Burmese Days

Burmese Days

Book - 2001
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Set in the days of the Empire, with the British ruling in Burma, this book describes both indigenous corruption and Imperial bigotry. Against the prevailing orthodoxy, Flory, a white timber merchant, befriends Dr Veraswami, a black enthusiast for Empire. The doctor needs help. U Po Kyin, Sub-divisional Magistrate of Kyauktada, is plotting his downfall. The only thing that can save him is European patronage: membership of the hitherto all-white Club. While Flory prevaricates, beautiful Elizabeth Lackersteen arrives in Upper Burma from Paris. At last, after years of 'solitary hell', romance and marriage appear to offer Flory an escape from the 'lie' of the 'pukka sahib pose'.
Publisher: London : Penguin Books, [2001]
ISBN: 9780141185378
Branch Call Number: F ORW NVD
Characteristics: viii, 299 p. : map ; 20 cm

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straitgate
Dec 24, 2015

A great novel from a truly masterful storyteller. Not one word too many or too few. It's rather pessimistic like much of Orwell but the portrait he paints of a far-off post of empire at the end of empire is truly entertaining.

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Heyst
Jul 04, 2013

my favorite Orwell. This is a hilarious book. IT is a SATIRE-- funny parts are quoting the woman who thinks Smart people are beastly, art is beastly, etc. maybe it's irony ? it's not a matter of holding your nose and trying to stomach the racist 19th century characters--that is the whole point of the book. squeamishness makes us rather forget the very recent racist white man's burden past (oh wait it's not really past --no one is building a fence on the Canadian border) it just seems like it's past because we are so "enlightened" now . . ., because we blot out that ugly past that makes us uncomfortable -- but it just won't work to try to forget about it, like by banning Huck Finn. Somehow it seems we will never "get over" American Slavery,and it especially won't help to point the finger at those terrible European colonialists, to deflect attention onto them.Political correctness and "not talking about it" has the unintended effect of allowing whites to forget about the reality of those plantations, to romanticize the past.

crankylibrarian Nov 01, 2011

My favorite Orwell, with my favorite line: "It is one of the tragedies of the half-educated that they develop late, when they are already committed to some wrong way of life". A tragedy of racism and class set among lower level British functionaries in India, where the one somewhat honorable person is destroyed by love.

jlazcan Oct 15, 2011

If you can get over the British colonial racism in this book you will really find it enjoyable. It is not my favorite Orwell book, but I found it entertaining none the less. Orwell spent time in Burma as a police officer so some of this is probably autobiographical. Orwell tries to paint the main character as above bigotry, but by today’s standards he would be part of the problem. If you like Orwell’s other work then you will probably enjoy this book.

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