This would have been an OK novel written by anyone else, but since it is by Orwell, I was expecting more. What I did get was a well-crafted tale of ex-patriot Brits in colonial Burma behaving badly, but it felt like Orwell was straining too hard to make it work as a more conventional love story than as a stinging critique of British imperialism which is what he wanted it to be. In the end, it fell between the two stools and didn’t quite achieve the heights of either. Worth a read, especially if you are interested in how Orwell developed as a writer and thinker.
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No. 2 of 100 books I intend to read and review in 2021.
Patrick Sherriff is an Englishman who survived 13 years working for newspapers in the US, UK and Japan. Between teaching English lessons at his conversation school in Abiko, Japan, with his wife, he writes and illustrates textbooks for non-native speakers of English, releases Hana Walker mystery novels, short stories, essays and a monthly newsletter highlighting good fiction published in English about Japan. Saku’s Random Book Club is his latest project to spend more time with books.