Thursday, December 26, 2013

Coming Up for Air

by George Orwell

I stumbled across this book as I was searching for something to read and finish out the 2013 book challenge, which I nearly forgot! Did you know Orwell wrote anything beyond those required dystopian texts Animal Farm and 1984? Me either.  But he did, and Coming Up For Air is a surprising reflection on life, aging and remembering.

George Bowling has hit middle age and is struggling coming to grips with the mundane prospects of his future. Not only is he overweight and toothless, he feels trapped in a loveless marriage, has two bratty kids and a dead end job. So he starts remembering the good old days, before the war (WWI), and how much better things were then and how great his life was just playing and fishing. So he decides to sneak away for a week and return to the town of his youth. Only problem is that once he's there nothing is as he remembered.

While nothing eventful happens and George comes across as having a dull life, the book is far from boring. I enjoyed the reflections on England leading up to the war and George's contemplations on life. If you enjoy memoirs you'd like this book.

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