

If you are new to reading Hemingway this is a great place to start.

The language is spare. Not a word wasted.

There is beauty in the struggle, there is love, respect, anger and desperation.

It won the inveterate gambler, fighter, hunter the Nobel Prize for Literature and you can tell in every phrase that he shared the struggle, the loss.

I wonder what he would have made of today’s word of wall to wall coverage of every event, hyperbole at every twist and turn, politics a sham and the wonders of the web.

I can actually imagine Ernest being as addicted to casino online, just as he was to the bottle, the women and the weed. Though perhaps he’d consider that not manly enough for his approach to life.

I imagine he’d frown at football, scorn the drug police and scream abuse at pretty much every sportsman, save maybe the cage fighters.

The Old Man and The Sea. It’s a classic, a short read best tackled in one go.

Pour yourself a large bourbon, half a pint should do you about right, get a packet of strong smokes and settle down somewhere that you’re unlikely to be disturbed and start your journey into some of America’s finest literature.